Yoga Asanas to Manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
tunnel syndrome is
a condition in which pressure on a nerve that leads from your spinal cord to
your hands causes
numbness pain or tingling in your hands or fingers.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage formed by ligaments in your wrist through
which nerves and tendons pass. When the muscles and ligaments of the carpal
tunnel become swollen or inflamed, they compress the median nerve which leads to
your thumb and first two fingers. This pressure causes pain or
numbness. In some cases both wrists are affected.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common in women than men, and is often found
in workers whose tasks require repeating the same motion in the fingers and hand
for long periods of time.
A study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. found that after
eight weeks of performing yoga
exercises, the group had significantly less pain and greater hand strength,
whereas the control group (non-yogic) experienced no significant reduction in
pain or increase in hand strength.
Dandasana: sit on
chair, trunk upright, press hands into chair, press shoulder blades
into back, move shoulders back and down.
Anjali Mudra or Prayer position: press palms and fingers
together, stretch and bend fingers.
Urdhva Hastasana: Stand
with your feet together and arms at your sides. Feel the soles of your feet
softening into the floor and the firmness of the floor supporting your
weight evenly across each foot. Allow the breath to move freely along the
full length of your torso, without bloating the belly. Surrender your
shoulders and begin your inhalation, feeling your breath across your back as
you raise your arms. You should sense lightness and length in your arms. Keep
arms straight and shoulders down. Hold
the position for several breaths.
Parvatasana : Same as
above, clasp fingers, turn palms upward.
Chair twist: sit
sideways in chair with right side against back of chair. Place hands on back
of chair, twist to the right using hands for additional support. Repeat on
Tadasana: Stand with
the big toes touching. Lift up all your toes and let them fan out, then drop
them down creating a wide solid base. You can separate your heels slightly
if your ankles are knocking together uncomfortably. Bring your weight evenly
onto all four corners of both feet. Let the feet and the calves root down
into the floor. Engage the quadriceps and
draw them upward, causing your knee caps to rise. Rotate both thighs inward,
creating a widening of the sit bones, and tuck your tailbone in between the
sit bones. Tone the belly, drawing it in slightly. Widen the collar bones
and make sure the shoulders are parallel to the pelvis.
The neck is long, the crown of the head rises toward the ceiling, and the
shoulder blades slide down the back. It may seem like you are just standing
there, but bringing the body into alignment is hard work.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana :
involves pushing with your arms into the floor, straightening them, and
focusing more on an extension of your spine than strictly a deeper coiling
backbend like Bhujangasana.
Lie prone on the floor. Stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet
on the floor. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside
your waist so that your forearms are relatively perpendicular to the floor.
Inhale and press your inner hands firmly into the floor and slightly back,
as if you were trying to push yourself forward along the floor. Then
straighten your arms and simultaneously lift your torso up and your legs a
few inches off the floor on an inhalation. Keep the thighs firm and slightly
turned inward, the arms firm and turned out so the elbow creases face
forward. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the
navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don't harden the buttocks. Firm the
shoulder blades against the back and puff the side ribs forward. Lift
through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward,
which only hardens the lower back. Look straight ahead or tip the head back
slightly, but take care not to compress the back of the neck and harden the
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana is one of the positions in the traditional Sun
Salutation sequence. You can
also practice this pose individually, holding it anywhere from 15 to 30
seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor or lift into Adho Mukha
Svanasana with an exhalation.
Modified Virabhadasana: Stand
in tadasana, raise arms to Tee position, urn palms up, then rotate arms in
small circles, first forward then back. Lift arms straight overhead, join
hands in prayer position, stretch up and look up at hands.
Hands in prayer behind back: While standing in Tadasana, join
palms behind the back, fingers pointing down and in line. Turn hands toward
the trunk and then up. Raise them as high as possible between the shoulder
blades. Join heels of the hands and press little fingers into the dorsal
spine. Stretch fingers up. Turn upper arms outward and press shoulders back
Savasana: Lie flat on
the back. Keep 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.
Each posture should be held for about 30 seconds and breathe through
the nose. Do not tense the throat and keep the shoulders away from the ears.
Repeat each position
Dated 17 July 2012