Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

I have destroyed my forearms while building my house!


Hi Gary,
I seem to have destroyed my arms with lots of digging, hammering, nail pulling, lifting, and so on.
Both forearms gradually got more and more sore. Now it hurts sort of between my biceps and my forearm, but mainly in the forearms when I do simple tasks like pick up my children and even brushing my teeth. This makes it hard to build my house. :)
Do you have any suggestions, or will I have to impatiently wait for 2 or 3 months? I gave them a week, they felt better, like it didn't hurt to pick up a child anymore. I went back to building for 3 hours and my arms went right back to hurting again. Is there anything I can do to speed up the healing? Can I work them if they are sore, but not work if they are in pain or do I have to wait?

"C"
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Gary responds:
One of the over-riding themes of this website is self help. Rest is mostly a waste of time and compromises the need to build strenght. Rest longer then a few days weakens. Most injuries do not need numerous visits to the doctor/physiotherapist/chiropractor. This is certainly the case for "C".

"C": What you need to do is to locate the area of most intense pain. In your case, this should be over the origins of the brachioradialus and extensor radialus longus muscles (refer image left).

Go see a massage therapist and have them thoroughly massage the affected area of both arms - plus all of the rest of the upper, lower arms, wrists and hands. While taking care not to overdo it on the first session, you should feel tender, bordering on bruising the following day.

Repeat the massage once a week with only gentle massage of the arms in between, if anything at all. You should notice a significant improvement by the 3rd session (3rd week). Continue for another couple of weeks for good measure, or for as long as it takes to be 100% pain free.

While it may be sensible to have a couple of days break from the house project, it helps the healing and strengthening process to continue to use the arms as per usual while avoiding the more damaging exercises such as heavy lifting, jack hammers and the like.

There are some nutrition measures that will aid recovery and the building of strength. Please read this article here for more about forearm pain and nutrition.

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