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Are you suffering from forearm pain that has been bothering you for years? Have tried various treatment options but could find a solution? Probably thinking you might need a surgery or have to live with it for the rest of your life. Well think again. If you are lucky enough there could be a simple answer to your chronic problem.

I am focusing today on chronic forearm pain which might sometimes feel as a wrist pain. Typically, you will not have any history of trauma or major accidents and do not recall what might have caused the issue but still functionally affected in day-to-day activity.

As I have mentioned in my previous blog that almost 83.3% of the pain arising in the forearm region have the tendency of originating from the neck. I have no strong evidence on how it works pathoanatomically but have lots to support my facts.

Population which are more prone to such type of challenges are desk job such as but not limited to computer workers, chefs, retired individuals with sedentary lifestyle; watching TV, browsing phone etc. Have you noticed any common issue with them yet? If you have, then BINGO!! You might be in the right track to recovery.

Common problems or postures that above mentioned individuals attain in their daily work schedule is forward neck. Which is the culprit for the pain arising not only on your forearm but also around your upper extremity (shoulder, elbow, fingers). We tend to look down almost all the time that we seldom look up, or to be more specific; in opposite direction. When there is lack of movement in one direction it is quickly followed by movement loss. Which limits the free movement of structures inside the neck. Basically, I am referring to restriction in the joint movement.

By this time if you tried looking up the ceiling and wondering you have full range!! Try again. Your perception of full range might not be your actual full range. Everyone has different range, but a correct assessment can only be done by a trained Physiotherapist. I have developed a simple trick of my own, which I follow in my practice too. To make someone understand if he/she has any limitation in the neck range of movement, I make them do the same movement 10 times. If the patient feels sore or feels that their neck is get tighter than it is easy to confirm.

Well now for the treatment part. Solutions are not always what you imagine, sometimes it is much simpler. After years of practice, trying different approach, I have found one to be more beneficial and efficient. If you are in those 83.3% group then a simple Repeated Neck Retraction will help to relieve your chronic forearm pain. This claim is not diagnostic in any way and always need to be followed under guidance of a trained medical professional.

Majority of the patients respond well but often we might need to add in some overpressure. Which is not recommend to be done by yourself. If the pain seems to increase then you have to stop the movement and consult a physiotherapist. I tend to find worsening of symptoms as a telltale sign which often seems to point me into certain direction. So, there is no need to panic. We just need to find the direction.

However, the good thing about this approach is that we seldom instruct patients to stop their favorite activity. If you must then we instruct them to follow it with repetitions of the exercise prescribed by your Physiotherapist. After all, a full recovery means full and pain free range of movement in all direction.


“Every Problem has a Solution. You just have to be creative enough to find it.” – Travis Kalanick co-founder of UBER

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