The forearms are commonly overworked muscle and under appreciated. Any muscle that is overworked can develop pain, injury, soreness, and muscle spasms. These muscles are involved with every hand and arm activity that we perform in a day. Think of driving, brushing your teeth, computer work, typing, and home activities. Sports and other forms of exercise also utilize these muscles.
In a basic understanding, a muscle develops the strength and stability to handle the level of strain placed upon it. So if you make your forearms do 300 lbs. of work in a day it will develop the strength to handle 300 lbs. But if you ask the muscle to perform 500 lbs on weekend, then the muscle will become overwhelmed. Most times it can handle the extra strain for a day or two. However, repeatedly challenging the muscle more than it can handle will increase the risk of injury.
In the forearm, we have muscles the flex the wrist and muscles that extend it. The muscles on the front of the forearm are wrist and hand flexors. The muscles on the back of the forearm extend it. Every activity you perform with your hands uses these muscles, some more than others.
For example, typing for four hours places stress on your wrist and finger extensors. Typing for four hours with poor posture and form can triple the strain on the muscles. The same activity time can place vastly different stress on the muscles. This is why you might feel more forearm soreness typing on a laptop compared to a desk top computer, the ergonomic setup is different and changes the amount of stress on muscles.
Likewise, a weekend yard project can quickly overwhelm your forearm muscles. Two days of labor might be more than the muscle can handle, especially if the muscles were tired before the project.
Treatment for forearm muscle pain can vary from rest and ice at home. Some people use over the counter medications or topic treatments like Biofreeze. If the pain persists for more than two weeks and is getting worse additional treatment maybe needed.
Physical therapy and massage therapy are treatment options for decreasing pain and muscle spasms. The treatments will decrease the inflammation and hypertonicity in the injured muscles. These treatments are often combined with Graston Technique to speed healing and recovery.
If the forearm pain begins to shift to the elbows, you might be developing lateral epicondylitis or medial epicondylitis.
Pain and spasms that are not resolving are a problem. Do not let mild injuries become chronic or more severe.