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Yoga Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

No matter what the cause of your CTS, a few simple yoga stretches done for at least 15 minutes twice a week will do wonders for you.

 

The following exercises (or poses) are very effective at working the muscles in your shoulders, chest, and upper back. This can also benefit your wrists and hands. Moreover, the relaxation induced by performing yoga can stimulate the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormones), which should help decrease your stress levels.

When doing yoga, wear lose, comfortable clothing so you can stretch easily. Don't wear shoes. Proceed slowly and don't strain. If at any time an exercise causes pain, stop doing it.

Caution: If you have back pain or a disk problem, check with your doctor before taking up yoga.

 

OVERHEAD ARM EXTENSION

Do this exercise first thing in the morning or any time you take a break from work.

  1. Stand straight, with your feet parallel and your arms at your sides.
  2. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you, with your palms facing the floor. Keeping your elbows straight, slowly raise your arms over your head. Inhale through your nose. Your neck and shoulders should feel relaxed.
  3. Lift the sides of your body, keeping your shoulders away from your head. Maintain this position for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing in and out through your nose. (See illustration.)
  4. Exhale and lower your arms back to your sides. You should feel the blood flowing through your hands.
  5. Relax, then repeat this exercise four or five times, if possible.

TRUNK EXTENSION

This is a good exercise to do while you're sitting at your desk in the office or any other time you're seated.

  1. Sit up straight in an armless chair. Dangle your arms at your sides, palms facing the sides of the chair seat.
  2. Press the palms of your hands into the sides of the chair seat, taking care not to tense your shoulders or neck. At the same time, press your shoulder blades back, moving your shoulders back and down. Hold this position for 30 seconds, breathing in and out through your nose (See illustration).
  3. Relax, then repeat this exercise four or five times.

 

CHAIR TWIST

This is a more advanced exercise that is not only good for CTS, but also for back and neck pain.

  1. Sit sideways in an armless chair, with your right hip and thigh toward the chair back.
  2. Stretch your trunk upward and pull your shoulders back. Keeping your knees parallel and your feet on the floor, turn your body toward the right and grasp the chair back with both hands.
  3. Pull with the left hand, bringing the left side of your body toward the chair back. At the same time, push with your right hand, moving the right side of your body away from the chair back.
  4. Turn your body, then your head, and look over your right shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. (See illustration.)
  5. Do this three or four times, then relax and repeat to the left side.

 

 

For more information, see the WholeHealthMD Reference Library entry on yoga.

Date Published: 02/08/2006
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