Yoga and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: How can yoga help in carpal tunnel syndrome?
Medical research community have evidences suggesting that yoga can be an effective method for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. A study presented in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated yoga to be more effective than splinting in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome. The poses of yoga in such studies are modified to better suit the subjects with considerable symptoms.
The theory behind yoga helping is that it can mobilize the nerve by rejuvenating the median nerve through the carpal tunnel. Compression on the carpal tunnel can be relieved by stretching, improved joint posture could diminish intermittent compression on the nerve and the effects of blood flow restriction on the median nerve could also be improved with increased blood flow.
For the treatment and prevention of carpal Tunnel Syndrome with the help of yoga, you will have to practice specific poses that strengthen the flexor muscles of the forearm. You may want to start with poses that bear less weight on the wrist joint depending on the severity of your condition, and later move to more difficult poses, paying close attention to maintaining proper alignment.
Yoga as a therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome: What are the various poses of yoga for carpal tunnel syndrome?
Here are listed the various poses or asanas of the yoga that can be used by people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome as published in the research papers and scientific literature.
Dandasana- Sitting with Extension of the trunk
Sit on a chair with the trunk upright. Press hands into the seat. Press shoulder blades into the back. Move shoulders down.
Namaste- Hands in prayer position
Press palms & fingers of each hand together, with fingers away from their position of ulnar deviation. Release and repeat, pressing palms together with fingers spread as wide as possible.
Urdhva hasatasana - Arms extended overhead with fingers interlocked
With hands facing vertically, stretch your arms and fingers forward and up. Open your palms, keep the fingers together and lock the elbows. Lift sides of the body. Keep arms straight.
Parvatasana- Arms extended overhead with fingers interlocked
Interlock fingers with the right thumb base over the left, with the base of the fingers in contact. Turn palms out and stretch arms forward and up. Lock elbows and keep arms straight. Raise trunk by lifting the arms and pull arms further back. Lower your arms. Repeat with left thumb over the right.
Garudasana- Arms interlocked in front of body
Bend elbows, crossing arms in front of the chest with the forearms stretching up and thumbs facing the head. Cross left elbow over the right. Move right hand toward the head and the left hand away; cross your hands and place the fingers of the right hand on the left palm.
Stand and raise the elbows to shoulder level and bend them. Stretch hands and fingers. Release arms and then stand straight.
Bharadvajasana- Chair Twist:
Sit sideways on a chair, with right hip and thigh against the back of the chair. Stretch the trunk up and pull shoulders back. Keep knees and feet together, turn toward the back of the chair. Place hands on back of chair. Pull left hand to bring left side toward back of chair and push with right hand to turn right side away. Turn your body and then turn the head to look over the right shoulder.
Tadasana- Standing, Mountain Pose:
Stand straight in bare feet, facing forward, feet together, toes and heels in line, with big toes and center of the inner ankles touching. Balance weight evenly on inner and outer edges of both the feet, heels and soles. Lift knee caps in the goinits. Raise upper chest and collarbones.
1/2 uttanasana- 90-degree forward bend to the wall
Stand with feet one foot apart. Stretch the arms over head. Bend from the hips, extending entire body toward the wall, hands touching the wall. Stretch forward.
Virabhadasana 1 (arms only) - Arms extended overhead with palms together in prayer position
Stand in tadasana. Stretch arms to sides at shoulder level keeping fingers together. Turn arms circularly in their sockets, palms facing the ceiling. Keeping arms straight, extend them over the head until they are parallel.
While moving the arms upward, stretch the sides of the chest and armpits. Take arms back, and bring them closer together; join the palms, with the fingers stretching upward. Lock your elbows.
Urdhva mukha svanasana- Dog pose with chair, with special emphasis on hand placement
Stand, feet hip width apart, facing the seat of a chair. Bend, placing palms on the seat, shoulder width apart. Lift waist, hips and knees a few inches above the chair and straighten your arms. Take your arms out and curve the trunk back between them.
Bring coccyx, sacrum, and lumbar spine forward, keeping buttocks tight. Stretch your front of the body from the pubis. Raise sternum and ribs. Hold shoulders back. Press the shoulder blades and dorsal spine in.
Namaste- Hands joined in prayer position behind the back
Stand in tadasana. Take your palms behind the back and join them, fingers pointing down and in line. Turn hands toward the trunk and then up and raise them high to the maximum possible extent between the shoulder blades. Press little fingers into the dorsal spine while joining the heels of the hands. Stretch fingers up. Press shoulders back and down while turning upper arms outward.
While lying down flat on your back and keeping your arms slightly away from thighs, palms up, heels together, and toes apart. Close eyes. Breathe deeply. Concentrate on soft, slow exhalation. Relax lower jaw, tongue, and pupils of the eyes. Relax completely and exhale slowly. Remain in pose for 10 to 15 minutes.
Hold first eleven positions for 30 seconds and breathe through the nose. Repeat each position.
It should be remembered that yoga therapy has not yet been proven to be a replacement for traditional medical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, but it helps to reduce pain and improve the symptoms. To get a better therapeutic effect of yoga, you should complete each asana with proper alignment, under the guidance and supervision of a yoga instructor.