Forearm pain – causes, treatment

Forearm pain

In the meantime, the forearms are no longer used exclusively for physical work, but are increasingly being used in front of the PC or in the office for other writing activities. This part of the body is being stressed more and more. For this reason, it is of great importance for every person to know how to treat forearm pain .

What is forearm pain?

Forearm pain refers to complaints that appear in the lower arm area. These are usually very different and also cause different pain . A pulling pain often occurs in these areas, but burning or stinging is also possible.

This pain extends mainly from the elbows to the wrists . The complaints in the forearm are caused by the movements of the arms. However, the pain often occurs without corresponding movements, i.e. at rest. It is also important to prevent forearm pain.


Forearm pain can arise from many causes. In most cases, the connective tissue is stiffened or shortened. The muscles and tendons as well as the fascia can also be affected. But various types of injuries can also trigger the complaints in the forearm. In most cases, different bone fractures , muscle fiber tears , sprains and bruises as well as strains are the cause of the pain.

Injuries in the neck and shoulder area as well as on the hands can also be responsible. Furthermore, various infections should also be noted at this point. This can be, for example, contaminated wounds , sepsis or osteomyelitis . In addition, various neurological, inflammatory or degenerative diseases should be considered for forearm pain. Sometimes nerves are also pinched or compression occurs.

Sometimes rheumatic diseases or tendinitis can also be the cause of the pain in the forearm. Furthermore, diseases such as cervical spondylosis , a herniated disc in the neck area, bursitis , osteoarthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain in the forearm.

However, it is also possible that the symptoms are preceded by serious illnesses. These can be, for example, heart attacks or malignant tumors. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary that a doctor is consulted in the case of prolonged pain.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

It is of great importance for the doctor to find out the reason for the forearm pain. Only in this way can the right therapy method be used so that the person concerned can be helped.

In this way, the doctor will ask a variety of questions that must be answered correctly. The doctor pays special attention to the pain and symptoms. The onset and duration of the symptoms are also important.

In addition, the doctor will analyze all other diseases and ask the patient about possible medication. After this detailed discussion, the doctor examines the forearm. Swelling is particularly important here.


Lower arm pain can be prevented and treated. It depends on how severe the pain in the forearm is and how severe the injury is. If the pain is just growing pains, this pain can be relieved with painkillers. If there is a deeper inflammation, it can temporarily do you good if the pain is relieved in this way.

For the rest of the treatment, it is not enough to just continue treating with painkillers. The patient can also do something for his own health to prevent a negative development. If inflammation in the forearm occurs due to too hard strength training, you can counteract it with very light massages and simple and pleasant fascia training. The foam roll should not be too hard.

Hard foam rollers can make the inflammation even worse. The patient should ensure that the painful area remains warm. The temperatures should not be higher than 30 degrees. Otherwise, these temperatures can irritate the tendons even more. If the pain does not subside within a short period of time, it may be advisable to see a doctor as the pain could be chronic.

When should you go to the doctor?

Forearm pain can vary in severity, so you may need to see a doctor. In most cases, the pain is triggered by external violence, so that a medical examination should definitely be carried out. If swelling occurs after the violence has taken place, a doctor must also be consulted immediately. There is a very high probability that there is a sprain or even a fracture that must be treated by a doctor.

If you do not seek medical treatment at this point, you are exposing yourself to danger. There is a high probability that a fracture will not heal or heal properly, making a visit to the doctor inevitable. Of course, forearm pain can also be triggered by an unfavorable incorrect posture. People who work in the office therefore often suffer from forearm pain. Tendons or muscles may be pinched, resulting in permanent pain. Even at rest, pain is not uncommon.

The following therefore applies: Affected people who suffer from permanent pain in the forearm should consult a doctor at an early stage. This is the only way to make a quick and accurate diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be initiated. Anyone who completely avoids treatment by a doctor risks permanent damage to individual tendons, muscles or bones.

Treatment & Therapy

When treating pain in the forearm, it is particularly important that the pain is precisely localized. It was found that immobilization of the affected arms only brought temporary relief. This procedure is rather unfavorable for the healing. The reason for this is that the connective tissue, the muscles and the fascia tighten during immobilization and in turn cause pain.

These are then often even worse than before. The affected arm should also not be stretched, as this would overload the nervous system . Body therapy on a sensorimotor level is better here. This is used to make tendons, connective tissue, muscles and fascia flexible again and to lengthen them. In addition, special brain regions that are responsible for muscle activity are trained in this way.

An appropriate therapist treats the patient with small exercises regarding the movements. Such therapy can sometimes take a long time. If the causes of the pain in the forearm can be traced back to other diseases, the first step should be to treat them and, if possible, to cure them. In most cases, the patient is relieved of the forearm pain as soon as the underlying disease is treated.

Outlook & Forecast

If the forearm pain occurs after heavy physical exertion or sporting activity, it does not need to be treated by a doctor. In this case, the forearm pain usually disappears after a short time. However, the patient should rest the arm during this time and not expose it to unnecessary strain. The pain can also occur after an accident or a blow to the forearm. As long as there are no further symptoms, no medical treatment is necessary.

In some cases, there is also swelling in the forearm in addition to the forearm pain. This can be treated with heat, cold and massage . Therapy is successful in most cases and eliminates the pain. Taking painkillers can also help in the short term, but long-term use of painkillers should be avoided, as they damage the body in the long term. In the case of long-lasting lower arm pain, pain therapy or physiotherapy is carried out. These therapies lead to a positive course of the disease.

If the forearm pain causes damage to the muscles or tendons, surgical intervention may be necessary. In most cases, the forearm pain goes away on its own and does not lead to any further symptoms.


There are many different exercises you can do to prevent forearm pain. The absolute regularity of the training sessions is particularly important. This is the only way to efficiently and effectively prevent the symptoms. In most cases, the fingers also play a role in the pain in the forearm. Therefore, they should definitely participate in the training exercises.

The easiest and most effective way is to bring your forearms to your body. This exercise must be done at different speeds. A training session should take place between five and ten times. The fingers should be spread to complete the exercise and prevent discomfort.

You can do that yourself

Forearm pain can have a wide variety of causes and always requires medical evaluation. Once the reason for the symptoms is known, some measures and home remedies promise rapid relief.

Pain as a result of tendonitis can be reduced, for example, by resting the affected arm and cooling applications . If the forearm pain is caused by tennis elbow or a strain, stretching exercises , massages or heat therapy can help. Excessive stretching or stretching should be avoided, however, as this can exacerbate the underlying inflammation or overstretching. In the case of severe symptoms, local ultrasound and microwave treatment is recommended, in which the painful area is intensively irradiated, which usually results in alleviation of the symptoms.

In addition, there are natural and household pain-relieving remedies. Curcumin , ginger and devil’s claw , among others, have proven effective, as have probiotics and dietary supplements with magnesium , B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids .

In the case of pain as a result of carpal tunnel syndrome, cortisone preparations and the avoidance of unfavorable movements and postures help. If this does not reduce the forearm pain, a doctor or sports medicine specialist should be consulted to further clarify the causes.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.