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Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle: Wrist and Hand Pain

Flexor Carpi Radialis Pain Patterns

The Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle contributes to pain in the center of the wrist that can extend over toward the thumb. Bending and twisting the wrist is painful. Gripping objects in the hand can also cause pain.

Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle

You use the flexor carpi radialis muscle when you bend the wrist down, twist the wrist, and bend the forearm at the elbow.

  • Pain is felt in the center of the wrist extending toward the thumb.
  • Bending and straightening the wrist will cause pain
  • Pain is felt when gripping items with the hand
  • Twisting motions of the wrist will cause pain
  • Pain will sometimes extend up into the forearm and/or descend into the palm

Where is the Flexor Carpi Radialis muscle located?

The flexor carpi radialis muscle connects to the inside of the elbow (little finger side) and descends down to connect to the base of the index and middle fingers.

What movements do the Flexor Carpi Radialis control?

  • It bends the wrist downward
  • It helps twist the wrist
  • It helps turn the hand down
  • It helps to bend the forearm at the elbow

Activities that cause flexor carpi radialis muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Movements that require a tight grip with twisting motion at the wrist
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Snow and water skiing
  • Loosening screws with the right hand
  • Tightening screws with the left hand
  • Vibrating tools ie. jackhammers, drills, etc.
  • Significant injury to the elbow

Interesting facts about the flexor carpi radialis muscle:

  • The radial pulse (wrist pulse) is found between the flexor carpi radialis tendon and the brachioradialis tendon

Clinical diagnoses to which the flexor carpi radialis muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Medial epicondylitis
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • C5 or T1 Radiculopathy
  • Raynaud’s Disease
  • Dupuytren’s contracture

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the flexor carpi radialis:

Associated Organ Systems: Respiratory and Cardiovascular

For detailed anatomy information: Flexor Carpi Radialis Anatomy Study

Help with Flexor Carpi Radialis Wrist, Hand, and Forearm Pain

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

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. 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. 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 flexor carpi radialis muscle injury
Warm Therapy Gel For Forearm, Wrist, and Hand Injury and Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat associated with other heating creams and gels.  It works well for post-injury pain and stiffness as well as chronic arthritis pain as it can be applied several times a day. Apply Sombra to the inside of the elbow and front of the forearm rubbing it down to the hand and base of the thumb to ease flexor carpi radialis pain.

NOTE: Do not use Sombra Warming Gel when using ice packs or heat packs as there is a risk of blistering the skin. For the most effective treatment, apply 5 to 10 minutes before putting on a brace or sleeve.

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides forearm, wrist and hand pain relief.
Wrist Brace For Support and Recovery of the Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle

Because twisting motions of the wrist can cause injury and irritate the flexor carpi radialis muscle, a wrist brace can help relieve pain in the wrist, hand and thumb area.  The ActiveWrap Compression Wrap for the Hand & Wrist not only provides compression and support in the wrist and hand, 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 injury prevention, 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 flexor carpi radialis muscle. The sleeves are worn by 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 provide support for arm flexor muscles
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 Help For Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle Pain

Do you know that trigger points or other dysfunction in the flexor carpi radialis muscle can cause pain in the wrist which can travel to the base of the palm? It can also entrap the ulnar nerve causing tingling and numbing in the forearm, wrist and hand.

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief can help you treat this wrist and thumb pain by teaching you the techniques to find and eliminate trigger points. Author Clair 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 are suffering from pain in the wrist, hand or forearm,  treating the trigger points in the flexor carpi radialis muscle of the arm can help reduce or eliminate your 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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