Back

Brachioradialis

What Is It, Location, and More

Author: Georgina Tiarks

Editors: Alyssa Haag, Ian Mannarino, MD, MBA

Illustrator: Jillian Dunbar

Copyeditor: David G. Walker


What is brachioradialis?

The brachioradialis is a superficial muscle located on the posterior compartment of the forearm. It contributes as the lateral border of the cubital fossa, a triangular space between the upper and lower arm.

Innervation of the brachioradialis muscle is produced by the radial nerve (C5-C6), which runs adjacent to the muscle. Similarly, blood supply comes from the radial recurrent artery, a branch of the radial artery.

Where is the brachioradialis located?

The brachioradialis muscle is located on the lateral side of the forearm. It originates at the lateral supracondylar ridge on the humerus, a crest on the bone of the upper arm. The brachioradialis then inserts at the styloid process, or protuberance, of the radius: a bone in the forearm.

Excited Mo character in scrubs
Join millions of students and clinicians who learn by Osmosis!
Start Your Free Trial

What is the function of the brachioradialis muscle?

The brachioradialis muscle is responsible for flexion (i.e., movement of a limb closer to the center of the body) of the forearm and functions to stabilize the elbow joint in conjunction with the biceps and brachialis muscle when flexing the forearm. In particular, the brachioradialis aids with flexion while the forearm is in a mid-pronated position. Pronation describes the position when one’s palm is placed downward, while supination occurs when the palm is faced upward. Mid-pronation occurs when the hand is in between full pronation and full supination. Additionally, the brachioradialis assists in pronation when the arm is fully supinated and supination when the arm is fully pronated.

The brachioradialis muscle can become injured due to trauma or overuse. Conditions that affect the brachioradialis include muscle strain, tendonitis, avulsion fracture, or weakness with cervical radiculopathy. Brachioradialis strain can be caused by sudden trauma to the arm muscle, while tendonitis may be due to repetitive movement. An avulsion fracture occurs when the brachioradialis tendon tears. Finally, nerve entrapment may cause cervical radiculopathy, which can result in arm weakness.

What are the most important facts to know about brachioradialis?

The brachioradialis muscle is situated on the lateral side of the forearm. The radial nerve (C5-C6) is responsible for innervation, while the radial recurrent artery provides blood supply to this muscle. This muscle originates at the lateral supracondylar ridge of the humerus and inserts at the styloid process of the radius. The main action of the brachioradialis muscle is flexion of the forearm, especially during mid-pronation. There are many injuries that may affect the brachioradialis, such as muscle strain, tendonitis, avulsion fracture, and cervical radiculopathy.

Watch related videos:

Mo with coat and stethoscope

Want to Join Osmosis?

Join millions of students and clinicians who learn by Osmosis!

Start Your Free Trial

Related links

Introduction to the Skeletal System
Introduction to the Muscular System
Bones of the Upper Limb
Anatomy of the Arm
Vessels and Nerves of the Forearm

Resources for research and reference

Brachioradialis. Physiopedia. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://www.physio-pedia.com/Brachioradialis

Morton, D. A., Foreman, K. B., & Albertine, K. H. (2019). Forearm. In The Big Picture: Gross Anatomy (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?aid=1158278164