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Yoga - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Yoga For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve is under too much pressure. This is the nerve in the wrist that permits components of the hand to feel and move. Numbness, tingling, weakness, and muscle deterioration in the hand and fingers are all symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (1).

The median nerve is compressed. The thumb side of the hand is supplied with sensation and movement by the median nerve. The palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger are all included. The carpal tunnel is the place in your wrist where the nerve enters your hand. Normally, this tunnel is somewhat narrow. Any swelling on the nerve might squeeze it, causing pain, numbness, tingling, or weakening. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the medical term for this condition (1, 2).

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects certain persons who were born with a tiny carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be developed by repeatedly performing the same hand and wrist motions. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by vibrating hand instruments (3).

According to studies, Carpal tunnel syndrome is not caused by typing on a computer, using a mouse, or repetitive movements while working, playing a musical instrument, or participating in sports. These actions, however, might induce tendonitis or bursitis in the hand, narrowing the carpal tunnel and causing pain (4, 5).

Table of Contents

    How Yoga can help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Yoga for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has been shown in studies to assist persons with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome experience reduced pain. The carpal tunnel, which is made up of bone, ligaments, and a flexor tendon, is important for movement. Yoga for Carpal Tunnel relaxes it.

    According to a study, Yoga asanas can help ease the discomfort of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and prevent it in those who work on computers. These asanas (exercises) have long been a part, having been practiced for thousands of years. They can help us in dealing with the discomfort and injury we cause ourselves when using computer keyboards (5).

    Yoga asana was proven to alleviate CTS symptoms in a group of volunteers in research published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). A caveat – the positions the research participants performed did not require them to bear weight on their wrists. While props and other measures can help to relieve strain on the wrists in traditional asana practice, it’s best to be cautious when it comes to disorders like CTS (where there’s a risk of aggravating the afflicted area and hence exacerbating rather than alleviating symptoms) (6).

    Yoga Improves Wrist Movement Stability

    A PubMed search revealed 19 research published since 1998 that examined the advantages of yoga practice in people with carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga activities have been linked to pain relief, greater grip strength, and increased functioning. The number of recurrences has decreased. Other associated benefits of yoga may aid in the reduction of contributing variables such as work-related stress, tension, and weariness. If you have CTS, you will spend the majority of your time using wrist support bands. Yoga positions, on the other hand, may be more beneficial in improving joint stability. The yoga-based intervention has been demonstrated to be more beneficial than wrist splinters in tests (7).

    Yoga Improves Wrist Mobility

    If you believe you are at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, yoga can help you avoid it.  According to studies, yoga can help you manage your physiology by improving your nervous system activities.  Yoga help with wrist stretches and arm stretches will help your hand muscles become more flexible. The stretches will help improve your wrist, elbow, and shoulder range of motion. Moreover, yoga improves blood flow to your hands, ensuring that they are adequately fed at all times. Hands with strong bones and muscles will help you avoid accidents that might develop carpal tunnel syndrome (8).

    Yoga Poses for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be relieved and prevented using yoga asanas (exercises). The practices should be done on a daily or as regular a schedule as possible for best effect. They are not meant to take the place of surgery or medical treatment. They are designed to be completed in an office setting. Bare feet are suggested. Adjust the asanas to one’s natural abilities; stop doing anything if it hurts; challenge oneself but respect one’s boundaries, and preserve a good flow of oxygen going into and out of the lungs (7).

    Dandasana (Staff Pose)

    Dandasana (Staff Pose) for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    This is a calming asana that also extends and strengthens your wrists and fingers. Stretching and gradually strengthening the wrist and forearm muscles can help prevent or alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit in a chair with the trunk extended.
    2. Hands should be pressed into the seat.
    3. Shoulder blades should be pressed against the back.
    4. Shift your shoulders back and forth.

    Mountain Pose (Tadasana or Samasthiti)

    Mountain Pose (Tadasana or Samasthiti) for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Mountain poses help to stretch the forearm muscles, which are usually strained and stiff in persons with carpal tunnel syndrome.

