The carpal tunnel syndrome arises if the median nerve, which extends from the forearm to the hand, is subjected to pressure or crushing at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations on the palm side of the thumb and fingers (not the little finger) as well as the pulses directed to some small muscles of the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel, a narrow and rigid passage consisting of ligament and bone, at the base of the hand, houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes the swelling of the tendons or other swelling constrict the tunnel and cause the median nerve to be compressed. The results are pain, weakness or a sensation of numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating towards the arm. Although these painful states may indicate other disorders, the carpal tunnel syndrome is the most well known and famous neuropathy, the term for disorders in which the body’s peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons of the carpal tunnel, and not a problem with the nerve itself. The symptoms usually appear gradually, with frequent sensations of burning, tingling or numbness combined with itching on the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers. The symptoms often appear for the first time in one or both hands during the night. When symptoms worsen you may experience an unpleasant tingling sensation during the day. The fact that gripping power decreases could make it difficult to make a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other activities involving the use of the hands.

Acupuncture and chiropractic cures may have been helpful for some patients in the past, but their effectiveness remains to be demonstrated. The only exception is yoga: it has been shown that it reduces pain and increases strength in the hands of patients who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Of course a general, continuous, regular and balanced yoga practice strengthens the wrists, arms and hands so that these symptoms often do not even appear.
If this happens, however, perhaps because the hands have been put under a lot of strain (pruning trees, kneading bread etc.) and the symptoms of numbness and/or tingling appear during the night, the following position, UTTANASTAMBHASANA, will help.

Here is how to do it:


Lying down bend your knees and rest your feet on the ground, shoulder width apart. Raise your hips, stretch out your arms with the fingers intertwined under the hips keeping the wrists close together. Pull the shoulders back bringing the shoulder blades as close together as possible. This is very important because if you don’t keep the arms taut and the shoulder blades close together the hips will end up resting on the knuckles of the hands which will be quite painful. Inhale and exhaling, lower the trunk onto the outstretched arms, then inhaling raise your legs to form a right angle with the body. Hold the position with a regular and calm breath for as long as feels comfortable and then come out of the position following the same steps.

It has helped me many times as I work a lot with my hands and therefore put them under strain. I find it has an almost homeopathic effect seeing as when you come out of the position you initially feel a sensation of numbness in the hands caused by the blocking of the flow of blood into the hands. On release, the blood flows back strongly just like when you block a water pipe and on releasing it the water comes out with a lot more pressure.

Good luck with the practice! Did you enjoy this article? Share it …
with thanks, yours Sabine





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