What is Forearm Splint?
Forearm Splint as a Medical Condition- Forearm splint is the term used to describe the forearm pain similarly the pain of lower leg over the shin is known as shin splints. Forearm splint describes the painful disease of elbow or wrist joint. Continuous pain in forearm is often caused by tendonitis, joint injury or hairline fracture of forearm bones (proximal radius or ulna near elbow joint). Overstretching of the elbow joint often causes forearm Injury.
Forearm Splint Brace – Forearm splint is the term also used to describe braces supported by wooden or metal sticks. The application of splint or braces over wrist or elbow joint helps to reduce joint pain.
Forearm Splint- As A Treatment Brace
Forearm splint is the term also used for elbow joint special braces. Brace is known as splint when wood or metal sticks support the braces. The forearm splint is used to reduce the chronic forearm pain, which is caused by elbow and wrist joint diseases. The forearm splint is effective in restricting wrist and elbow joint movements when pain in forearm becomes severe and intolerable. Athletes who have to use their wrists continuously, especially gymnasts and weight lifters, use forearm splints.
Forearm Splint- Painful Forearm Disease
Acute Forearm Splint(Pain in Forearm of less than 6 months duration)
- Initially the acute forearm pain is mild, but increases with activity. The forearm pain is known as forearm splint. Such pain is treated with stiff braces also known as forearm splint or forearm splint braces. Such forearm pain becomes tolerable with use of forearm splints.
- Acute pain localized between elbow and wrist joint is treated with forearm splints (brace).
- The forearm splint (brace) is useful to reduce dull to severe pain, which increases in intensity with movements of the wrist or forearm.
Chronic Forearm Splint (Pain in Forearm of more than 6 months duration)-
- Chronic forearm splint pain is felt over dorsal side of the forearm, between the elbow and wrist.
- Chronic pain in forearm becomes severe upon wrist extension, particularly against resistance
- Weakness is felt in the extensor muscles of the wrist.
- Examination of forearm suggests severe tenderness to deep palpation.
Investigations To Diagnose Forearm Splint Disease-
Radiological Studies For Forearm Splint -
- X-Ray and MRI are performed prior to application of forearm splint over painful forearm. Radiological studies are performed to rule out fracture and dislocation of the forearm bone.
Ultrasound Studies For Forearm Splint -
- Ultrasound studies are performed to evaluate tendon inflammation, muscle injury and fluid collection around painful area.
Forearm Splint Disease Treatment In Conjunction With The Use Of Forearm Splints (Brace)
Conservative Treatment For Forearm Splint-
- Rest should be taken, especially from aggravating activities.
- Ice or cold therapy helps in relieving pain and inflammation.
- Compression bandage can be used to decrease swelling.
- The arm should be kept elevated above the head. This helps in reducing the swelling.
Medications For Forearm Splint-
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be taken for alleviating pain and inflammation.
Massage and Physical Therapy For Forearm Splint-
- A specialist to help in relaxing the tight muscles can do sports massage for forearm splints or forearm pain. It also helps in breakdown of the scar tissue and adhesions.
- After the forearm splint has subsided, stretching exercises can be done to the extensor muscles in the forearm.
- Physical therapy under supervision of physical therapist is advised when chronic forearm splint or forearm pain results in muscle weakness and atrophy.
Patient should make a gradual return to daily activities.
Recovery Period of Forearm Splint
Forearm splint or forearm pain may last for 4 to 6 week depending on cause of the pain. Tendonitis and muscle pain may last for 2 to 4 weeks. Bones and joint pain may last for 4 to 6 weeks. In most of the cases forearm splint is used for 2 to 4 weeks during the period when patient is suffering with severe pain.