What Are the Common Causes of Brachioradialis Pain?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 February 2020
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Pain in the brachioradialis muscle, which runs from the inside of the wrist along the forearm to the upper arm, may occur due to one of several common reasons. A sudden injury, as can occur from a trauma or from pushing the muscle beyond its capability, may be to blame. Brachioradialis pain may also be the result of overuse, such as when a person has a job that requires repetitive motions using the muscle. It can also come from pressure on the nerves in some parts of the cervical spine, which run down the arm to the brachioradialis, or as referred pain from the other nearby muscles.

An injury which damages or strains the muscle is a common cause of brachioradialis pain. A blunt trauma from a blow or a fall can harm the muscle tissue. The muscle might pull or even tear if it is strained beyond what it is physically capable of doing, for example, if one tries to lift something much heavier than he or she is capable of. A strain or pull may also result if the muscle is overextended beyond its natural reach. These types of injuries may cause a sharp pain initially which often then progresses to a steadier aching pain along with swelling, stiffness, and tenderness.


Overuse is also frequently the cause of brachioradialis pain. People who work in jobs that require them to use their arms in repetitive motions, particularly lifting, twisting, or holding up objects may tend to have elbow and forearm pain associated with the brachioradialis and surrounding muscles. Those who play sports like tennis or racquetball may also frequently have problems in this area. This can be particularly problematic if the person is unable to stop the offending behavior because it is part of his or her livelihood.

Sometimes, brachioradialis pain does not originate in the muscle itself, but instead comes from problems in other areas. The nerves that originate from the C5 and C6 vertebrae in the cervical spine run down to the radial nerve, which then extends nerve fibers to the brachioradialis. If there is an injury or damage in the spine that is putting pressure on the nerve roots in this area, pain and spasms may be felt in the forearm. Pain in the brachioradialis may also actually be referred pain from problems in other nearby muscles like the supinator and pronator muscles.


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Post 1

I fell in a training session while doing side skips on the road. My body naturally extended my right arm to break the fall and it took a lot of the impact. At the time, the trainer didn’t suggest going home and I then did a 40 minute weight (body and weights) session. It hurt but I pushed through it (because I’m so tough -- and dumb).

No bones were broken, but five months later remedial, massage revealed a lump running across the brachioradialis muscle.

Symptoms are weakness of the forearm and medium strength pain in some situations, like, lifting my laptop one-handed. The pain travels as a jabbing pain from the lump I mentioned to the thenar muscle and the flexor retinacalum. It’s fine otherwise.

My massage therapist suggested deep tissue massage, perceiving it to be an incorrectly healed fibrous mass, but wanted me to find out more about it just in case it’s a surgical thing.

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