By Atul Vyas
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in the wrist formed by ligaments and eight small carpal bones. These bones are arranged in two rows of four and lie on either side of the crease between hand and forearm.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the median nerve on the hand gets compressed in this tunnel. These days, it has become a near epidemic among computer users, musicians and particularly those who’s work, hobbies include some kind of repetitive hand movements or use of vibratory tools.
The problem of Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when space in the wrists joint is decreased which compresses the median nerve. Other reasons could be the fluid retention due to pregnancy or thyroid, old fractures, or arthritis.
The symptoms of Carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness or tingling in hands or in areas of the palm served by the median nerve. Some people may get pain in their arms and shoulders too. If it is left unattended, it can lead to permanent damage to nerves and weakness in muscles of the hands or shoulders.
According to yogic science, it happens due to compression of the carpal tunnel that flattens the normal arch made by these carpal bones putting pressure on tendons and the median nerve. Postural problems also impact this condition because the disruption of nerve impulse might begin from the neck, shoulders and the chest due to round back and other postural problems. Even the tight grip on the steering wheel can trigger it.
Yogic intervention helps in reduction of pain and significant improvement in grip strength. A study to this effect was published in an article in a journal of the American Medical Association in 1988. There are always a group of yogic exercises to cure a problem but due to space crunch, I here mention one of them called, “Manibandha Chakra” or wrist-joint rotation. This should be done first with each hand one by one then with both the hands.
- Stand straight or sit on a chair
- Extend the right arm forward at shoulder level
- Make a loose fist with the right hand stretched out with thumb inside
- Now, slowly rotate the fist about the wrist, ensuring that the fist faces downward through out the rotation
- Arms should be straight n elbows locked
- Repeat ten times in clockwise direction and ten times in anti-clockwise direction
- Repeat it with left hand and thereafter with both the hands
- There many other variation of this pose too
- Very beneficial for loosening the tight wrist muscles n removes fatigue in them
- Helps in restoring wrist inner space to its original setting
- Eases compression of median nerve
- Cures n prevents arthritis in the concerned joints
- Cures pain, numbness and tingling sensation in hands due to carpal tunnel syndrome
- Improves and strengthen grip of hands
Atul Vyas likes to be called a “Yoga Scientist”. He is a celebrity yoga trainer and has trained several top Hollywood and Bollywood stars. He has trained for years under many eminent yoga gurus including his illustrious mother Daya Vyas, the first lady yoga guru of India.