    How To Practice

    1. Stand with your legs together and your feet as near to each other as they will allow.
    2. Make an effort to stand equally on your feet, with the whole sole of each foot touching the ground. From your heels to the tops of your legs, push your legs up to the ceiling.
    3. Then, with your entire body pushed toward the ceiling, do the same.
    4. Roll your shoulders back, notice how they feel, and hold that sensation in your shoulders as you lower your arms to the floor.
    5. Your body and legs keep pushing up toward the ceiling. Make sure – “Push your arms down while simultaneously pushing your legs and body up.”
    6. This twofold motion aids in maintaining a straight posture.

    Hands in a Prayer Position (Namaste)  

    Anjali mudra help to stretch the wrists and the forearm muscles can help to increase blood flow and relieve stress.

    How To Practice

    1. Bring the palms and fingers of both hands together with fingers distant from their ulnar deviation position. 
    2. Release and squeeze hands together again, this time with fingers stretched as wide as possible.
    3. Repeat with each finger’s metacarpals pressed.
    4. Return your fingers to hyperextension. extending the space between each hand’s fingers.

    Hands united in prayer posture behind the back (Namaste)

    Pose with hands in reverse prayer posture stretches the wrists, forearms, front shoulder heads, chest, and rotator cuffs. Because muscles in the upper body are interrelated, releasing tension from these places is beneficial because carpal tunnel can be produced or accelerated by a chain reaction of tight muscles.

    How To Practice

    1. Stand in tadasana. Fingers pointing down and in line, join palms behind the back.
    2. Hands should be turned toward the trunk and then up. Raise them as high between the shoulder blades as possible.
    3. Press the tiny fingers into the dorsal spine by joining the heels of the hands. Raise your fingers in the air.
    4. Extend your arms and push your shoulders back and down.

    Wrist rotations (Manibandha Chakra)

    Wrist rotations help in relaxing the muscles in the neck and shoulders. It also helps to relieve tension in the wrists caused by extended computer use.

    How To Practice

    1. Keep your back straight and sit in a comfortable cross-legged stance. (You may also do this while sitting in your chair.)
    2. Extend your arms in front of you, shoulder distance apart. Keep your elbows slightly bent and make a fist with your thumb inside.
    3. Rotate the wrists clockwise 10 times and then anticlockwise 10 times while breathing normally.
    4. Arms should be resting on the thighs.

    Arms Stretched Overhead – Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)

    Upward Salute helps your hand muscles to become more flexible as a result of wrist and arm stretches.

    How To Practice

    1. Stretch your arms and fingers forward and up, palms facing vertically.
    2. Open your palms, keep your fingers together, and your elbows locked.
    3. The sides of the body should be lifted. Keep your arms straight at all times.

    Seated Mountain Pose (Parvatasana)

    In carpal tunnel syndrome, avoid fully extending this position since it puts a lot of strain on your hands and wrists.

    How To Practice

    1. Interlock fingers with the base of the right thumb over the base of the left, and the bases of the fingers in touch.
    2. Stretch arms forward and up, palms facing out. Keep your elbows locked and your arms straight.
    3. Raise your trunk by elevating your arms and pulling your arms back. Lower your arm.
    4. Repeat with the left thumb on top of the right.

    Dog pose (Urdhva Mukha svanasana) (Dog pose with chair, with specific focus on hand placement)

    This pose develops wrist extensors while stretching wrist flexors.

    How To Practice

    1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, facing the seat of a chair.
    2. Bend your elbows and place your palms on the seat, shoulder-width apart.
    3. Raise your waist, hips, and knees a few inches above the chair by straightening your arms.
    4. Arms outstretched, trunk curved back between them Bring the coccyx, sacrum, and lumbar spine forward while tightening the buttocks.
    5. From the pubis, stretch the front of the body. Raise your sternum and rib cage.
    6. Keep your shoulders back. The dorsal spine and shoulder blades should be pressed in.

    Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

    This asana requires you to interlock your hands, extending your wrists and relieving pinched nerves. Try to hold the pose for as long as possible before relaxing.

    How To Practice

    1. Bend your elbows and cross your arms in front of your chest, forearms reaching up and thumbs facing your head.
    2. Cross your left elbow over your right elbow. Cross hands and lay fingers of right hand on left palm.
    3. Move right hand toward head and left hand away. Raise your arms to shoulder level and bend them. Hands and fingers should be stretched.
    4. Stand up tall and let go of your arms.

