Thumb Arthritis

A student (aka my mom) asked me last week about thumb arthritis.  Her wrists bother her when she practices and she has arthritis in her thumbs, she'd like to know what she can do to improve this discomfort when she practices.


Wrist Pain:

Pain in your wrist usually comes during the weight bearing asanas that are found throughout a vinyasa based practice.  Moving through rounds upon rounds of Sun Saulutations can cause pain and discomfort in wrists and hands that haven't been cared for properly over time. 

What you can do:

  1. Check your range of flexibility by coming onto all fours, your wrists are now at 90 degrees - is this comfortable?  If not, you may not be ready for this type of intense extension of your wrist. 
  2. Try modifying asanas that require full extension of the wrists
  3. Practice some wrist stretches.  This can be as simple as putting your hands together in Anjali Mudra (Prayer) and with the palms of your hands together, slowly move your hands down towards your navel.

Arthritis of the Thumb (Basal Joint)

The inflammation from arthritis of the thumb (Basal Joint) takes place at the base of the thumb, closer to the wrist and thumb pad.  To relieve pressure from this area while practicing weight bearing asanas try adding a list under the heels of your hands. here are a few options: 

  1. Use a foam wedge
  2. Use the edge of a rolled blanket
  3. Purchase Wrist Assured Pro (pictured below)