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Brachialis Muscle: Arm, Elbow, Thumb Pain

The brachialis muscle can contribute to pain in the shoulder, arm, elbow, hand and thumb.

What are the pain and symptoms associated with the brachialis muscle?

  • Pain at the front and /or back of the base of the thumb
  • Constant aching and/or tightness in the outside of the upper arm near the elbow
  • Numbness or tingling in the forearm and thumb
  • Difficulty  bending the elbow

Where is the brachialis muscle?

The brachialis connects the upper and lower arm. It attaches approximately halfway down the upper arm bone (humerus) and crosses the elbow and connects to the inside lower arm bone (ulna).

What movements does the brachialis muscle control?

  • Bending the elbow

Activities that cause brachialis pain and symptoms:

  • Lifting heavy objects with a bent elbow
  • Picking up children
  • Holding up heavy tools
  • Working at the computer
  • Chin ups
  • Playing the oboe, clarinet, and saxophone


Brachialis Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

You use the brachialis muscle every time you bend your elbow.

Interesting facts about the brachialis muscle:

  • The brachialis is known as the workhorse of the elbow.

Clinical diagnoses to which the brachialis muscle symptoms may contribute:

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • C5 C6 radiculopathy
  • Bicipital tendinitis
  • Supraspinatus tendinitis
  • Subdeltoid bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

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

Satellite trigger points associated with the brachialis muscle:

  • Brachioradialis
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Deltoid
  • Supinator
  • Adductor Pollicis

For detailed anatomy information:  Brachialis Muscle Anatomy Study

Help with Brachialis Arm Muscle Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Brachialis Muscle 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.  If you have recently injured the brachialis muscle or have unexplained pain that has just started in the arm, elbow, and thumb, use Biofreeze. Rub the gel into the upper arm, all around the elbow and down the front of the forearm and into the thumb and thumb pad.

Cold Compression Sleeve For Brachialis Pain

Freeze Sleeve Cold Therapy Compression Sleeve is recommended by medical professionals for treatment of injury, recovery, and over-use soreness. The sleeve provides total circumference cold therapy and compression that other cold treatments do not provide. The sleeve slides on and features material that can be worn on bare skin, allowing you to be mobile during treatment. It can be used for most areas of the arms and legs.

Warm Therapy Gel For 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 upper arm, down into the elbow continuing down the forearm to the thumb and thumb pad to ease pain caused by the brachialis muscle.

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 brachialis muscle 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

Compression Sleeve For The Elbow

I like the Kunto Elbow Support Sleeve not only for the excellent support but also because it is comfortable to wear. It provides support without binding or limiting movement and it actually stays in place. The sleeve is available in 4 sizes. If you deal with elbow pain or need some extra support for tennis, golf, or other sports, this sleeve is what you need. This sleeve works well for the brachialis muscle as the sleeve can be adjusted to support the entire muscle.

Sizing measuring elbow circumference:

Large:  Over 13"
Medium:  10.5" - 13"
Small: 8.5" - 10.5"
X-Small:  Under 8.5"

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 for Brachialis Elbow Pain

Do you know that small "knots" or other dysfunction in the brachialis muscle can cause pain in the upper arm, all around the elbow, and go down the forearm into the hand?

If this pain pattern sounds familiar I recommend that you purchase Claire Davies The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain ReliefMr. 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 suffer from unresolved pain in the arm, elbow and thumb areas I highly recommend this book. Relieving trigger points in various arm and neck muscles have helped many people resolve shoulder, arm, elbow and hand pain issues. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.