Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Referred Pain Pattern

Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle: Trigger Point Pain

The flexor carpi ulnaris is a muscle found in the front of the forearm. Trigger points in this muscle can cause pain that mimics a sprained wrist. Pain also occurs in the fingers, and occasionally there is a painful area on the inside of the elbow.

Contents of Article


    Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle

    Where Is The Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle?

    The flexor carpi ulnaris connects to the inside of the elbow (little finger side) and descends the forearm to connect to the heel of the hand and the base of the little finger.

    What Movements Does It Control?

    • It bends the wrist downward
    • Side bends the wrist toward the side of the little finger

    For detailed anatomy information: Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Anatomy

    Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle Trigger Points Symptoms:

    • Pain is felt in the wrist on the side of the little finger
    • Pain in the heel of the hand concentrated toward the side of the little finger
    • Bending, straightening and twisting the wrist down will cause pain
    • Pain will sometimes extend up into the forearm
    • Pain is occasionally felt on the inside of the elbow
    • The muscle can compress the ulnar nerve which can cause tingling and numbness forearm down into the ring and little finger

    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 Ulnaris Trigger Points To Develop?

    • Movements that require a tight grip with a twisting motion at the wrist
    • Instruments or tools that require a tight grip (pen, pencil, hammer screwdriver, etc)
    • Using tools that have a pounding or vibrating motion (jackhammer, sander)
    • The repetitive pulling motion of the hands or fingers
    • Tennis
    • Golf
    • Skiing

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    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.

    Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Trigger Point Treatment

    If you would like to learn how to self-treat the flexor carpi ulnaris, get a copy of 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, you will need a massage ball to do the treatment. The Kieba Massage Massage Balls that 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. You should keep Somba on hand, it provides almost instant relief for muscle pain. (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

    Interesting facts:

    • Pain mimics the pain of a sprained wrist
    • Dysfunction in this muscle the most common cause of pain in the wrist and hand on the (ulnar) pinky side of  hand.

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

    • Medial epicondylitis
    • Golfers elbow
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • C5 or T1 radiculopathy
    • Dupuytren’s contracture


    Other muscles that should be considered and examined:

    Satellite trigger points associated with the flexor carpi ulnaris 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.

    • Scalenes
    • Pectoralis Minor
    • Flexor Digitorum Profundus
    • Flexor Digitorum Superficialis
    • Flexor Pollicis Longus
    • Palmaris Longus



    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.