Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle: Wrist, Hand and Elbow Pain

Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Pain Patterns

The flexor carpi ulnaris muscle contributes to wrist and finger pain. Pain is occasionally felt on the pinky side of the elbow. The pain is similar to that of a sprained wrist.

  • Pain is felt in the wrist on the side of the little finger
  • Pain in the heel of the hand concentrated toward the side of the little finger
  • Bending, straightening and twisting the wrist down will cause pain
  • Pain will sometimes extend up into the forearm
  • Pain is occasionally felt on the inside of the elbow
  • The muscle can compress the ulnar nerve which can cause tingling and numbness forearm down into the ring and little finger

Where is the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris muscle located?

The flexor carpi ulnaris connects to the inside of the elbow (little finger side) and descends down to connect to the heel of the hand and the base of the little finger.

What movements do the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris control?

  • It bends the wrist downward
  • Sidebends the wrist toward the side of the little finger

Activities that cause flexor carpi ulnaris muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Movements that require a tight grip with twisting motion at the wrist
  • Instruments or tools that require a tight grip (pen, pencil, hammer screwdriver, etc)
  • Using tools that have a pounding or vibrating motion (jackhammer, sander)
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Skiing

Interesting Facts About The Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle:

  • Pain mimics the pain of a sprained wrist
  • Is the most common cause of pain in the wrist and hand on the (ulnar) pinky side of  hand.
Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle

You use the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle when you bend the wrist down and twist the wrist toward the little finger side.

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

  • Medial epicondylitis
  • Golfers elbow
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Ulnar neuropathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • C5 or T1 radiculopathy
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

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

Satellite Trigger Points:  Scalenes, Pectoralis Minor, Flexor Digitorum Profundus, Flexor Digitorum Superficialis, Flexor Pollicis Longus. Palmaris Longus

For detailed anatomy information: Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Anatomy Study


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

Cold Therapy Treatment For Pain In The Wrist Descending Into Fingers

Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a cold therapy gel that provides pain relief for new injuries and is great as a maintenance treatment for overuse injuries.  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. If you have recently injured the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle or have unexplained pain that has just started in the wrist and hand, use Biofreeze. Rub the gel around the elbow, down the pinky side of the forearm and into the wrist and hand.

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

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 be repositioned  for treatment of the forearm, wrist and the base of the palm. 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 for Post Injury and Chronic Wrist / Thumb 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 like 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 into the hand to ease the 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 pain relief.
Wrist Brace For Support

Because twisting motions of the wrist can cause injury and irritate the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle, a wrist brace can help relieve pain in the wrist and hand.  The ActiveWrap Compression Wrap for the Hand & Wrist not only provides compression and support of 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.
wrist-brace
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 flexor carpi ulnaris 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
Self Treatment Help For Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle Pain

Do you know that trigger points or other dysfunction in the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle can cause pain in the wrist which can travel into the heel of the hand and the ring and little fingers? 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 hand 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, heel of the hand and the last two fingers treating the trigger points in the flexor carpi ulnaris 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.