Forearm Muscle Strain

(Muscle Strain, Forearm; Pulled Muscle, Forearm)


A forearm muscle strain is a partial or complete tear of the small fibers of the forearm muscles. Forearm muscles allow you to extend and flex your wrist and fingers.
Muscles of the Hand and Forearm
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A forearm muscle strain is caused by:

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase the chance of a forearm muscle strain include:


Symptoms may include:


The doctor will ask about symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Most forearm muscle strains can be diagnosed with a physical exam.
Images of the area may be needed if severe damage is suspected. Images may be taken with x-ray or MRI scan .
Muscle strains are graded according to their severity:


Recovery time ranges depend on the grade of your injury. Treatment options may include one or more of the following:

Supportive Care

The muscle will need time to heal. RICE is often the main part of treatment:
  • Rest—Activities will need to be restricted at first. Normal activities will be reintroduced gradually.
  • Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling. Heat or cold may be advised throughout recovery if they provide benefits.
  • Compression—Used for a limited time, compression bandages can provide gentle pressure to help move fluids out of the area.
  • Elevation—Keeping the area elevated can help fluids drain out or prevent fluids from building up.
Prescription or over-the-counter medications may be advised to reduce pain.


To help reduce the chance of a forearm muscle strain:


American Council on Exercise

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians


Canadian Physiotherapy Association

Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine


Dawson, WJ. Intrinsic muscle strain in the instrumentalist. Med Prol Perform Artists. 2005;20:66-69.

Muscle strain (pulled muscle). John Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: Accessed March 10, 2015.

Sprains, strains, and tears. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: Accessed March 10, 2015.

10/26/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.

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