Flexor Carpi Radialis: Definition, Function & Nerve

Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

The flexor carpi radialis is a muscle of the forearm, hand, and wrist that it vital to everyday life. Learn why this muscle is so vital, as well as other great information about this muscle, in this lesson.

Muscle of Daily Activities

Did you brush your teeth this morning? Have you eaten anything today? If you answered 'Yes' to either of these questions then you have used your flexor carpi radialis muscle.

What is the Flexor Carpi Radialis?

The flexor carpi radialis muscle is a long, thin muscle that is located on the bottom (palm side) of the forearm, wrist, and hand. Specifically, this muscle extends all the way from the bottom of the humerus (long bone of the upper arm) to the bottom of the second metacarpal (bone of the index finger). The flexor carpi radialis is classified as a superficial muscle, meaning it is located directly under the skin and fat tissue of the forearm and is not covered by other muscles.

The flexor carpi radialis is a superficial muscle located on the palm side of the forearm.
flexor carpi radialis

Function of Flexor Carpi Radialis

The flexor carpi radialis has two main functions. The following chart describes these two functions.

Function Description of Function
Wrist flexion Wrist flexion involves the forward bending of the hand at the wrist
Wrist abduction Wrist abduction involves the sideways bending of the wrist towards the thumb side of the hand

Both wrist flexion and abduction are used for everyday activities such as driving, eating, and drinking. Try to go an entire day without bending your wrist forward or towards the thumb side of the hand and you'll begin to realize just how frequently you use your flexor carpi radialis muscle.

Everyday tasks like driving require a person to use their flexor carpi radialis to flex and abduct the wrist.

Innervation of Flexor Carpi Radialis

'Innervation' refers to the process in which a nerve brings electrical impulses from the brain to a muscle; the nerve that innervates the flexor carpi radialis muscle is the median nerve. The median nerve consists of nerve fibers from the sixth and seventh cervical nerves (C6 and C7), which are nerves that originate from the neck region of the spinal cord.

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