    Seated Spinal Twist in A Chair (Bharadvajasana)

    In A Chair, Seated Spinal Twist (Bharadvajasana) pose, which is usually done at the end of a sequence, is both calming and stimulating.

    How To Practice

    1. Sit sideways on a chair with your right hip and thigh on the chair’s back. Pull your shoulders back and stretch your trunk up.
    2. Turn toward the back of the chair, keeping knees and feet together. Place your hands on the chair’s back.
    3. Pull with the left hand to move the left side of the chair closer to the back, and push with the right hand to turn the right side away.
    4. Turn your entire body and then your head to gaze over your right shoulder.

    Warrior Pose 1 (Virabhadrasana 1) ( just the arms)

    Carpal tunnel syndrome can be relieved by performing Warrior Pose 1 (Virabhadrasana 1) (only the arms). This asana can help you alleviate the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

    How To Practice

    1. Stand in tadasana and stretch arms out to the sides at shoulder level, fingers intertwined.
    2. Turn arms in their sockets in a circular motion, palms facing the ceiling.
    3. Extend your arms above your head, keeping them straight, until they are parallel. Stretch the sides of your chest and armpits while moving your arms upward.
    4. Bring your arms back and closer together, then combine your palms with your fingers reaching upward. Elbows should be locked together.

    Relaxation – Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

    Most classes end with you lying down on your back on the floor in savasana (corpse position), a relaxing posture that also aids in the relief of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome symptoms.

    How To Practice

    1. Lie down flat on your back. Maintain a modest distance between your arms and your thighs, with palms up, heels together, and toes apart.
    2. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Concentrate on exhaling slowly and softly.
    3. Lower law longue, as well as the pupils of the eyes, should be relaxed. Completely relax and slowly exhale.
    4. Stay in this position for 10 to 15 minutes.

    Conclusion

    Carpal tunnel yoga techniques are a great approach to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The carpal tunnel’s major purpose is to protect the median nerve, which travels through the wrist. The carpal tunnel nerve is relieved by keeping your wrist in a straight or neutral position. When using laptops or computers, practice maintaining appropriate hand posture. Yoga for carpal tunnel syndrome aids in the relief of carpal tunnel syndrome pain. In fact, yoga has been suggested as one of the nonsurgical “go-to” treatments for this disorder in several research.

    References & Further Reading on Yoga For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Nucleus Health (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-SeJh5-nOo)
    2. Wipperman, J., & Goerl, K. (2016). Carpal tunnel syndrome: diagnosis and management. American family physician94(12), 993-999.
    3. Botte, M. J., von Schroeder, H. P., Abrams, R. A., & Gellman, H. (1996). Recurrent carpal tunnel syndrome. Hand clinics12(4), 731-743.
    4. Newington, L., Harris, E. C., & Walker-Bone, K. (2015). Carpal tunnel syndrome and work. Best practice & research Clinical rheumatology29(3), 440-453.
    5. Fagarasanu, M., & Kumar, S. (2003). Carpal tunnel syndrome due to keyboarding and mouse tasks: a review. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics31(2), 119-136.
    6. Daniell, H. W. (1999). Yoga for carpal tunnel syndrome. JAMA, 281(22), 2087-2089.
    7. Garfinkel, M. S., Singhal, A., Katz, W. A., Allan, D. A., Reshetar, R., & Schumacher Jr, H. R. (1998). Yoga-based intervention for carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized trial. Jama280(18), 1601-1603.
    8. Maddali Bongi, S., Signorini, M., Bassetti, M., Del Rosso, A., Orlandi, M., & De Scisciolo, G. (2013). A manual therapy intervention improves symptoms in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome: a pilot study. Rheumatology international33(5), 1233-1241.

    Author

    Neha
    Neha

    I am a food technologist. I cherish working on interesting topics and will be ready to take the challenge into sharp output. I like to study and learn while working. My work describes me. Good content allows me to talk with people without speaking a word.

    Neha has authored the following key articles on the World Yoga Forum.
    Top 50 Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises and Benefits
    Mindfulness
    Yoga for Anxiety
    Yoga For Back Pain
    Yoga For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    Yoga For Better Digestion
    Yoga For Depression
    Yoga For Osteoporosis
    Yoga For Pregnancy
    Yoga for Menstruation 
    Yoga For Menopause

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