How to Avoid Wrist Pain in Yoga

Whether or not you have small joint arthritis, you can experience wrist pain from participating in yoga. Pain in your wrist, along with cracking knuckles in your fingers and hands, are common occurrences in this physical, mental, and spiritual discipline. It can develop as a result of:

  • Poor alignment of the shoulder
  • Weight-bearing yoga poses, such as the downward facing dog.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Small joint arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Injury
  • Repetitive strain injuries

Your choice of location where you perform yoga could also be a contributing factor to your wrist discomfort. For instance, do you have your yoga sessions on a mat placed on carpet? If so, the carpeting combined with the yoga mat may be too soft and squishing causing your heels and hands to sink into the floor while putting added pressure on your wrist. If this is the case, switch to using a yoga mat on a hard floor.

Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to help you avoid developing a sore wrist from performing yoga. One of the best ways is to perform wrist strengthening exercises, like these below.

  • Do wrist curls. You can help develop the strength of your wrists by performing wrist curls. Use one to five-pound weights and conduct 12 to 15 repetitions in each of three sets.
  • Perform the ball squeeze.Grab a tennis ball or small stress ball and grip it firmly in your hand. Squeeze the ball and hold in for five seconds. Do this 10 times.
  • Try the towel wring.This wrist strengthening is great because everyone has towels in their home. To do this exercise, twist a dry towel in the opposite direction pretending that you’re wringing water out of it. Hold the position for about two or three seconds. Do this 5-10 times, then switch the “wringing” direction.

Also, when doing yoga, consider wearing wrist stabilizers to prevent injury.

Tips for Managing Wrist Pain

While you’re working on strengthening your wrists, you’ll need to manage and cope with your pain. Here are a few tips for managing sore wrist from yoga.

  • Omit weight-bearing wrist poses.
  • Stretch your wrist before and after yoga by placing your fingers on a table or back of a chair.
  • Alternate applying heat and ice. This can help you to control both inflammation and discomfort.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relief medications if your doctor approves.

Once your wrists are strengthened and you’re ready to get back on the mat, ensure that your shoulders are aligned appropriately with your hands as far apart as them. By caring appropriately for your wrists, you’ll be able to get back to promoting your whole-body wellness through yoga.

If you’re still experiencing pain in one or both of your wrists that you believe stem from yoga despite doing strengthening exercises, contact us here at the Florida Hand Center at 941-625-3782 for an evaluation.