Hands & Wrist Pain: Top tips for pain-free practice

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

One of the most common things students ask me about is pain in the wrists and heel of the hand in weight bearing poses like downward facing dog, plank, tabletop. This can be a real barrier to enjoying your class because all you can think about is the soreness in your wrists.


"Is it normal to have painful wrists?"


It's important to discuss the difference between discomfort and pain here - discomfort is something that is tolerable; we put ourselves in some strange positions in our yoga practice so sometimes we come across areas that are tight and tough, but not pain. Pain is something that is sharp, electrical and makes you go "ooh ouch thats not good".


Any pain in a yoga practice is not normal. The purpose of pain is it is your body's alarm system to say something isn't right and you need to do something about it. Pain shouldn't be ignored.


Sadly, ignoring pain and not tackling the root cause or practicing correct technique leads to injury. Yes, you can get injured practicing yoga. I've had many - including a wrist injury that required a medical procedure to fix. I am certainly one to say yoga can help with many things, but practicing without care will certainly lead to injury eventually.


If anything you do causes you pain - do not do it. I can't stress this point enough. If you're a student of mine, please chat to me and I'll give you an alternative or teach you the correct alignment and activation after class. Any good teacher worth their salt anywhere else would do the same for you. If they don't... find a new teacher.


"Will I always have this? What can I do to get rid of it?"


The good news is that with practice, awareness of what you are doing and applying the correct technique; you'll be able to get yourself to a much more comfortable space.


WRIST STRUCTURE AND HOW YOUR RANGE OF MOBILITY CAN AFFECT PAIN LEVELS


To start, we're going to look at what we are asking our wrists to do when we are bearing weight on our hands - and why your unique anatomy has an impact on your practice.


OUR WRIST JOINTS


Our wrist is a mobile