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What Is the Flexor Carpi Ulnaris?

The flexor carpi ulnaris connects to the bone at the base of the pinky finger.
The flexor carpi ulnaris is responsible for moving the wrist and hand.
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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2014
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The flexor carpi ulnaris is a muscle located in the forearm. Its main action is to help move the wrist and hand, and it is used for many different daily activities. The secondary action of the muscle is to help another muscle, the extensor carpi ulnaris, twist and deviate the wrist. An example of an action that would use this muscle is pulling a rope toward the body.

The muscle begins on the medial side of the humerus, meaning closes to the center of the body. From there it runs all the way down the forearm before attaching to the fifth metacarpal, the bone at the base of the pinky finger. There are actually two heads to the muscle — the humeral and ulnar. The ulnar head of the muscle originates in a different location to the humerus.

The tendon associated with the flexor carpi ulnaris is located on the distal area of the forearm, meaning near the wrist. At this location, there will usually be three tendons, with the one associated with this muscle closest to the little finger. In some people, the second tendon may not be present at all. The muscle runs from the elbow down to the hand and an injury can affect a number of different movements.

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There are two main actions of this muscle. The first is to help flex the wrist, which is an extremely common action that a person performs many times daily. The second is to deviate the wrist, which in medical terms is called ulnar deviation or wrist adduction, which means to move it to the side toward the pinky. To perform this action, the flexor carpi ulnaris works with other muscles in the forearm.

Two closely related muscles are the flexor carpi radialis and extensor carpi ulnaris. Both of these muscles start at the elbow and run down the arm to the wrist and hand. They are also involved in movement of the wrist. For example, the flexor carpi radialis is used to flex the wrist while the extensor carpi ulnaris extends the wrist.

A common injury associated with the flexor carpi ulnaris is golfer’s elbow. As the name suggest, this is a repetitive strain injury that commonly affects the elbow and is most often found among golfers and throwers. Symptoms include pain inside the elbow, a weakened wrist, and pain on rotating or flexing the wrist. Treatment usually involves rest and ice to begin with, along with bracing the injured area.

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hamje32
Post 2

@nony - When I started doing workouts I started out by looking at a human body diagram and identifying all of the different muscle groups on the body.

While it’s useful to isolate named muscles one by one, you quickly discover that a lot of muscles work together. This is the reason that people who suffer injury in one muscle will often have to strengthen an entire group of muscles in order to recover.

Those additional muscles help to compensate for the weakened use of the injured muscle, so if you make them stronger you can regain full use of your body more quickly. As a result, whenever I sprained something like a forearm muscle I made it a point to work out all of the relevant muscle groups, and I recovered a lot faster.

nony
Post 1

I suffered from a bit of tendonitis myself from repetitive stress injury. It wasn’t flexor carpi ulnaris tendinitis but it did involve pain in the wrist.

I think carpal tunnel and the flexor cari ulnaris both cause wrist pain in similar regions. Anyway I went to the local sporting goods shop to see if they had any therapeutic devices or braces that would help relieve the wrist pain.

I found a flexor device for the wrist, and while I was there I also saw a forearm flexor as well. It’s a piece of metal that has springs and you pull on it with your wrists and it provides stretching exercises for your wrist and forearm.

I used something similar for the wrist flexor, except that device required a twisting action not a pulling action.

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