National Associaltion of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists - Symptom Checker

Extensor Carpi Ulnaris and Extensor Carpi Radialis
This is the technical name of the muscle being described.  This name may be used to find additional information in any medical resource. Extensor Carpi Ulnaris Extensor Carpi Radialis
A group of muscles generally denotes muscles of the same function and may share a common attachment point. Wrist extensors
Muscle function, in this definition, is what the muscle could do if it was to contract by itself with the body in anatomical position.  This is a general definition of muscle function.  For more information on how muscles work together on the body please refer to a physiology or functional anatomy text.

Both of these muscles assist in the extension of the hand at the wrist, aid in the grasping of objects, and participate in ulnar and radial deviation of the wrist, respectively.

A description of where a Myofascial Trigger Point may produce pain in the body.  This area is generally located away from the trigger point.

The extensor carpi ulnaris refers pain to the dorsal (knuckle side) surface of the ulnar (pinky finger) side of the wrist.  The extensor carpi radialis refers pain over the lateral epicondyle of the elbow, lightly over the dorsum (back side) of the forearm, and accents the dorsum of the hand.

A description of the symptoms a person may experience with trigger points in the muscle being described.

A person with TrPs in the extensor carpi ulnaris and extensor carpi radialis, like most of the wrist extensors, will usually complain of “tennis elbow” symptoms and an unreliable or weak grip that lets objects fall from his or her hand.

When more than one muscle is involved, it is difficult to sharply delineate which symptoms are caused by the radial hand extensors and which are the result of trigger points in the brachioradialis.  Trigger points in these muscles can produce dysfunction in the form of limited movement and/or weakness as well as pain.
Pain is likely to appear first in the lateral epicondyle of the elbow before spreading to the wrist and hand.  Pain or discomfort when shaking hands, turning a doorknob, or using a screwdriver are also indicative of trigger points in these muscles.


 A list of possible diseases that fit the information derived from examination of a patient.

  1. Lateral epicondylitis.
  2. C5-C6 radiculopathy.
  3. Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  4. Articular dysfunctions such as volar subluxation of carpal bones.
  5. Tenosynovitis (de Quervain’s disease).
  6. Arthritis.

A list of activities or positions that may either CAUSE a trigger point to manifest or PROLONG a pain condition respectively.

  1. Repetitive forceful handgrip, such as using a tennis racquet.  The larger the object being grasped, the more likely the muscles are going to develop TrPs.
  2. Weeding with a trowel.
  3. Meticulous ironing of clothes.
  4. Frisbee-throwing over a prolonged period.
  5. Extensive handshaking.
  6. Scraping ice off the windshield with a scraper.

A corrective action is usually a modification of daily routine which will reduce stress on the affected muscle(s) in a person with myofascial trigger points.

  1. A person should avoid forceful activity with the hand flexed or in ulnar deviation of the wrist.  It may be helpful to adapt certain activities as follows: liquid should be poured from a container by rotating the arm at the shoulder joint instead of deviating the hand at the wrist.
  2. When playing tennis, the head of the tennis racquet should be pointed up.
  3. Wrist supports that prevent hand flexion can help protect these muscles when work requires stressful twisting motions.

References : 
Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, vol 1, 2nd Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.

Travell JG, Simons DG, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, vol 2. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1992.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.  A proper diagnosis should be sought from a licensed health care provider.