A pulled forearm muscle, also known as a muscle strain, occurs when an activity pushes or pulls the muscle beyond its normal limits. Common causes include sports injuries, overuse or improper form during exercise, or impact from a fall. Shortly after the injury, you may experience pain, swelling and bruising in your forearm. In general, you should use RICE -- rest, ice, compression and elevation -- for immediate treatment of an acute forearm pull. Once the initial pain has passed and the muscle heals, you can begin exercising with a few adjustments. Consult your physician before starting an exercise program.
Take an over-the-counter pain killer before your workout. Pain killers such as naproxen or ibuprofen reduce swelling and can prevent pain during your workout.
Wrap your forearm in a compression bandage. The compression bandage will reduce swelling and help stabilize the muscles in your forearm. By keeping your forearm stable, you will reduce the risk of irritating the injury.
Warm up longer than usual. A good warmup will send blood through the area to help loosen the muscles and prepare them for the work ahead. Add an extra five minutes, especially if you intend to work your forearms.
Use less resistance than usual. The affected arm may be weaker than normal and using your usual resistance could reinjure the muscle or cause pain during your workout. Start with 5 to 10 lbs. less and work your way back up to your normal weight.
Reduce your workout time. Because the muscles are still recovering, your forearms may fatigue quicker than normal. When your muscles fatigue, you compromise on proper form and risk pain and reinjury.
Ice your forearms after your workout. Your injured forearm may swell, which can cause pain after your workout. Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes after your workout to reduce pain and swelling.
Things You'll Need
Over-the-counter pain killer
Stop exercising immediately if you experience severe pain. Consult your physician if the pain persists for more than 48 hours.