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 Brachioradialis Muscle Anatomy and Stretching 



Active trigger points in brachioradialis are common and will often induce pain that is misdiagnosed as tennis elbow

The brachioradialis is part of the superficial group and forms the lateral border of the cubital fossa. It is typical for the belly of the muscle to be prominent when working against resistance.

The brachioradialis muscle works to flex the elbow and to help the extensors of the hand to bend the wrist up and back.

The brachioradialis is commonly over-used and over-worked, especially by those who utilize gripping in their occupation.


Upper two-thirds of anterior aspect of lateral supracondylar ridge of humerus (i.e. lateral part of shaft of humerus, 5–7.5 cm (2–3”) above elbow joint).


Lower lateral end of radius, just above styloid process.


Flexes elbow joint. Assists in pronating and supinating forearm when these movements are resisted.


Radial nerve, C5, 6. BASIC FUNCTIONAL


Example: turning a corkscrew.



Brachioradialis Trigger Points 


Referred Pain

Lateral epicondyle area 3–4 cm patch with vague arm pain (radius border), localizing into strong pain in dorsum of thumb.


Elbow pain, pain in thumb (dorsum), tennis elbow, weakness of grip, RSI.


RSI, prolonged mouse use, racquet sports, poor stretching, playing musical instruments.

Differential Diagnosis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Osteoarthritis of thumb (trapezium).


Biceps brachiii, brachialis, extensor carpi radialis longus/brevis, supinator, extensor digitorum.

General Advice

Avoid prolonged standing and carrying (heavy bags, suitcases). Take regular breaks when typing. Use wrist supports. Change grip on tennis racquet.

Brachioradialis Injuries

Often referred to as Venke's muscle, brachioradialis is a large muscle that runs across the lateral half of the upper arm. It originates from the anterior surface of the lateral intermuscular septum and inserts near the wrist. Its main action is flexion at the elbow joint.

Injuries to the brachioradialis can cause pain in the forearm. The pain may be exacerbated by repetitive movements and overexertion. If left untreated, the muscle may be inflamed, causing swelling, bruising, and tenderness. A physical therapist or athletic trainer may be able to assess the injury and recommend treatments. 

Brachioradialis muscle tendonitis may develop when the muscle is overused. The muscle can also be inflamed by a pinched nerve in the neck, which makes it difficult to move the arm. It can also be injured from blunt trauma. Symptoms include numbness, swelling, and pain in the forearm. A physical therapist will typically treat the condition with rest, ice, heat, electrical neuromuscular stimulation, and kinesiology taping.

The brachioradialis is part of the radial group of forearm muscles. It is the most superficial muscle on the radial aspect of the forearm. The brachioradialis helps to flex the forearm when the palm is facing downward. When the forearm is pronated, the brachioradialis flexes at the elbow. However, it does not generate as much joint torque as the brachialis. In addition, the brachioradialis tendon tends to tear when the muscle is subjected to a high-velocity force.

The radial recurrent artery passes near the brachioradialis muscle. This artery provides blood to the muscle. The brachioradialis muscle has a thick tendon that extends from the brachioradialis to the proximal styloid process of the radius. The muscle has a long lever arm, which allows it to generate power.

The brachioradialis muscle is innervated by the radial nerve. The radial nerve passes between the brachioradialis muscle and the radial artery. This makes it susceptible to myofascial pain syndrome. The myofascial pain syndrome produces intense localized pain.

Brachioradialis trigger points are caused by excessively forceful handgrips. These can be caused by turning a screwdriver, throwing a frisbee, or using a weed-whacker. They usually start at the elbow and progress toward the base of the thumb.

The brachioradialis helps to stabilize the elbow joint. When the brachioradialis muscle is more sriously injured it is most likely due to trauma or overexertion. X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may then be needed to diagnose the injury. If the injury is not serious, the brachioradialis muscle may heal on its own in six to eight weeks. Alternatively, a splint or sling can be used to prevent further injury.

It's worth noting that the brachioradialis muscle can also be injured by an avulsion fracture. An avulsion fracture involves the removal of a piece of the radius bone. Symptoms of an avulsion fracture include bruising, pain, and swelling.

The brachioradialis can typically be treated by a physical therapist, athletic trainer, manual therapist, massage therapist or physician. If the injury is not severe, the brachioradialis muscle can be strengthened as part of the rehab process, if performed under the supervision of a qualified healthcare or fitness professional. The muscle can be stretched by using dumbbells or theraband in a sitting or standing position. The muscle can also be massaged to improve blood flow and tissue extensibility.

Brachioradialis Massage

Common treatment for Brachioradialis strains include massage utilising various techniques from a wide range of modalities to relieve pain. In most treatment plans massage will be accompanied by stretching, the use of ice and rest. Using kinesiology taping can help reduce spasm after injury.

Stretching is also another way to treat referred pain. You can stretch your brachioradialis in any position, including sitting. The brachioradialis is a superficial muscle that helps in elbow flexion. It is often overworked during gripping occupations. Similar symptoms can emerge from teres syndrome, which may often cause brachialis trigger points.

Palpation of the muscle will usually indicate whether or not the pain is coming from the brachioradialis. If it is, it is important to perform the right rehabilitation treatment.

During Brachioradialis Massage, the affected arm should be flexed and stretched out in front of the body. This will allow the superficial biceps to displace, allowing for thorough treatment of the deep brachialis.

You can treat the muscle with pressure release or trigger point pressure release. You can also self-massage the area with a firm but gentle touch. This may help decrease any pain and swelling.

Brachioradialis Acupuncture

Compared to biceps trigger points, brachioradialis acupuncture is easier to access with acupuncture needles. This muscle originates from the lower half of the humerus, then travels over the cubital fossa to the elbow, and attaches to the coronoid process of the ulna.

Acupuncture may improve joint mobility, reduce muscle fatigue, and increase athletic performance. Acupuncture may also be effective in post-stroke patients. Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other treatments and conservative medical therapy.

Acupuncture points are generally located along the meridian system. They may be located between muscles, between bone and muscle, or between muscles and connective tissue. Most meridians are located along fascial planes, although they are sometimes located between the tendons and the muscle.

Approximately 50% of meridian intersections are located on connective tissue planes. The average width of the five major fascial planes of the arm is about 5 mm. Acupuncture needles inserted at the cleavage or dermis planes will penetrate the dermis, but acupuncture needles inserted at the intermuscular or connective tissue planes will penetrate the subcutaneous and intramuscular connective tissues. 

The relationship between acupuncture points and meridians is often described as an integrative role of the interstitial connective tissues.

If you are considering acupuncture or dry needling, always take care to research the qualifications and experience of your therapist or healthcare professional. Don't ever let any therapist treat you with needles unless you are certain that they are qualified and licensed to do so, and confirm that needling is within their scope of practice.


This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 


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