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Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle: Pain In The Back Of The Forearm and Hand

Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Pain Pattern

The extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle contributes to pain in the back of the hand. Pain will sometimes travel up the back of the forearm.

  • A burning sensation or constant ache is felt in the back of the hand. Pain will sometimes  extend into the back of the forearm.
  • Weak unreliable grip.
  • Excruciating pain when you twist your wrist
  • This muscle can cause numbing and tingling in the hand and fingers.

Where Is The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle Located?

The extensor carpi radialis brevis connects the elbow to the bone at the base of the middle finger.

What Movements Does the Extensor Digitorum Control?

  • Straightens the 3rd, 4th, and fingers
  • Helps to straighten the wrist

Activities That Cause Pain and Symptoms of the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis:

  • Forced and repetitive gripping of a large
  • Knitting and crocheting
  • Golfing
  • Tennis
  • Typing for hours at a time
  • Writing or gripping other small instruments for extended amounts of time.
  • Twisting motions such as using a screwdriver or twisting a doorknob.

Interesting Facts About The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle:

  • It is one of three muscles that support the wrist. Without these muscles the wrist would hang limply from the forearm.
  • Contributes to tennis elbow.
  • Is sometimes called the fist clencher muscle as the wrist must be slightly extended and the middle finger must bend to make a fist.
Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle

You use the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle to straighten the wrist and twist the wrist.

Clinical Diagnoses To Which The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle May Contribute:

  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • C6 C7 or C8 radiculopathy
  • Ganglion Cyst

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle:

Satellite Trigger Points: Supinator, Brachioradialis, and Triceps brachii

Affected Organ System: Digestive System

For detailed anatomy information see: Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Anatomy

Help with Extensor Digitorum Muscle Injury and Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Extensor Arm, Elbow, and Hand Injury Pain

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a cold therapy gel that provides pain relief for new injuries and is recommended as a maintenance treatment for overuse and repetitive use injuries such as tennis elbow.  Cold therapy should be used for new and recent injuries instead of heat as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 longer. Many arthritis suffers like to use Biofreeze on swollen painful joints.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury

Elbow / Wrist Ice Wrap For Cold Treatment and Compression

The extensor carpi radialis brevis can contribute to pain in the elbow, wrist and back of the hand.  It is important to treat the entire muscle for pain relief.  The DonJoy DuraKold Wrist and Elbow Ice Wrap is a good choice for this pain. I like this wrap because it can be used  for the elbow and forearm and repositioned for the wrist for wrist and base of the thumb pain. The wrap retains the cold for well over an hour, however, the recommended cold therapy treatment time is 20 - 30 minutes per session, longer treatment time could result in tissue damage.

DonJoy Wrist and Elbow Cold Wrap

Warm Therapy Gel For Extensor Muscle, Arm, Elbow and Hand Injury and Arthritis Pain

Sombra provides warmth without burning and is better at relieving pain than other over the counter pain creams. To relieve extensor muscle pain apply Sombra all around the elbow, down into the back of the forearm, and into the the back of the wrist and hand.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.

Wrist Braces For Support and Compression

Because twisting motions of the wrist can cause injury and irritate the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle, a wrist brace can help relieve pain and provide support during repetitive twisting motions.  The ActiveWrap Compression Wrap for the Hand & Wrist not only provides compression and support to the wrist but also comes with insert gel packs for hot and cold treatment. The brace can be used on either hand and has two Velcro closures that can be adjusted for comfort.

ActiveWrap Wrist and Hand Hot and Cold Wrap
The Neo G Medical Grade VCS Wrist and Thumb Support provides adjustable wrist support and compression to the wrist. The brace allows full movement hand, fingers, and thumb while providing support to the wrist. A good choice for those who need wrist support but need full mobility of the hand and fingers.
Full Arm Compression Sleeve for Elbow, Forearm and Wrist Pain

The CompressionZ Compression Arm Sleeves are for those who want or need more support for muscle injury, muscle recovery or lymphedema. The sleeves work well for those who have chronic elbow, forearm and wrist pain due to repetitive motions that can irritate the extensor muscles in the arm. The sleeves work well for athletes as well as people whose jobs require repetitive twisting motions of the wrist. The sleeves are available in 3 sizes and a variety of colors. Be sure to read the size chart and follow the instructions to ensure proper fit. Two sleeves per package

Arm Compression Sleeves

BandIT Therapeutic Forearm Band: Compression Band for Tennis Elbow, Golf Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Stress Injuries

The BandIT Forearm Band is worn by many professional athletes to prevent and relieve muscle pain caused by repetitive motions of the elbow and wrist. The BandIT uses selective pressure on the forearm muscles without cutting off circulation, limiting range of motion or causing swelling around the band. Though I do not recommend this as a long-term treatment or for long-term wear, the BandIT can help relieve pain for athletes to help get through a game or for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome that want pain relief while typing to make a deadline. Read and follow the enclosed instructions for temporary relief from forearm, wrist, hand, and finger pain.


Self Treatment For Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle Elbow, Forearm, and Hand Pain

Do you know that small "knots" in the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle can contribute to deep aching or burning pain in the back of the hand?

If this pain pattern sounds familiar I recommend that you purchase Claire Davies  The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language.  But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain,  how to find the trigger point and treat it. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body.  If you have burning pain in the back of the hand it may be trigger points in the extensor muscles of the arm. Deactivating trigger points can reduce or eliminate this pain. This book is a must have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body.

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