What Is Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle And What Is Its Function?
The function of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle is to help in flexion of four medial fingers of the hand. The fingers which move with the help of this muscle are the index, middle, ring, and small fingers. The Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle originates in the forearm. The striking feature of this muscle is that it has two heads and both of these heads originate in the forearm. The first head which is also known as humeroulnar head originates in the medial epicondyle of humerus. It also originates from the ulnar collateral ligament in the ulna. The second head which is known by the name of radial head originates from behind the radius. This muscle gives rise to four tendons which are in close proximity to the wrist and pass through the carpal tunnel. These tendons then separate and enter the sides of the middle phalanges of the four fingers as described above. In some cases, the tendon arising from this muscle which enters the small finger may be absent, which may make it difficult to diagnose little finger injuries. As stated, the main function of the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle is to facilitate flexion of the four fingers of the hand, which are the index, middle, ring, and small fingers. This muscle also plays an important role in flexion of metacarpophalangeal joints. The blood supply to this muscle is maintained by the ulnar artery and it is innervated by the median nerve.
Signs & Symptoms of Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle Strain
Some of the signs and symptoms pointing towards strained Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle are:
- Severe pain that is felt on the inside part of the fingers
- This pain may at times radiate up the hands or wrists
- The fingers may become locked in a bent position
What Can Cause Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle Strain?
Some of the activities that may cause Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle strain are:
- Individuals who are quite active playing instruments which require a tight grip may be predisposed to an injury or damage to the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle.
- People working in assembling electronic parts where they have to use screwdrivers for an extensive period of time also can strain this muscle.
- Athletes involved in sports like tennis and golf are also at risk for straining or injuring this muscle.
- Drivers who drive continuously for long hours are also likely to strain the Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle.
- People involved with extensive knitting and crocheting can also injure or damage it.
Risk Factors of Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle Strain
Some of the medical conditions that can be caused due to Flexor Digitorum Superficialis muscle strain are:
How is Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle Strain Treated?
Cold Therapy: For treating a strained Flexor Digitorum Superficialis 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. This gel tends to cool the inflamed area quickly and prevents development of swelling due to the cooling effect. 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 a strained Flexor Digitorum Superficialis 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 Superficialis Muscle strain 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 strained Flexor Digitorum Superficialis 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 Superficialis 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.
Compression Gloves: This is also quite an effective way for preventing or calming down the symptoms caused by a strained Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Muscle. These gloves are easily available in the market and are also affordable.