Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle: Finger Pain


Sharp stabbing pain is felt in one or any combination of the four fingers. This pain will sometimes radiate up into the palm and wrist. The flexor digitorum superficialis is also known to cause “trigger finger” where the finger locks in a bent position.

  • Sharp pain is felt on the inside (palm side) of one or all four fingers
  • Pain will sometimes extend up into the heel of the hand and wrist
  • Is a major contributor to “trigger finger”: finger locks in bent position
  • Uncontrollable twitching in the fingers

Where is the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle muscle located?

The flexor digitorum superficialis starts at the bottom of the elbow, running down the inside of the arm (pinky side) and connects via four tendons to the four fingers.

What movements do the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis control?

  • Bends the fingers down toward the palm
  • Helps bend the wrist down

Activities that cause flexor digitorum superficialis muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Instruments or tools that require a tight grip (pen, pencil, hammer screwdriver, etc)
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Gripping a steering wheel
  • Using scissors
  • Knitting and crocheting
  • Sewing
  • Raising your arm and bending it behind your head to brush or braid your hair
Extensor Digitorum Anatomy

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

Clinical diagnoses to which the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • C8 or T1 Radiculopathy
  • Raynaud’s Disease
  • Gout
  • Trigger Finger

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the flexor digitorum superficialis::

Satellite Trigger Points: Flexor Digitorum Profundus, Palmaris Longus, Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, Flexor Pollicis Longus

For detailed anatomy information: Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Anatomy Study

Help with Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle Finger Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Flexor Digitorum Muscle Arm, Elbow, and Hand Injury and Pain

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 digitorum superficialis muscle or have unexplained pain that has started in the fingers, 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

Pain caused by the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle is felt in the wrist, the palm, 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 then repositioned for the forearm, 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
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. Apply Sombra to the inside of the elbow, down the front and pinky side of the forearm to treat flexor digitorum 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.
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 digitorum superficialis muscle. The sleeves work well for athletes as well as people whose jobs require repetitive motions of the arm, elbow, and 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
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.


Self Treatment Help For Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle Pain

Do you know that trigger points or other dysfunction in the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle can cause pain in fingers which can radiate up into the palm of the hand and wrist? It can also cause twitching in the fingers.

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 are suffering from pain in the fingers and/ or the palm of the hand that may or may not extend into the wrist, treating the trigger points in the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle of the arm can help reduce or eliminate you pain. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle

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