The supinator muscle is located deep within both forearms. Its role is to make the supination movement of the forearms – which is the movement of turning your hands so that the palms face upwards. The supinator allows you to make this movement when your arm is extended (straightened). When your arm is flexed (bent), it works alongside the biceps brachii to complete the supination movement.
|Anterolateral surface of the top 1/3 of the radius||Lateral epicondyle of the humerus|
There are many causes of supinator muscle pain. Supinator muscle pain can occur from overuse from repetitive activities that require supination. These activities can involve prolonged use of screwdrivers, doing exercises with weights, extended periods of sewing or holding onto a leash as you walk your dog.
As seen on the image above, trigger points within the supinator can refer pain in the surrounding outside edge of the elbow, as well as the webspace of the thumb and index finger area. A trigger point is a tightened area within the muscle fibres. It may be hypersensitive or painful to the touch and can feel like a ‘knot’ within your muscles. These trigger points can accumulate within tightened or injured muscles, causing pain referrals. A soft tissue occupational therapist is an expert in trigger point release therapy, helping you relieve your pain.
Management of Supinator Muscle Pain
Apply a heat pack to the outside area, just below your elbow. You can also take a hot shower or a warm bath. The heat allows your tense muscles to relax and increases blood circulation in the area to allow for muscle repair. Your muscles should feel more flexible and have more range in movement. Heat therapy should be limited to 15-20 minutes at a time, as to not aggravate your skin too much and accidentally cause superficial burns. Avoid using ice as it reduces the healing response of the body and causes your muscles to tighten, potentially making trigger point and pain symptoms worse.
Stretching your forearm muscles may assist with your supinator muscle pain. With a straight elbow and your arm directly in front of you, gently stretch you hand towards yourself as shown in the diagram below for 30 seconds-2 minutes at a time.
Soft Tissue Occupational Therapy Treatment
Soft tissue occupational therapy treatment focuses on treating musculoskeletal disorders of the body through diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. A soft tissue occupational therapist will be able to provide supinator muscle pain relief through hands-on massage treatments such as trigger point therapy and myofascial release.
If you would like supinator muscle pain relief, book in to see a soft tissue occupational therapist at Urban Health HQ. You can make an appointment today or contact us by calling 0411 563 391 or email email@example.com