Function & Origin of Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle
The main function of the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle is to help in flexion of the fingers.1 This muscle stems from the upper part of ulna. This muscle enters into the distal phalanges in the fingertips. The muscle belly of the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle lies in the forearm, although this muscle is considered a part of the hand as its function mainly is to facilitate movement of the hand. The tendons of this muscle are quite long and extend over wrist and metacarpals of the hand. The Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle in combination with the Flexor Pollicis Longus and Pronator Quadratus Muscle constitute the muscles of the forearm. Blood is supplied to this muscle by the anterior interosseous artery and this muscle is innervated by the anterior interosseous and ulnar nerves. In case there is damage to the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle, then there is severe dexterity loss to the fingers. Flexor digitorum profundus muscle pain is debilitating and can make one unable to perform activities of daily living.
What Are The Associated Signs and Symptoms of Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle Pain?
Some of the signs and symptoms suggesting a Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle damage or injury are:
- Severe pain in the fingers
- The finger may get locked in a flexed position
- There may be uncontrollable twitching of the fingers
What Causes Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle Pain?
Some of the activities that may result in a damage or injury to the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle are:
- People who play instruments requiring a tight grip can damage the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle
- Workers who use the screwdriver repetitively can also strain or damage Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle.
- Data entry operators who use the keyboard and type repetitively for long hours are also prone to damaging it.
- Athletes involved in sports like tennis and golf are at an increased risk for straining the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle.
- Drivers who drive for exceedingly long distances with their hands continuously on the steering wheel can also strain or damage the muscle.
- Elderly females who are involved with knitting crocheting can damage the Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle if they do this activity for prolonged periods of time.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Flexor Digitorum Profundus Pain Or Injury?
Some of the medical conditions that can be caused due to a damaged Flexor Digitorum Profundus muscle are:
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome 2
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy
- C8-T1 Radiculopathy
What Is The Treatment For Flexor Digitorum Profundus Pain?
Cold Therapy: For treating a dysfunctional Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle using cold therapy, the most recommended treatment is using a Biofreeze gel. This gel has been shown to be quite useful in relieving pain and discomfort caused due to Strained Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle. This gel tends to cool the inflamed area quickly and prevents development of swelling due to the cooling effect. To use this gel, gently rub it at the injured side both at the front and back starting just at the elbow going down all the way to the tip of the thumb.
Wrist Ice Wrap: When an individual has an injured Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle then just treating the thumb pain is not sufficient, but the whole muscle needs to be treated. For this the Ice Wrist Wrap has been shown to be quite beneficial, as it covers the entire muscle and provides compression and helps in healing of the muscle. To begin with, you can start wearing the wrap for about 20 minutes and then gradually increase the time. You can also adjust the wrap so as to cover the thumb as well.
Also helpful can be using a frozen wash rag wrapped around the thumb along with using the wrap as this combination will completely cover the muscle and allow it to heal faster. Additionally, Biofreeze gel can also be applied along with using the wrap for additional comfort.
Wrist-Elbow Wraps: The majority of the pain felt due to Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle dysfunction is in the wrist and hand areas, it is also important to treat the muscle right from its origin which is from the elbow for better results. For this, an Elbow Ice Wrap quite a good option to relieve pain caused due to a damaged Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle. This can be used successfully by positioning the wrap around the wrist and base of thumb for relieving the discomfort in the area and gently moving the wrap towards the elbow such that the entire muscle right from the forearm to the wrist and thumb is wrapped. This allows complete healing of the muscle.
Warm Therapy: There are a lot of gels readily available in the market, which can be used to treat Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle pain. Such gels provide required warmth to the muscle, which expedites healing process. Arthritis patients can use such gels for instant pain relief. The gel can be applied can be applied on the inside part of the elbow and the wrist region several times a day for maximum benefit. One must make sure to not use heating gels while simultaneously using ice or heat packs, as this may lead to blistering of the skin.
Arm Compression Sleeves: These have also been shown to be quite effective in relieving pain and discomfort caused due to an injury or damage to the Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle. These sleeves provide more support to the muscle and prevent it from any reinjury and also help in recovery. It is mostly used by periople who have significant pain affecting their activities of daily living and athletes along with people who use tools quite often in their work.
Forearm Band: There are also quite a few elbow bands available which are used for conditions like tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries and have been found to be very useful. An example of it is the BandIT. This wrap is worn by many athletes for protection and prevents repetitive stress injuries and has been found to be extremely useful, although it is not suggested as a long term treatment for muscle damage due to muscle overuse.
Compression Gloves: This is also quite an effective way for preventing or calming down the symptoms caused by a dysfunctional or strained Flexor Digitorum Profundus Muscle. These gloves are easily available in the market and are also affordable.