The supinator is a muscle that connects the upper arm bone (humerus) to the lower arm bone (radius). Trigger points in the muscle cause pain in the elbow and the thumb. It is often involved with lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow.

Contents of Article

    Where Is The Supinator Muscle?


    The supinator is located on the outside (thumb side)  of the forearm just below the elbow. It connects the upper arm to the lower arm.

    What Movements Does It Control?

    • It turns (rotates) the arm and palm of the hand upward.

    For detailed muscle anatomySupinator Muscle Anatomy


    What Pain and Symptoms Are Associated With The Supinator Muscle?

    Supinator Muscle Referred Pain Pattern
    • Pain in the back of the forearm near the elbow
    • Pain in the back of the hand at the base of the thumb
    • Numbness and or tingling in the thumb side of the hand and wrist

    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 while trying to open sealed lids on jars. Great for those with hand and wrist arthritis. Works on doorknobs too!

    What Causes Trigger Points In the Supinator?

    • Tennis
    • Golf
    • Repetitive curls
    • Hoeing a garden
    • Sewing by hand
    • Working at the computer
    • Playing the violin
    • Chefs who stir or whip together ingredients frequently

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    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 the 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 wants pain relief while typing to make a deadline. Read and follow the enclosed instructions for temporary relief from forearm, wrist, hand, and finger pain..

    Supinator Trigger Point Treatment

    The supinator and other muscles of the lower arm can be self-treated using a massage ball. Because a trigger point in the supinator muscle likely leads to the development of other trigger points in the arm, we recommend using The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. The workbook has diagrams and instructions to find and treat TrPs throughout the body. It is an excellent learning and teaching resource for those who want to learn about trigger point muscle pain.

    If you are not comfortable trying self-treatment, there are many massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors who have trigger point therapy training. They will show you how to locate and treat specific trigger points that are related to your pain.

    Supinator trigger points need several 1-2 minute treatments spread throughout the day for an optimal outcome.

    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 Nordic Lifting Elbow Support Sleeves provides excellent support but also because it is comfortable to wear. The sleeves do not bind or limit mobility, and they stay in place. The sleeves are available in 4 sizes. If you deal with elbow pain or need some extra support for tennis, golf, or other activities, this sleeve is what you need.

    Interesting facts:

    • It is the most common cause of pain on the outside of the elbow.

    Clinical diagnoses to which the supinator muscle symptoms may contribute:

    • Tennis elbow
    • Lateral epicondylitis
    • Dupuytren’s contracture
    • DE Quervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis
    • C5 C6 radiculopathy


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

    Satellite trigger points associated with the muscle:

    If you find trigger points in the supinator you will want to check these muscles for additional trigger points.

    • Triceps brachii
    • Biceps brachii
    • Extensor carpi radialis longus
    • Extensor carpi radialis brevis
    • Brachioradialis
    • Brachialis

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    Freeze Sleeve Cold Therapy Compression Sleeve is recommended by medical professionals to treat injury and over-use soreness. The sleeve provides total circumference cold therapy and compression that other cold treatments do not offer. The sleeve slides on and features material that can be worn on bare skin, allowing you to be mobile during treatment.

    Muscles Which Contribute To These Conditions:

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    Muscles With Similar Pain Patterns

    Anconeus Muscle