Butchers, grocery store workers and others who do repetitive work should start the day with yoga exercise to reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, a specialist has suggested.

A recent study has shown that yoga can help reduce pain and increase the grip of sufferers.

Dr Winston Dequeira from the Rush College of Medicine in Chicago believes that industrialists and trade unions should consider introducing yoga into the working day for any employee involved in repetitive work, now recognised as a major cause of the syndrome (BMJ, 1999; 353: 689-90).

In the randomised controlled trial, sufferers were treated either with yoga exercises or with splints. The yoga group tried 11 postures for the arm, each held for 30 seconds, and relaxation.

After eight weeks, grip strength was significantly better and pain reduction greater in the yoga group (JAMA, 1998; 280: 1601-3).

Dr Sequeira postulates that the exercises might help stretch the space within the carpal tunnel.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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