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Lumbrical Muscles of Hand: Hand and Finger Pain

What pain and symptoms are associated with the Lumbrical Muscles of Hand?

Lumbrical Muscles of Hand Pain Pattern

Lumbrical Muscles of Hand contribute to pain in the back of the hand and fingers. Pain is most commonly felt in the index and little fingers and not always in the middle fingers.

  • Pain in the fingers, index and little finger pain most common
  • Pain in the finger joints
  • Stiffness in the finger joints
  • Pain and or stiffness while closing and opening the hand
  • Pinching using the thumb and fingers is painful
  • Gripping objects such as pens, pencils, needles for hand sewing or knitting between the thumb and fingers causes pain and discomfort

Where are the Lumbrical Muscles of Hand  located?

  • The lumbrical muscles of the hand are four muscles found inbetween the fingers.

What movements do the hand lumbrical muscles control?

  • Bends fingers at the first knuckle (the knuckle found on the hand at the base of the fingers)
  • Helps to straighten the fingers at the middle and top knuckles of the fingers

Activities that cause hand lumbrical muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Activities that require constant use of the thumb and fingers in a pincher motion
  • Extended periods of knitting, crocheting, or hand sewing
  • Extended periods of writing with a pen or pencil
  • Artistic painting
  • Playing musical instruments such as the violin, cello and guitar
  • Pulling weeds

Interesting facts about the lumbrical muscles of the hand:

  • The lumbrical muscles are unusual because they do not connect to a bone. They connect four tendons extending from the flexor digitorum profundus into tendons connected to the extensor digitorum.

Clinical diagnoses to which the hand lumbrical muscles symptoms may contribute:

Lumbrical Muscles of Hand

You use the lumbrical muscles of the hand when you bend your fingers.


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • C6  radiculopathy
  • Ulnar neuropathy
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Dupuytren’s contracture
  • De Quervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis
  • Carpometacarpal dysfunction

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the hand lumbrical muscles:

Satellite Trigger Points: Flexor Pollicis Brevis, Abductor Pollicis Brevis, Opponens Pollicis,  Adductor Pollicis, Long Extensor Muscles of the Fingers, Long Flexor Muscles of the Fingers,  Latissimus Dorsi, Pectoralis Major, Scalenes, Triceps Brachii`

For detailed anatomy information see: Lumbricals of the Hand Anatomy

Help with Lumbrical Muscles of the Hand Pain

Cold Therapy Treatment For Pain In The Back of the Hand and Fingers

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle 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 over 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 times longer. If you have recently injured the hand’s lumbrical  muscles or have unexplained pain that has started in the back of the hand extending into the index and small fingers, use Biofreeze. Rub the gel into the back of the hand and fingers for pain relief.

Elasto-Gel Therapy Mitten for hot and cold therapy

 Wrist and Hand Cold /  Heat Wrap

The Elasto-Gel Therapy Mitten can be used for both cold and heat therapy. I like this mitt because it can be used to treat the entire wrist, thumb, hand and fingers. It is excellent for heat treatment. Some of the reviewers feel the mitt does not get cold enough for cold treatment. However, I apply BioFreeze  5 minutes before applying the cold glove and it works great. I like using BioFreeze with cold therapy wraps because the area cools without that initial icy burn and feel that the pain relief effect of cold therapy lasts longer. Mitt can be used on either hand.

Warm Therapy for Post Injury and Chronic Hand and Finger Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief. 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 over the counter heating creams and gels.  It works well for post injury pain and stiffness. It is great for chronic arthritis pain as it can be applied several times a day. Apply Sombra to  the back of the hand and into the fingers to ease lumbrical muscle 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.


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.

imak-glovesThe 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 fingers opening are reinforced so that they will not fray with wear or during washing. I like this particular brand because the glove 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 Hand Muscle Pain

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body. Do you know that trigger points or other dysfunction in the muscles of the hand and forearm can cause pain and stiffness in the back of the hand and fingers? The pain is often thought to be arthritis. This pain can make holding and picking up objects between the thumb and fingers very painful.

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief can help you treat hand and finger 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. Though the hand lumbrical muscles are not featured in the book treating the trigger points in the forearm can help reduce or eliminate you pain.  This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.


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