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Mysterious arm pain only in downward dog

paraflygirl2010-07-04 23:12:05 +0000 #1
I've been having a strange problem that started several months ago. I used to attend yoga class at least once a week, but had gotten out of the habit of going for quite some time. I decided to start again and begin with a home practice to get in shape. When I went into downward dog, I started getting a pain in my left arm within 10 seconds of holding the position. The pain starts a little lower on my arm and seems to travel up to my upper arm and I have to get out of the position or it really starts to hurt quite severly. It's almost like a cramping pain.

I haven't done anything (ever) to injure this arm and I don't notice any pain at any other time - it's just downward dog - well, I haven't tried a handstand,lol.

Does anybody have any idea what this might be? A nurse practioner has already ruled out carpal tunnel syndrome and she doesn't know what it is, but suggested I start taking anti-inflammatory medication. However, I want to know what's causing this. If it age-related (I'm in my early 50's), why would it be just my left arm?

Thanks for any input.


suryadaya2010-07-04 23:26:28 +0000 #2
I suggest stopping a studio somewhere to have an instructor evaluate your hand/wrist/arm/shoulder/back alignment. If its just on one side it could be a body misalignment, or maybe even a vertebrae out of place in your back thats causing excess pressure on one side. An experienced teacher should be able to at least rule out a few problems just by looking at you. In the meantime make sure that you warm up all of your joints - wrist/elbow/shoulder, and give your back a few good stretches before you start. Tightness in places like your lower back or even hips can affect the mobility of muscles in your arms.

Better luck!
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 23:58:47 +0000 #3
Please comment on the issue's presence or absence in:

Plank (phalankasana)

Cobra (bhujangasana)

Upward Facing Dog (urdhva mukha svanasana)

Vasisthasna (side plank)

and Ardha Uttanasana with hands on the wall



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