Forearm Training

General Forearm, Wrist and Hand Training

Anatomy & Training

The forearm consists of two bones called the ulna and radius. Injuries to these bones, nerves or muscles can lead to forearm, wrist, or hand pain.

Arm Anatomy 1

Pain can vary depending on what’s causing it. In some cases, the pain may be burning and shooting due to nerve pain or damage. Or the pain may be aching and dull, which is more common with joint pain from osteoarthritis.

The pain can affect the functional capacity of the arm or hand.

  • Nerve pain is more associated with pins and needles or lancing (shooting pain)
  • Numbness is more associated with arterial blood flow restriction, or nerve
  • Weakness is more associated with nerve or muscular injury
  • Swelling is associated with venous blood flow or the lymphatic system
  • Reduced range of motion is associated with musculoskeletal restriction or conditions

The above list is a general guide because there may be a combination of factors that lead to the generation of pain.

A good protocol to see how symptoms change is to consider the mobility of the joints, flexibility and strength of the muscles, tendons and mobility of fascial compartments.

However, symptoms may also be generated from other regions or conditions.

Vascular symptoms may be related to the compression of structures locally or at the level of the shoulder where the neurovascular bundle travels between the first rib and the clavicle or under the pectoralis minor tendon at the coracoid process. Or maybe related to other cardiovascular conditions.

Arm Anatomy Nerve issues may be related to the compression of a nerve locally or at the level of the neck or shoulder. This can be at the cervical spine, where the nerve passes between two vertebrae as it leaves the spinal cord. Or between the anterior and medial scalene muscle at the anterolateral neck, as the neurovascular bundle travels between the first rib and the clavicle, or under the pectoralis minor tendon at the coracoid process. Or somewhere along its distribution as it travels to the muscle and skin it innervates. Or other conditions that affect the nervous system may be involved in generating pain.

Arm Anatomy 2

As pain can be a complex topic in relation to the causes and the maintaining factors, if the pain does not resolve or you feel other factors may be involved, it is advised to seek medical advice for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

However, if there is no history of cervical spine, neurological or vascular conditions that may explain the mechanism of pain or no specific diagnosis can be made, musculoskeletal units within the NHS commonly guide patients to perform a stretch and strength programme and monitor their response.

Below are a few exercises that address flexibility, mobility and strength. 

The strengthening exercises are performed with the excellent Flexbar from Theraband; click here to view the product.

Kneeling Wrist Flexor Stretch

Wrist Circles

Writs Flexion and Extension with Theraband Flexbar

Forearm Pronation and Supination with Theraband Flexbar

Thumb Strengthening with Theraband Flexbar