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Forearm Pain

Forearm Pain

Pain or discomfort that occurs anywhere on the arm between the elbow and the wrist is generally classed as forearm pain. It typically occurs as the result of inflammation or injury of the skin, bones, muscles, tendons, or blood vessels in this region. It some cases, it may also be caused by underlying conditions or disorders. Forearm pain is a common complaint, and it can affect individuals of all ages.


Injuries are by far the most common cause of pain that is felt in the forearm. They may be acute or develop over time as the result of overuse. Overuse and sports-related injuries are especially common. Injuries can range from minor cuts, abrasions, and muscle strains to severe bone fractures and damaged tendons. Other common injuries include pinched nerves, sprains, dislocation, and tendinitis.

Underlying Conditions

Forearm pain can also develop as the result of underlying conditions that are not caused by injury. Possible causes include carpal tunnel syndrome, benign tumors, cysts, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or infections of the bone or soft tissue. These conditions can vary significantly regarding severity and painfulness. In limited cases, cancerous tumors may also be responsible for pain in the forearm.

Treatment Options

The treatment for forearm pain varies depending upon the cause, so it is essential for doctors to determine the source of pain before beginning treatment. Minor injuries like sprains and strains can often be diagnosed during a physical exam while severe injuries and underlying conditions may require additional testing. In many cases, problems can be detected with X-rays. Doctors may also perform other tests depending upon the suspected cause of pain.

Minor injuries and discomfort can usually be treated with home remedies such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or the application of cold compresses. Severe injuries like fractures and dislocated joints require medical attention. Underlying conditions can usually be managed with prescription medications. In some cases, doctors may also recommend physical therapy or surgery.

When to See a Doctor

It is important to seek medical attention for forearm pain that is chronic or severe because a serious injury or disease may cause it. With treatment, depression can usually be managed, and in many cases, doctors can prevent underlying conditions from progressing. When the source of pain is not identified and treated, patients may experience loss of sensation, severe discomfort, inability to perform normal tasks, or paralysis. When an infection or cancer is present, lack of treatment may allow the problem to spread.