Forearm anatomy is interesting in that the forearms are one of the few places in the body where most of the muscles run nearly parallel to one another. Most of the muscles originate close to the elbow and extend all the way to the tips of the fingers.
Several other muscles which assist in twisting motions of the forearm are also major contributors to the injury process in the forearms. These muscles generally lie in a diagonal pattern near the elbow and wrist.
Muscles on the palm side of the forearms are known as the flexor muscles and are responsible for curling the fingers palm ward. Any grasping, lifting, holding, cupping motion will be accomplished by the flexors. The flexor muscles are also responsible for bending the wrists palm ward as well.
The extensor muscles are found on the opposite side of the forearms and are responsible for bending the wrists toward the back of the hand. When Diana Ross put her hand up and said “Stop in the name of love!” she was contracting the extensor muscles of her forearm. They shorten as the wrist bends toward the back of the hand. When a computer user rests his or her wrists on the desk or on a wrist rest, the wrist bends toward the back of the hand and the extensor muscles contract.
When your hand or wrist moves, muscles on both sides of your forearm are involved in the movement.
When you close your fingers around an object, the flexor muscles contract and the extensor muscles release.
Likewise, when you spread your fingers wide apart and bend them toward the back of your hand, the extensor muscles contract and the flexor muscles release.
The coordinated and unencumbered movement of these 2 groups is critical to remaining pain free in your forearms. Once one or more muscles in either the flexor group or the extensor group becomes adhered or stuck to a neighboring muscle, movement and strength is affected in all the other muscles of both groups.
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