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The bones of the forearm (radius and ulna), are commonly fractured during a fall on an outstretched hand or from a direct blow, fending off an attack for example. It is common for both bones to break at the same time.
Tendon and Muscle Inflammation
The inflammation of tendons or muscles in the forearm can lead to compression syndrome in the forearm. This injury is common in kayakers, canoeists and weight traininers. Symptoms include throbbing, a build up of pressure and loss of pulses and sensation, or pins and needles, in the hand.
Referral Of Pain From Cervical and Thoracic Spine
The outside of the elbow is a common place for pain to be referred to from the neck and upper back. Many chronic elbow problems will have a component that has been caused by referral from the neck or upper back. Symptoms such as pain and stiffness in the neck or upper back may or may not accompany the referred elbow symptoms.
Early Injury Management
For approximately the first 72 hours following an injury, the RICE regime should be followed to ensure control of inflammation and pain relief.
R - Rest
I – Ice
C - Compression
E – Elevation
Rest from aggravating activity.
Ice should be applied in the first 72 hours or when inflammation persists. Ice should be applied for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin, but through a wet towel or cloth.
Compression can be achieved with an elastic bandage.
Elevation is used to help swelling to return to the heart through the blood stream.
The injured area should be elevated above the level of the heart.
Wrist Extensor Stretch
Strengthening programs should only be commenced when:
Ball squeezing will help strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the hand as well as the wrist flexor musculature. Try squeezing a tennis ball in the hand (as shown below) as well as a squash ball between the tips of the fingers.