Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & Yoga Poses

Woman practicing yoga
Placing your hands in a prayer position may help treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

If you regularly experience tinging or numbness in your hands or fingers, you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a progressively painful hand and arm condition caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist. Specific yoga poses may relieve and prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome but if left untreated, it could result in permanent nerve damage. Please consult your doctor before using yoga as a treatment.

Yoga for Carpal Tunnel

To help treat and prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with yoga, you'll need to practice poses that strengthen the flexor muscles of the forearm, says Anusara Yoga founder John Friend. The flexor muscles are on the under, or palm, side of the forearm. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may want to start with poses that bear less weight on the wrist joint. Gradually work up to more difficult poses, paying close attention to maintaining proper alignment.

Prayer Pose

To perform prayer pose, come to either a seated or standing position. Begin by bending your elbows and bringing your palms to touch at the front of your chest. Then lower your hands until your forearms and fingers are at a 90 degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then rest. You may repeat this pose several times a day.

Staff Pose Variation

To strengthen the flexor muscles of the forearm, try practicing a variation of staff pose. While sitting on the floor, straighten both legs out in front of you and place your palms on the floor near your hips. Now point your fingers away from you and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Repeat this pose twice.

Cervical Cradle Pose

To perform cervical cradle pose, sit in a comfortable position on the floor or in a chair. Interlock your fingers and place them at the back of your neck. Gently pull your shoulder blades down and stretch your elbows together and forward. Be careful not to increase the natural curve in your neck. Hold this position for at least one minute.

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