Supination of Hand and Forearm

Last updated: February 21, 2019

What Does Supination of Hand and Forearm Mean?

Supination of the hand and forearm refers to the action of rotating the forearm so that the palm of the hand faces upward. Forearm torque is a risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. Tasks involving this type of static or repetitive forearm twisting are associated with worker injury and discomfort.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Supination of Hand and Forearm

When supination of the hand and forearm occurs, the arm is turned outward, and the palm then faces upward or out from the body. In the supinated position, the radius lies parallel to the ulna. This twisting motion is performed using the supination muscles of the forearm and the biceps brachii of the upper arm.

During full supination, the hand, wrist, and forearm rotate nearly 180 degrees. Epicondylitis of the elbow and other cumulative trauma disorders may occur as a result of frequent or extended supination. Repetitive or sustained supination of the hand and forearm can cause contraction of the muscles of the arm and an inability of the muscles to fully extend when at rest.

Failure to bend the elbow and employ the biceps brachii during supination may worsen the effects of any trauma. Employees who must engage in tasks that require forearm twisting should be trained to do so properly in order to minimize risk of injury. Frequent recovery breaks should also be encouraged to allow the muscles to recover and rest in a neutral position.


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