Weird Forearm Pain?


Before I start, I’ve searched a few times on the site for something similar, but havent’t been able to find anything that fits properly. So here goes:

I have a weird ache/pain in my wrist flexors, it starts about 2 inches from my wrist, and stops about the same distance from my elbow. I don’t think it’s carpal tunnel syndrome, as I don’t have shooting pain from my wrists, numbness, tingling or really any of those symptons. I also have tricep tendonitis, I don’t know if that may be a part of it, I have tendonitis in both triceps but this pain is only in my right forearm.

It hurts to curl and also when I type for a long time, or anything involving wrist flexion, but does not hurt when I push on my forearm. I do have a tight neck and a few other things are tight, chest, triceps, etc, I don’t know if they play a part, but I haven’t had anything like this that I can remember, I have been doing more curls lately, not overly pushing it, just trying to get some blood flow to my elbow to help with the tendonitis. I probably did overdo it on frequency though, and the pain came about a day or two later. I’ve had the pain for 3 days now.

I’ve tried massaging the area, it has a pretty short muscle belly, but I can’t seem to find any trigger points, unlike in my wrist extensors. If it’s relevant I only do dumbbell curls, I might have some wrist flexion when I do them. I’ve been resting my forearms, I have no problem with stretching them at all, so I’m really confused now. Fish oil seems to have no effect either, unlike on my triceps. Any help would be much appreciated.

Heavy curling, especially using certain grips, can put tons of pressure on your forearms. I have seen studies where stress fractures have actually occurred because of it. Try switching up your grip (for me, a narrow grip on a straight bar doesn’t hurt at all while a wider grip does) or take it easy for a bit and let it heal if it gets too severe. Listen to your body.

Edit: I read that you are only doing dumbell curls. I have never had the problem when doing dumbell curls. Doesn’t mean that it can’t happen though.

This sounds like something I suffer from at times. It comes mostly when I do curls, especially barbell curls. If I want to do a lot of bicep work for a period of time I’ll usually end up doing hammercurls as my main exercise just to avoid this.

I would really like to know the cause, I’ve been told it’s because lack of mobility but adressing that didn’t seem to help. I’ve met quite a few guys who suffer from it though.

Tell me, when you’ve done a set of curls and put the weight down, is it painful to relax the grip quickly? It was for me when it was at it’s worst, I had to relax the grip slowly or it would hurt like hell.

If it only causes you pain (in the gym) whilst doing curls then I would suggest steering clear of curls for a week or two, then perhaps try hammer curls or a barbell variation to avoid the same problem recurring. At first I thought it may be an issue caused by letting your hand almost lay back past your forearm whilst curling but I’d imagine the pain to be more severe in the wrist than the forearm.

[quote]Matsa wrote:
This sounds like something I suffer from at times. It comes mostly when I do curls, especially barbell curls. If I want to do a lot of bicep work for a period of time I’ll usually end up doing hammercurls as my main exercise just to avoid this.

I would really like to know the cause, I’ve been told it’s because lack of mobility but adressing that didn’t seem to help. I’ve met quite a few guys who suffer from it though.

Tell me, when you’ve done a set of curls and put the weight down, is it painful to relax the grip quickly? It was for me when it was at it’s worst, I had to relax the grip slowly or it would hurt like hell.[/quote]

I have the exact same thing if i push it hard with curls… when putting the bar down it would kill if i let go too quick… it will happen anytime i curl heavy, i.e. 135 for 5… I just ease off when it happens and drop the weight/focus on higher volume

funny thing is, it was light weights for partials, but a lot of work done, I was mainly trying to get blood flow to the joint, didn’t have pain at the time, but now when I try to do them it hurts right up the flexors, and they hurt randomly during the day, they’re getting better now, I think it was just a jump in activity after a while of doing nothing.

Matsa, no it doesn’t make any difference how quickly I relax my grip.

One thing that did seem to help was foam rolling my chest with a tennis ball. hurt like fuck to do but halved the pain.

overall, I think it was too much intenisty after a layoff, coupled with tight muscles, as well as me probably curling my wrists at the top of the curl, and other stuff like pulling out stubborn weeds and plants, I’ll post again if something else occurs, or if I find something else that helps. thanks for the input guys, and good luck if you have the same problem.

I get pretty much the exact same thing. I went to physio about a week ago and got a massage and acupuncture and since then it has been heaps better. I have changed my arms routine around to do exercises that don’t cause the pain. My physiotherapist said that it was overuse in the wrist flexors from possibly gripping the bar to tight or maybe flexing my wrist a fraction when doing bicep curls. Since last week I have been massaging it every day and is pretty much sweet now. Same thing as Matsa…loosen the grip nice n slow haha.
So basically, change your routine so the exercises dont aggrivate and cause further damage to the muscle and massage it with vasaline so you can get it deep.
Good luck with it.

