Forearm Muscle Strain
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:
- Grade 1—Some stretching with micro tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 2—Partial tearing of muscle fibers.
- Grade 3—Complete tearing of muscle fibers. This may also be called a rupture or avulsion.
Recovery time ranges depend on the grade of your injury. Treatment options may include one or more of the following:
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:
- Use an ergonomic keyboard or workstation.
- Keep muscles strong. This will help them absorb the energy of sudden, stressful activities.
- Avoid overuse or repetitive stress.
- Learn the proper technique for sports.
- If you feel pain during exercise, stop exercising that muscle group.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
a (Muscle Strain, Forearm; Pulled Muscle, Forearm)
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Canadian Physiotherapy Association http://www.physiotherapy.ca
Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine http://casem-acmse.org
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: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/orthopaedic-surgery/specialty-areas/sports-medicine/conditions-we-treat/muscle-strains.html. Accessed March 10, 2015.
Sprains, strains, and tears. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/sprains-strains-and-tears.pdf. Accessed March 10, 2015.
10/26/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com : Massey T, Derry S, Moore R, McQuay H. Topical NSAIDs for acute pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(6):CD007402.