Extensor Digitorum Muscle: Arm, Hand, Finger Pain

Pain pattern of the extensor digitorum muscle.

The extensor digitorum muscle contributes to pain in the middle finger and back of the hand that can radiate up the back of the forearm towards the elbow. Pain can also be felt in the front of the wrist just above the palm.

  • Pain in the 2nd and 3rd fingers extending into the back of the hand
  • Pain can extend up the back of the forearm toward the elbow
  • Pain is occasionally felt in the front of the wrist just below the palm
  • Weak unreliable grip
  • Finger stiffness
  • Cramping in the fingers
  • Painful finger joints

Where Is The Extensor Digitorum Muscle Located?

The extensor digitorum is a long muscle that connects the outside (thumb side) of the elbow into 4 tendons that connect to the middle of the four fingers.

What Movements Does the Extensor Digitorum Control?

  • Straightens the 3rd, 4th, and 5th  fingers
  • Helps to straighten the wrist

Activities That Cause Pain and Symptoms of the Extensor Digitorum:

  • Typing
  • Playing the piano
  • Repetitive gripping an object (hammer, tennis racket, pen / pencil
  • Tennis
  • Writer’s Cramp – writing or gripping other small instruments.
  • Knitting and crocheting
  • Twisting motions such as using a screwdriver or twisting a doorknob.

Interesting Facts About The Extensor Digitorum Muscle:

  • Pain and stiffness caused by the extensor digitorum muscle in the fingers is often thought to be arthritis
  • It is a contributor to tennis elbow

Clinical Diagnoses To Which The Extensor Digitorum Muscle May Contribute:

  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Ganglion cyst
Extensor Digitorum Anatomy

You use the extensor digitorum muscle when you straighten your fingers and wrist.

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the extensor digitorum muscle:

Satellite trigger points: Brachioradialis, Supinator, Extensor carpi radialis longus, Extensor carpi ulnaris

Affected Organ System: Digestive System

For detailed anatomy information: Extensor Digitorum Anatomy


Help with Extensor Digitorum Muscle Injury and Pain

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

For arthritic or chronic shoulder, arm, elbow and hand pain relief I recommend Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel. Sombra provides warmth without burning and is better at relieving pain than other over the counter pain creams. To relieve extensor digitorum muscle pain apply Sombra all around the elbow and down the back of the forearm, into the wrist, hand, and fingers.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief.
Cold Therapy Gel For Extensor Arm, Elbow, and Hand Injury Pain

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a cold therapy gel that provides pain relieve for new injuries and is great as a maintenance treatment for overuse and repetitive use injuries such as tennis elbow. Cold therapy should be used on 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 who suffer from arthritis pain like to use Biofreeze on swollen painful joints. It is a favorite of athletes for both swelling reduction and pain relief due to injury and repetitive motion soreness.

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury
Elbow / Wrist Ice Wrap For Cold Treatment and Compression

Pain caused by the extensor digitorum can be felt from the elbow, down the forearm to the wrist and fingers. 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 then repositioned for the wrist and hand. 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
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.

bandit
Compression Gloves For Support, Warmth, and Pain Relief

Whether the pain in your hands is caused by a muscle injury or arthritis, compression has been shown to help with pain relief. The Imak Compression Arthritis Gloves are some of the best on the market.

The gloves provide gentle compression which helps decrease both pain relief and inflammation. The seams of the gloves are sewn to the outside so you will not have irritation or discomfort. The finger openings are reinforced so that they will not fray with wear or during washing. I like this particular brand because the gloves are easier to get on and off than most other compression gloves. Reasonably priced too!

To determine your size measure straight across the widest part of your palm. Extra small: up to 2 3/4 inches wide. Small: up to 3 1/8 inches across. Medium: up to 3 1/2 inches across. Large: up to 4 inches across. Extra large: up to 4 1/2 inches across.

imak-gloves
Self Treatment For Extensor Digitorum Muscle Forearm, Wrist, Hand and Finger Pain

Do you know that small knots and other dysfunction in the extensor digitorum muscle can contribute to pain in the back of the hand and your 4 fingers that occasionally travels up the back of the forearm? The pain and stiffness in the fingers caused by this muscle are often thought to be arthritis.

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 unresolved elbow, forearm pain and find it difficult to straighten the elbow without pain it maybe 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. Note: The extensor digitorum muscle is incorrectly listed in the index.

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