Your Forearm Pain symptoms are almost entirely caused by how you use your hands and arms now, and how you have used them in the past. Symptoms can also be caused by previous injury to your forearms as well.
Forearm Symptoms Form Based On How You Use Your Body
Movements, habits, and injuries all create patterns of strain that are completely unique to you and your body. Your case of Forearm Pain will be different in many ways from any other case of Forearm Pain because of the tissue history you carry with you all the time.
True Forearm Pain symptoms will be primarily muscular. Forearm symptoms almost always include grabbing, aching, weakness, and/or possibly throbbing. You might even get some stabbing pain if you are straining your forearm muscles to their limit. (Stop that!)
Coordination Must Exist Between the Flexor and Extensor Muscle Groups
The forearms rely on the coordinated movements that happen between the flexor muscles which are on the palm side of the forearm and the extensor muscles which are on the the back-of-the-hand side of the forearms.
In many cases of Forearm Pain, the muscles on one side of the forearms get overworked and begin to glue themselves together to support one another through the strain.
This "gluing together" is known as "adhesions". Adhesions are the main source of forearm pain problems. When side-by-side muscles become stuck together, or adhered, they begin to act like one big muscle rather than smaller, more action-specific muscles.
Here's an example. Let's say that you always carry a heavy briefcase in your right hand. The gripping causes the flexor muscles on the palm side of your forearm to constantly contract, becoming overworked. So, they attempt to spread out their efforts by sticking themselves together and acting as a group.
Individual Finger Strength
After the fascial adhesions have formed between the muscles, individual finger muscles will no longer be able to act alone. Instead, the whole stuck-together mass of muscle has to be dragged into action when you want to move a single finger. This leads to extreme fatigue, a feeling of weakness and the chance for more serious injury.
Adhesions also prevent muscles from relaxing and lengthening fully. They are in a constant state of contraction to one degree or another. Result? Very tired and overworked muscles.
The Interosseus Membrane
There are two bones in the forearm, the radius and the ulna. The radius is the main bone through the center of the forearm with the ulna going from the outside of the wrist up to the point of the elbow.
Stretching between these two bones is the Interosseus Membrane. It appears to play an important role in many cases of Forearm Pain. Many of the deepest forearm muscles, both extensors and flexors, attach partially to the Interosseus Membrane and the membrane seems to act as a kind of diaphragm between the two muscle groups.
When the flexor muscles are adhered and working as dysfunctional mass, they will pull the interosseus membrane in their direction, thereby putting the extensor muscles on the other side of the membrane under additional stress. The reverse can also be true if the majority of the stress is on the extensor side of the membrane.
The resulting sensation ends up feeling like very deep forearm pain. Often, it is impossible to tell exactly which side of the forearm it is originating from. Because of this interesting dynamic between the Interosseus Membrane and the flexor and extensor muscle groups, it is critically important that in any case of Forearm Pain, both the flexor and extensor muscle groups be treated, restoring proper functional balance between them.
Confusion Between Finger Dysfunction and Forearm Pain
Often, people will complain of finger pain, or some other way the fingers are not operating properly, such as weakness or trigger finger. The temptation then will be to focus treatment on the fingers themselves.
The real source of the problem, however, is in the forearms. The tissues in the fingers are mostly tendons that originate in the forearms. So, except for fine motor coordination of the fingers, like sideways movement, all the muscle action that moves the fingers comes from the forearms. So if, for example, you find it hard to bring your fingers together to grip or turn a doorkey, the solution will lie in the balance and proper function of both the flexor and extensor muscles in your forearms.
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