December 4, 2022
Home » Podcast Blog » Myofascial Pain Syndrome Affecting The Supinator Muscles

Introduction

The elbows and the forearms have a casual relationship with each other as they provide flexion and retraction of the arms in the body. Each different muscle group in the body has the job of making the body functional. The arms help the body to carry items while the shoulders provide stability to the head and neck. The head and neck work together to allow rotation and movement. Finally, the legs and hips stabilize the body’s upper half and move from place to place. Traumatic events or injuries that affect the arms can lead to pain along the muscles in the forearms. This can lead to the muscles becoming inflamed and developing myofascial pain syndrome or trigger points along the affected muscles. One of the muscles in the forearms that can be affected by myofascial pain syndrome is the supinator muscles. Today’s article looks at the supinator muscles, how myofascial pain affects the supinator muscles, and how to manage myofascial pain syndrome along the supinator muscles. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in elbow pain treatments to aid individuals suffering from myofascial pain syndrome associated with the supinator muscles near the elbow and forearm. We also guide and inform our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We established that education is a great solution to asking our providers profound questions the patient requests. Dr. Jimenez DC takes note of this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

What Is The Supinator Muscle?

 

Are you experiencing any pain along your forearm or elbow? What about feeling stiffness along your thumb? Do you feel any tenderness or soreness in your forearm muscle? People who have been experiencing these symptoms might be dealing with myofascial pain syndrome that is affecting their supinator muscles. According to Dr. Travell, M.D.’s book, “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual,” the supinator muscle is a flat spiral muscle under the elbow joint and is located in the posterior compartment of the forearm. The supinator muscle function is to supinate or turn the forearm when the elbow is in a position of flexion or extension. The supinator muscle also works together with the bicep brachii muscles. Studies reveal that the biceps function provides stability and assists with internal rotation with the elbow joint by interacting with the supinator muscle. Both of these muscles provide supination and flexion strength to the elbow. However, the supinator muscle can also be affected by injuries in the elbows and forearms, causing referred pain along the forearms and parts of the hand, primarily the thumb.

 

Myofascial Pain Affecting The Supinator Muscle

When the supinator muscle is suffering from pain, various issues can cause the pain to occur near the elbow and forearm. Multiple factors can include:

  • Carrying a large, heavy bag.
  • Playing tennis.
  • Extreme movements cause the elbow to be hyperextended and lead to myofascial pain syndrome or trigger points along the supinator muscles.

Now tennis elbow is often associated with trigger points as it affects the lateral head of the triceps and the extensor muscles next to the supinator muscles. Studies reveal that tennis elbow usually occurs on the dominant arm and is regarded as an overuse injury that involves repetitive extension against resistance. To that point, the repetitive motions can lead to the development of trigger points along the supinator muscles.

 

Many people with active trigger points in the supinator muscles often complain about twinges of pain located in the front or back of the elbow, along with muscle tenderness in the supinator muscle. Myofascial pain syndrome can also mimic other chronic pain conditions in the arm that causes referred pain symptoms associated with the muscle. Myofascial pain syndrome causes the affected muscle to be hyperirritable and causes the surrounding nerves that are intertwined with the muscles to be compressed. This causes various symptoms in the forearms, like tingling sensations, numbness, and a decrease in grip strength. All is not lost as multiple ways to manage myofascial pain syndrome along the supinator muscles.


How To Release Supinator Trigger Points- Video

Are you experiencing twinges of pain near your elbow? What about radiating pain along your thumb? Do you feel tenderness or muscle weakness on your forearms or your elbow? Many of these symptoms are due to the development of myofascial pain syndrome or trigger points that are affecting the supinator muscles. Trigger points can mimic other chronic pain conditions that can cause referred pain to the rest of the body. The video above explains where trigger points are located in the supinator muscle and how to release the trigger points from that muscle. Various techniques can help manage myofascial pain syndrome that is affecting the supinator muscles and can help alleviate the pain-like symptoms that are along the muscle fibers.


Managing Myofascial Pain Syndrome Along The Supinator Muscles

 

When managing myofascial pain syndrome along the supinator muscles, many individuals can incorporate these techniques as part of their daily activities. Many individuals can go to a pain specialist that targets myofascial pain syndrome through palpations and massages. Studies reveal that incorporating a diagnosis of where the palpations have occurred and massaging the affected muscle can release the trigger points from the muscle and reduce pain. Another technique many people can utilize to manage myofascial pain syndrome is not overextending the elbow to cause trigger points to form. This is extremely important for tennis players to prevent tennis elbows from forming and reduce the chances of trigger points forming along the supinator muscles. And lastly, doing isotonic exercises can help strengthen and condition the supinator muscles to prevent injuries. These techniques allow the individual to be pain-free and continue with their daily lives.

 

Conclusion

The supinator muscles are located underneath the elbow, allowing forearm rotation when the elbow is flexed or extended. When the supinator muscle is affected by injuries or repetitive motions, it can develop trigger points or myofascial pain syndrome. This causes referred pain along the elbow to parts of the hand, primarily the thumb. Trigger points can even overlap and cause symptoms of “tennis elbow” to cause pain along the muscle and joints. Luckily, various techniques can prevent trigger points from developing further and reduce the pain in the elbows and forearms. To that point, the individual can continue doing their daily activities.

 

References

Bron, Carel, et al. “Interrater Reliability of Palpation of Myofascial Trigger Points in Three Shoulder Muscles.” The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Inc., 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2565638/.

Cutts, S, et al. “Tennis Elbow: A Clinical Review Article.” Journal of Orthopaedics, Elsevier, 10 Aug. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926298/.

Güleçyüz, Mehmet F, et al. “Reference Values of Flexion and Supination in the Elbow Joint of a Cohort without Shoulder Pathologies.” BioMed Research International, Hindawi, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5674724/.

Travell, J. G., et al. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual: Vol. 1:Upper Half of Body. Vol. 1, Williams & Wilkins, 1999.

Disclaimer

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The information herein on "Myofascial Pain Syndrome Affecting The Supinator Muscles" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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