Yoga and your wrists

Do you have difficulty with certain poses in yoga due to your wrists?

Yoga is a common practice that benefits our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.  However, until pain, most of us don’t give too much thought to the impact that it plays on our wrists.  Therefore, without giving up the mat, it is important to do address your pain with a hand therapist.  Strengthening and other techniques will assist with proper alignment to provide the tender loving care our wrists require.

Why do I get pain in my wrist?

The wrist is a complex area, comprising of 15 bones coming together in the area, and literally hundreds of ligaments and tendons.  There are 2 bones in the forearm that allow us to withstand heavy loads, with the radius taking 80% of the load.  If our body is not properly aligned from our shoulders, arms, and hands, the force load shifts to an unnatural and damaging position.  This can happen particularly in downward dog or plank positions.  Imbalances in muscle tone and poor body positioning can lead to tendonitis, ligament tears, joint impingement, and inflammation resulting in nerve pain… just to name a few.

What can you do about it?

Your hand therapist with do a variety of tests to assess what your needs are.  It is important to seek guidance to begin your recovery.  Your injuries may require further medical attention.  We will assess you and create the appropriate treatment plan.  We will get you back to the mat as soon as possible.

Depending on your injury, you may require a period of immobilisation in a custom thermoplastic splint to allow time for healing.  Upon completing your immobilisation or splinting you will be guided through a structured program.  You will work on alignment, stretching, and strengthening of the muscles.  Shoulders, forearms, hands and core muscles will be addressed to build tolerance to withstand loads again.

When can you return to yoga?

This will highly depend on your injury.  You may be able to return to the mat this week or it may take several weeks.  It is important that we review and discuss your weight bearing positions and gradually build you back up.  However, be mindful that everybody heals differently.  Soon you will be able to return to the downward dog along with the others, pain and symptom free.

Don’t give up on your yoga!

The overall benefits of yoga are incredible.  There are modifications that can be made to better support your wrists such as weight bearing on you fists with straight wrists or onto your forearms.  Discuss modified positioning with your therapist and yoga instructor.

Remember, yoga is about the best pose for your body, not what you see on the internet or others in class doing.  Ensure that you listen to your hand therapist and yoga instructor.  Actively engage in your individualised program.  We will get you back to what you love.