I used to get this same exact pain when i was a teenager. Then I read that fish oil is good for joints and started taking about 20g a day and the pain has never came back in two years.

Stretch it out during the day, five or six times. Hold your fingers of your sore arm in your other hand. Lock out the sore arm then pull the fingers up and back. You will feel a stretch in the tendons. Hold it for about 10 seconds. Do the other arm as well.

Also, massage your tricep just above the elbow, where the muscle ends and the tendon starts. You may also find that massaging your front delt where it joins the pec, that dip between the two, will help as well.

Use an ezy style bar, not a straight bar, for barbell curls. Keep your shoulders back and use strict form. You will find that you can use less weight to get the same workout effect. Avoid skull crushers.

Sounds weird but all the other points, such as bicep, tricep and shoulder, impact on the forearm even though you may not have stressed it in any way.

Forearm splints. Same thing as shin splints but in your forearm. Fill a dixie cup with water, place it in the freezer, peel the paper back then rub it on the place that it hurts. As it gets numb, press harder to break up the scar tissue that is forming from the tissue pulling from the bone. It will help get out the swelling. The only way to make it feel a 100% better is to stop doing anything…but who wants to do that.

First everyone I’m a newbie - hello ya’ll - to T-Nation,

I too have had a similar problem however I’m over 50 and have weight trained all my life, one day last summer I was lifting a heavy steal desk laying on its side - I squatted then with my legs started to lift, I reached a point where I had to curl up the rest of the way SUDDENLY I felt my left forearm start to rip I could feel the muscles and tendon’s tearing from the elbow to the wrist, you can’t hear it but DAMMIT you can feel it, I know because I also tore my long head bicep muscle right around the rotators cuff same kinda feeling.
Now before you all start to jump up and down on me… it was my fault in both occasion’s as I was cold and just thought I could do it … NOT…!

So its now been more then 4 months no surgery needed however a ton of ice and TLC, as MHRhabdo says BREAK that scare tissue down…
I still have chronic pain towards the mid to elbow deep inside [Forearm splints or tennis elbow?] and I it still hurts to twist my arm outwards or in other words twisting the palm up/outwards.

This stupid thing I did really took a toll on my workouts and mentaly, I have no idea when the pain will go away?

Bigfoot - hope you get better soon

Please forgive my ignorance, but how does one start a new post?

Thanks

[quote]Kiwi Monster wrote:
I get pretty much the exact same thing. I went to physio about a week ago and got a massage and acupuncture and since then it has been heaps better. I have changed my arms routine around to do exercises that don’t cause the pain. My physiotherapist said that it was overuse in the wrist flexors from possibly gripping the bar to tight or maybe flexing my wrist a fraction when doing bicep curls. Since last week I have been massaging it every day and is pretty much sweet now. Same thing as Matsa…loosen the grip nice n slow haha.
So basically, change your routine so the exercises dont aggrivate and cause further damage to the muscle and massage it with vasaline so you can get it deep.
Good luck with it.
[/quote]

ok thanks but it hurts to lift anything relatively heavy at all, I have grip strength but it hurts in my flexors after a while, I also pulled some weeds out prior to the curls so I probably just overdid it.

[quote]MHRhabdo wrote:
Forearm splints. Same thing as shin splints but in your forearm. Fill a dixie cup with water, place it in the freezer, peel the paper back then rub it on the place that it hurts. As it gets numb, press harder to break up the scar tissue that is forming from the tissue pulling from the bone. It will help get out the swelling. The only way to make it feel a 100% better is to stop doing anything…but who wants to do that.[/quote]

hmm well it hurts to do anything involving gripping now, even hammer curls…so it’s definitely in my wrist flexors…if it keeps up I’ll see a physio, thanks for the advice.

[quote]G-tone wrote:
First everyone I’m a newbie - hello ya’ll - to T-Nation,

I too have had a similar problem however I’m over 50 and have weight trained all my life, one day last summer I was lifting a heavy steal desk laying on its side - I squatted then with my legs started to lift, I reached a point where I had to curl up the rest of the way SUDDENLY I felt my left forearm start to rip I could feel the muscles and tendon’s tearing from the elbow to the wrist, you can’t hear it but DAMMIT you can feel it, I know because I also tore my long head bicep muscle right around the rotators cuff same kinda feeling.
Now before you all start to jump up and down on me… it was my fault in both occasion’s as I was cold and just thought I could do it … NOT…!

So its now been more then 4 months no surgery needed however a ton of ice and TLC, as MHRhabdo says BREAK that scare tissue down…
I still have chronic pain towards the mid to elbow deep inside [Forearm splints or tennis elbow?] and I it still hurts to twist my arm outwards or in other words twisting the palm up/outwards.

