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Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle: Pain In The Back Of The Forearm and Hand

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2018)

The extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle contributes to pain in the back of the hand. Pain will sometimes travel up the back of the forearm.

What Are The Pain and Symptoms Associated With The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle?

  • A burning sensation or constant ache is felt in the back of the hand. Pain will sometimes  extend into the back of the forearm.
  • Weak unreliable grip.
  • Excruciating pain when you twist your wrist
  • This muscle can cause numbing and tingling in the hand and fingers.

Where Is The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle Located?

The extensor carpi radialis brevis connects the bone of the upper arm (humerus) to the bone at the base of the middle finger (3rd metacarpal).

What Movements Does the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Control?

  • Straightens the wrist
  • Twist the wrist away from the body

Activities That Cause Pain and Symptoms of the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis:

  • Forced and repetitive gripping of a large
  • Knitting and crocheting
  • Golfing
  • Tennis
  • Typing for hours at a time
  • Writing or gripping other small instruments for extended amounts of time.
  • Twisting motions such as using a screwdriver or twisting a doorknob.


Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

You use the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle to straighten the wrist and twist the wrist.

Interesting Facts About The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle:

  • It is one of three muscles that support the wrist. Without these muscles the wrist would hang limply from the forearm.
  • Contributes to tennis elbow.
  • Is sometimes called the fist clencher muscle as the wrist must be slightly extended and the middle finger must bend to make a fist.

Clinical Diagnoses To Which The Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle May Contribute:

  • Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • C6 C7 or C8 radiculopathy
  • Ganglion Cyst

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle:

Satellite trigger points associated with the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle:

  • Brachioradialis
  • Supinator
  • Triceps Brachii

For detailed anatomy information:  
Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Anatomy

Help with Extensor Carpi Radialis Muscle Injury and Pain

Cold Therapy Gel For Extensor 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. Many who suffer from arthritis pain like to use Biofreeze on swollen painful joints. It is a favorite of athletes for both swelling reduction and pain relief due to injury and repetitive motion soreness.

Cold Therapy Compression Sleeve

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 Chronic and Arthritis Pain in the Arm, Elbow and Hand

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. To relieve extensor muscle pain apply Sombra all around the elbow and down the back of the forearm, into the wrist, hand, and fingers.

Wrist Brace To Support Wrist and Thumb

Because twisting motions of the wrist can cause injury and irritate the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle, a wrist brace can help relieve pain in the wrist.  The ActiveWrap Compression Wrap for the Hand & Wrist not only provides compression and support in the wrist and thumb pad, 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.

The Neo G Medical Grade VCS Wrist and Thumb Support provides adjustable wrist support and compression to the wrist. The brace allows full movement of the 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 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 extensor muscles 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 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.

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 fingers opening 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 For Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis Muscle Elbow, Forearm, and Hand Pain

Do you know that small "knots" in the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle can contribute to deep aching or burning pain in the back of 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 have unresolved elbow, wrist and hand pain it maybe trigger points in the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle of the arm. Deactivating trigger points can reduce or eliminate this pain. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.

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