Yoga should not be painful. Unfortunately, so often in class and online I hear comments like “I would do more yoga… but it hurts my knees/wrists”. More commonly wrist and knee pain can be caused by an all fours position. I want to address a few easy modification you can do to help alleviate and maybe even stop wrist and knee pain on all fours.
Wrist and knee pain on all fours?
Why do some people experience wrist and knee pain? Because they are stuck in “traditional rules” of a yoga pose. The traditional way of being on hands and knees is to have everything stacked. Wrists below shoulders, and knees below hips. You can see more clearly in the photo below.
Most people can be perfectly comfortable here. However for others, being on all fours like this can be painful. This position can cause a lot of compression in the joints of knees and wrists, causing pain and discomfort. So how to we prevent wrist and knee pain on all fours? Follow the three steps outlined in this article, or go watch my video!
Easing knee pain on all fours
How do we make the knees happier on all fours? One of the simplest and easiest ways to help with knee pain is to simply add support. The knee joint is pretty complex and has very little muscle/fat around it. Folding a blanket or towel under the knees does wonders in relieving knee pain in this position. You can buy yoga blankets at Yoga Nook, and Amazon also has a great selection. Personally, I don’t do yoga without my blanket.
Easing wrist pain on all fours
Wrist pain is probably one of the common complaints I hear in yoga. If you’re experiencing wrist pain on all fours, it could simply be that the floor is too hard. Consequently a blanket could be your solution again. You could also use a couple of soft yoga blocks under the hands.
Another simple solution is to move the hands forward. Again, that tradition ‘stacked’ position may just be causing too much compression in your wrists. So, move the hands further forward of the wrists. Towards the front of your yoga mat. Therefore, as a result. you have a less severe angle at the wrist causing less pain.
Still got wrist pain?
So you tried walking the hands forward and still have wrist pain? You may need more lift for the heel of your hand! Take the blanket again and drape the fingers over the front edge. Subsequently reducing the angle of compression in the wrist. Likewise a yoga wedge can also work well for this task. I heartily recommend a wedge to clients with wrist or ankle issues.
So I hope these tips help alleviate wrist and knee pain in yoga poses, and specifically in the all four position. If you have questions about yoga or poses you’d like to me cover then let me know in the comments!
- have you experienced pain/discomfort in yoga?
- Do you use a blanket in Yoga?
- What’s your favorite yoga pose?