What Forearm Muscle Tension and Strain Could Be A Sign Of

If you are suffering from muscle tension and pain in your forearms, did you know this could be a sign of something a little more serious?

Anytime your muscles feel tight and strained, you really need to take notice and investigate why this is happening.

In many instances, tension, pain and tension in your forearms could be a indication that you have an injury commonly referred to as tennis elbow.

Despite the fact that tennis elbow injuries occur to your extensor tendon, it is your forearm extensor muscles which contract and relax and as a result create tension in your extensor tendon.

There is no amount of stretching that can cure tennis elbow.

When it comes to the degree of tension and tightness in your forearm muscles, I am not talking about the kind that comes and goes.

Or when you overwork your arms a little too much, start a new job that involves repetitive arm movements or perhaps you started playing a new sport.

This kind of tension and pain in your forearm muscles usually dissipates when you take time off or perhaps you do some forearm stretching exercises.

I am referring to the tension that always seems to be present in your muscles no matter why you try to do to relieve it and the kind that is most likely responsible for your current tennis elbow injury.

The muscle on the top of your forearm is called the brachioradialis. You can feel this muscle flex and relax if you extend your wrist upwards.

If your daily grind and activities include repetitive movements where you have to extend your wrist, this could be the likely cause of the strain and tension in your forearm.

Even if you knit for a hobby or pastime, the repetitive action of using knitting needles can result in forearm tension and in the long run cause tennis elbow.

Muscle strains and tension is usually caused by overworking or overloading the muscle.

A quick sudden move or jerk to lift a heavy object or doing repetitive actions over and over again that stress your forearm muscles.

What if stretching your forearm muscles don’t relieve the tension and tightness?

This means that there is something more serious going on, deep down in your muscles.

It’s when there are restrictions within the layers of your muscles causes the muscle fibres to stick together instead of sliding nicely over the top of one another.

What that means is that your forearm muscles are not as flexible as they once were resulting in the feeling of tension and tightness in your forearm.

When this happens, no amount of stretching can tear down these layers which are stuck together like glue!

As the tissue layers bind together tighter and tighter, you will notice an increase in forearm tightness and tension.

Overtime, simple movements that involve holding and gripping an object such as coffee mug, twisting the lid off a pickle jar or even turning the doorknob on a door can and will cause pain in your elbow.

What about self massage, can this help relieve the tension and pain in your forearm muscles?

Some people have had success with massage but what’s involved and where should you focus your attention?

The first step is to get a tennis ball and use it to help relieve some pressure.

Bend your arm and secure it on a hard surface like a table or armrest. Now take the tennis ball and start working the ball from the smaller part of your forearm all the way up towards your elbow.

You should discover that the closer you get to your elbow, the more tender the muscle will be.

Work the tennis ball up and down your forearm for 5 passes, twice a day.

It can be confusing to decipher between just simple forearm tension and other more serious injuries such as tennis elbow.

Symptoms such as swelling could be an indication of a broken bone.

Muscle spasms could be a sign of dehydration.

But if your outer elbow is sore to the touch and hurts when you bend your fingers backwards, this is usually an indication of tennis elbow.

To be sure, you really should go and see your family Doctor and have it examined by a Medical professional.

Developing a strain or tension in your forearm muscles is a lot easier than you think.

If you have weak or cold muscles, you increase your risk.

Pushing activity or exercise beyond your usual limits can increase the chances of muscle strain and tension.

Participating in your specific sports that really test the strength of your forearm muscles, flexors and tendons. For example, baseball, racquet sports, bowling, golf, volleyball, just to name a few.

Music enthusiasts are not sheltered from the forearm muscle strains and tension. Especially if you play the piano or guitar.

If you are like most people today, your 9 to 5 includes sitting in front of your computer. The constant typing on your keyboard is enough to invoke tension in your forearms.

Best Treatment for Forearm Muscle Tension and Strain

The first is to avoid any and all activities, sports or hobbies that trigger tension and strain in your forearms.

Fall back on basic first aid knowledge. Apply ice twice a day for 10 minutes for immediate pain relief. Heat can also help relieve forearm tightness.

Also for pain relief, reach for your medicine cabinet and take an Aleve or Advil. Again this is only a temporary solution. The consumption of any sort of drug can lead to side effects and health problems in the long run.

Last but not least is strengthening.

This is the one that makes all the difference as to whether or not you continue suffering or you make a full recovery from your forearm pain, strains and tension.

Even though these forearm strengthening exercises are specifically designed for individuals with tennis elbow, they will quickly improve your forearm strength and relieve all the tension in your forearms.


Fay Martinez, PhD, is Carmona Nutrition’s director of curriculum. She leads the development of the organization’s educational programs and courses.

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