The muscles of the forearm are relatively small but can cramp up due to many causes.

The question is can this ever mean a serious condition?

“Cramping in the forearm muscles can be caused by a number of things, but usually is not serious,” says J. Mark Anderson, MD, DABFM, of Executive Medicine of Texas and who is board certified in family medicine.

Dr. Anderson continues, “The first thing to consider when experiencing muscle cramps is hydration. A good rule to follow is half your body weight in ounces.

“So if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 ounces of water per day, more if exercising or out in the heat.

“Next, look at nutrition. The body needs adequate protein, vitamins and minerals to work properly. A deficiency can lead to muscle pains.”

You may want to take a magnesium supplement in powdered form (which absorbs better than tablets). This crucial mineral helps relax muscles.

Forearm Muscle Cramps Hurt but Are Nothing to Panic About

“Other causes to consider are medication side effects, overuse from repetitive motion and toxin exposure,” says Dr. Anderson.

If exposure to toxins is the cause, then chances are very high that you’ll have other symptoms as well.

But cramping that occurs only in your forearms is not a sign of a serious disease such as multiple sclerosis.

“While muscle cramping is generally not serious, chronic cramping with pain or pain that is not relieved with hydration, stretching and conservative measures such as warm, moist heat or anti-inflammatories should be evaluated by a healthcare provider,” advises Dr. Anderson.

Another potential cause is overdoing forearm muscle recruitment with the reverse curl exercise, wrist rolls, wall climbing, rock climbing or a racquet sport.

Dr. Anderson is coauthor of the award-winning book, “Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health,” and host of the nationally syndicated Staying Young Show which goes to podcast as Staying Young Show 2.0.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Shutterstock/Kristiana Gankevych