Flexor Carpi Radialis Referred Pain Pattern

Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle: Trigger Point Pain

The flexor carpi radialis is a muscle located in the front of the forearm. Trigger points in the muscle cause pain in the wrist. Sometimes the pain will go down into the palm or travel up into the forearm. Gripping objects in the hand is painful.

Contents of Article


    Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle

    Where Is The Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle?

    The flexor carpi radialis muscle attaches to the bone of the upper arm (humerus) and goes down the forearm to connect to the base of the index and middle fingers (2nd and 3rd metacarpals).

    What Movements Does It Control?

    • It bends the wrist downward
    • It helps twist the wrist
    • It helps turn the hand down
    • It helps to bend the forearm at the elbow

    For detailed anatomy information: Flexor Carpi Radialis Anatomy Study

    Flexor Carpi Radialis Muscle Trigger Points Symptoms:

    • Pain is felt in the center of the wrist extending toward the thumb.
    • Bending and straightening the wrist will cause pain
    • Pain is felt when gripping items with the hand
    • Twisting motions of the wrist will cause pain
    • Pain will sometimes extend up into the forearm and/or descend into the palm

    TWD Recommends

    Jar grips should be in every kitchen to open jars and bottles to help prevent injury to the arm extensor muscles. So many painful arm, wrist, and hand injuries happen trying to open sealed lids on jars. Great for those with hand and wrist arthritis. Works on door knobs too!

    What Causes Flexor Carpi Radialis Trigger Points To Develop?

    • Elbow trauma
    • Movements that require a tight grip with twisting motion at the wrist
    • Tennis
    • Golf
    • Snow and water skiing
    • Using a screwdriver
    • Vibrating tools ie. jackhammers, drills, etc.
    • Significant injury to the elbow

    TWD Recommends

    Whether the pain in your hands is caused by trigger points, 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 is reinforced so that they will not fray with wear or during washing.

    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.


    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.

    Flexor Carpi Radialis Trigger Point Treatment

    Trigger points in the flexor muscles of the forearm are easy to treat.  If you would like to learn self-treatment, get The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. The workbook will walk you through finding the muscle and the trigger point. The diagrams and instructions will teach you how to do the appropriate treatment. Best of all, you will have a resource to help you locate and treat TrPs throughout the body.

    If you are going to use the workbook to treat the forearm muscles, you will need a massage ball to do the treatment. Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls can be used on muscles throughout the body.

    You may also find a massage therapist, physical therapist, or chiropractor with trigger point therapy training to show you how to find and treat the specific TrP.

    Trigger points respond best to several 1-2 minutes treatments spread throughout the day.

    Sombra Warm Therapy Gel is recommended for relaxing muscles and relieving pain. It warms without the burning heat of other gels. An excellent choice for pain caused by trigger points, muscle/joint over-use and stiffness, and arthritis. If you have reoccurring muscle cramps or pain, you should keep Somba on hand, it provides almost instant relief. (Not sold in stores)

    Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is an excellent pain-relieving gel recommend for those who have sudden onset muscle pain or recent injuries.  It is better to use than warm therapy gels and creams for muscle pain caused by inflammation as it cools the area much like ice. If your pain is from a recent injury use Biofreeze. It is excellent to use on sprains, strained and sore muscles and joints.

    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

    How Long Before I Feel A Reduction In Pain?

    Most feel pain relief after a1-2 days of consistent treatment. There may be a feeling of muscle soreness for a few days.

    Keep in mind, you need to continue treating the trigger point until you do not feel the knot, and the area is not painful when pressure is applied.

    Interesting facts:

    • The radial pulse (wrist pulse) is found between the flexor carpi radialis tendon and the brachioradialis tendon

    Flexor carpi radialis muscle pain and symptoms can be similar to, contribute to, and be affected by these medical diagnoses:

    • Medial epicondylitis
    • Golfers Elbow
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Cubital tunnel syndrome
    • C5 or T1 Radiculopathy
    • Ulnar neuropathy
    • Raynaud’s Disease
    • Dupuytren’s contracture


    Other muscles that should be considered and examined:

    Satellite trigger points associated with the flexor carpi radialis muscle:

    Trigger points one muscle will cause TrPs to develop in other muscles. These are known as satellite trigger points. You will need to check these muscles for additional TrPs.



    TWD Recommends

    Freeze Sleeve Cold Therapy Compression Sleeve is recommended by medical professionals for treatment of injury 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.