This stupid thing I did really took a toll on my workouts and mentaly, I have no idea when the pain will go away?

Bigfoot - hope you get better soon

Please forgive my ignorance, but how does one start a new post?

Thanks

[/quote]

ouch…and welcome to tnation. to start a new thread, choose a forum and look for the “post” button up the top right-hand side. if you do have tendonitis, then eccentric reps, foam rolling and fish oil help a LOT for that-take the weight slowly at first, here’s a link to the article–>
Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION

I’m a bit sketchy about foam-rolling my forearms, I don’t like the idea of irritating nerves, but it’s definitely worth a try. good luck mate, you’ve just reminded me that there are far worse injuries out there, lol.

[quote]Triceptaurus wrote:
Stretch it out during the day, five or six times. Hold your fingers of your sore arm in your other hand. Lock out the sore arm then pull the fingers up and back. You will feel a stretch in the tendons. Hold it for about 10 seconds. Do the other arm as well.

Also, massage your tricep just above the elbow, where the muscle ends and the tendon starts. You may also find that massaging your front delt where it joins the pec, that dip between the two, will help as well.

Use an ezy style bar, not a straight bar, for barbell curls. Keep your shoulders back and use strict form. You will find that you can use less weight to get the same workout effect. Avoid skull crushers.

Sounds weird but all the other points, such as bicep, tricep and shoulder, impact on the forearm even though you may not have stressed it in any way.[/quote]

ok thanks sounds good, my triceps are a lot better now, and I’ve only ever used dumbbells for curls-maybe predisposed me for a weakness? and I understand about massaging chest, delts etc, as the nerves run through those areas, also tightness can carry over. I’ve never really done any direct tricep work either, my tendonitis and whatever my forearm pain is both came from light weight for high reps and partial reps…which I never used to do, maybe I should ease myself into it more…

update: pain is nearly gone, what I did was found my forearm bone (ulna?) on the outer side of my forearm, and there is a muscle above it, not on the flexor side but on the extensor side, and it was that damn tight that I massaged it with a gold ball (excruciating) and most of the pain in my wrist flexors just went away…I haven’t had the pain back for a couple of hours, I’ll let you guys know how it goes but I just arm-wrestled my dad and it all held up fine, I’m still gonna give it a few more days rest and massage, but I think it should all be good now. Try it if you have the same sort of pain, it may well help, and can’t hurt besides. I do still have some pain, but that’s to be expected, it’s only been a couple of hours since I tried rolling that particular muscle, and I did just arm-wrestle my dad.

hope this helps you guys.

1 Like

I used to get an excrutiating pain in my forearms whenever i would use my grip. The pain would buildup during the exercise such as curls and then would explode as soon as i let go of the weight. I agree with MHRhabdo
about the forearm splints if that term does exist. At first i figured my forearms were too weak so i just worked them heavier. Sadly to say nothing seemed to be a direct cure other than time and rest which we all hate. Ibuprofen does help with the pain related to swelling. It does make sense though if you look at it as shin slpints/forearm splints. If you never run a lot and decide to run constantly for a while, you will get shin splints becuase the muscles arent prepared for that amount of strain so quickly. I believe the forearms are the same way given that almost every exercise you do requires forearm strength.

Your forearm pain will go away but untill it does take it easy or it will only get worse. Try the ibuprofen if the pain comes back, this helped me in the past whith shin splints as well as forearm pain tremendously.

[quote]AnabolicPower wrote:
I used to get an excrutiating pain in my forearms whenever i would use my grip. The pain would buildup during the exercise such as curls and then would explode as soon as i let go of the weight. I agree with MHRhabdo
about the forearm splints if that term does exist. At first i figured my forearms were too weak so i just worked them heavier. Sadly to say nothing seemed to be a direct cure other than time and rest which we all hate. Ibuprofen does help with the pain related to swelling. It does make sense though if you look at it as shin slpints/forearm splints. If you never run a lot and decide to run constantly for a while, you will get shin splints becuase the muscles arent prepared for that amount of strain so quickly. I believe the forearms are the same way given that almost every exercise you do requires forearm strength.

Your forearm pain will go away but untill it does take it easy or it will only get worse. Try the ibuprofen if the pain comes back, this helped me in the past whith shin splints as well as forearm pain tremendously.[/quote]

ok thanks my pain has pretty much gone away since I started massaging the muscle I mentioned in an above post-and it would probably help for the pain that comes with letting go of weights, since this muscle flexes when I open my fingers outward, as well as pull my wrist to the outer side of my forearm. I imagine that if this muscle is tight, there’d be continual stress along the bone, which would probably lead to forearm splints. it’s an easy muscle to miss.

I have the same exact problem from past 6 months but no remedy has helped me so far. Can you explain which muscle it is exactly that youve mentioned above? Im not understanding which one it is or unable to find it?