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Extensor Indicis Muscle: Hand and Finger Pain

(Last Updated On: August 10, 2018)

Pain in the back of the wrist, hand and first finger can be caused by the extensor indicis muscle.

What are the symptoms and pain associated with the Extensor Indicis Muscle?

  • Pain in the back of the hand.
  • Pain in the back of the wrist
  • Pain sometimes descends into the first finger
  • Pain when bending the first finger
  • Cramping in the first finger
  • Pain in the back of the hand and first finger when gripping

Where Is The Extensor Indicis Muscle Located?

The extensor indicis connects the ulna (the bone on the pinky side of the forearm) to the  first finger (middle and distant phalanx).

What Movements Does the Extensor Indicis Control?

  • Straightens the first finger

Activities That Cause Pain and Symptoms of the Extensor Indicis Muscle:

  • Repetitive gripping
  • Working at the computer
  • Using the mouse on a computer
  • Knitting. crocheting, sewing
  • Gripping a pen or pencil for extended periods of time

Gripping a pen greatly contributes to pain of the extensor indicis muscle. Super Big Fat Pens are easy to grip and are made for people with chronic hand pain.

Using a keyboard and mouse without wrist support stresses the extensor indicis. Gel wrist supports for the keyboard and mouse should be used for added support.

Using Gel jar grips to open jars and bottles can help prevent additional strain for painful and injured extensor indicis arm muscles. Highly recommended for all kitchens!

Extensor Indicis Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

You use the extensor indicis muscle when you straighten the first finger.

Interesting Facts About The Extensor Indicis Muscle:

  • Pain caused by dysfunction in the extensor indicis feels like a sprain in the back of the hand and/or first finger.

Clinical Diagnoses To Which The Extensor Indicis Muscle May Contribute:

  • Carpal Tunnel
  • C5 C6 C7 or C8 radiculopathy
  • Dislocation of the first finger


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

Satellite trigger points associated with the extensor indicis muscle:

  • Supinator
  • Extensor carpi radialis longus
  • Brachioradialis
  • Extensor carpi Ulnaris

For detailed anatomy information:  
Extensor Indicis Anatomy





Help with Extensor Indicis Muscle Injury and Pain

Cold Therapy Gel Back of the Wrist, Hand, and Finger

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. Rub the gel into the back of the forearm down to the wrist, back of the hand and into the first finger.

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. To relieve extensor indicis muscle pain apply Sombra all around the elbow and down the back of the forearm, into the wrist, 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 Indicis Muscle Wrist, Hand, and Finger Pain

Do you know the extensor indicis muscle can cause pain in the wrist, back of the hand and first finger?  The pain often feels like a sprain or strain of muscles 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 pain in the back of the hand and wrist,  it may be trigger points in the extensor indicis muscles 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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