Arm stiffness/tight forearm muscle

by Tommy
(Brentwood, TN USA)

My grandson showed me that he couldn't fully straighten on or his arms the other night and when I examined it the forearm muscles were tense and would not relax. He's 14 and not a real big guy and has been working out at school a lot. Of course he has done a lot of curls so I'm wondering if this is something that will pass with rest and hot water soaking or should he see a doctor ASAP?

T. Burnett

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Nov 11, 2008
arm tightness
by: Bart - SII

The tightness he is having and the inability to straighten out his arms could be due to the amount of lifting he is doing. Lots and lots of curls can have that effect - the biceps become strong and tight and they then don't allow the elbow to extend all the way. And with lots of curls, especially with heavier weights, he is really working the forearms with his grip.

If he isn't having abnormal pain (other than muscle soreness), this is likely not something that needs to be evaluated. However, he does need to make sure that he is practicing sensible weight lifting.

I have seen patients before who lifted like crazy for many years and the inability to extend their arms straight became permanent. Make sure he is taking days of rest between workouts, that he is balancing his lifts for all of the arm muscles (curls and extensions), and that he is going through a stretching routine after he is finished lifting. Also having days that are high rep/low weight. These things can help keep his body balanced and prevent motion loss and future problems.


Jul 07, 2011
Straightening our the arm
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much. This is occurring right now, and it has occurred before. Now I understand and will the proper rest, and change up my routine.

Cleveland, Ohio

Oct 12, 2011
sore arm
by: Anonymous

right arm is bigger than the other (forearm area), where the muscle is, seems tighter and little soreness (only to the probing of it/slight touch) I thought I may have carpal tunnel because i do extensive typing during the day. I'm an underwriter so on the computer with many mouse keystrokes daily. my upper part of arm is sore inthat musle of humerus. I 'm not sure if I pulled something and didn't realize or what. It is fine @ night, but feels weaker during the day when I'm diligently working. is this something I need to see my family doc on or keep treating with ice and aspirin? Overall, my range of motion is fine (I can lift arms over head without pain), just to the touch, is it tender and the muscle in forearm appears swollen. Is this normal?

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