5 ways yoga helps with Dupuytren’s contracture

so we flow... Hands on a yoga mat

so we flow... Hand on a yoga mat

Men are 8 or 9 times more likely to suffer than women

Onset is on average 15 years earlier for men

In parts of Europe, as much as 1/3 of men over 50 have the disease

Alarming figures from The International Dupuytren Society show just how common the painful problem is for us guys.

Sorry, what is Dupuytren’s contracture?

A genetic condition causing one or more fingers to bend in towards the palm, Dupuytren’s contracture can affect one or both hands and it can also get hold of the thumbs. The resulting restriction is painful and can limit the flexibility of other digits and larger parts of the hand.

Fascia in the palm thickens with deposits of collagen, which attach to the tendons and become sensitive to touch. Over time the deposits connect and form chords of solid tissue, these cause a contraction or shortening of the tendons in the palm.

5 ways yoga can help

If you’re part of the bad hand brigade, we expect you’ve had some baffling and contrary advice on how best to keep on top of this excruciating and palm-curling malady. So, here at your favourite hub of all things man-yoga, and with help from our friends at The Mat Movement, we’ve taken the time to identify 5 clear ways that yoga does indeed offer real help.

1. Recognition

Simply placing our hands flat to the mat brings awareness to the disease. That intentional, conscious spreading of the palms at right angles to the floor brings us into our body. From awareness, we can start to ask questions: What is this? How does this feel? What do we need to know? How can we provide nourishment to this issue and what can we do to help?

2. Self-research

Through yoga we develop a stronger attunement to our condition. We’re in a better position to evaluate how our palms, fingers, wrists, tendons, forearms, joints and upper arms feel. We’re sensitive to what works, what doesn’t work and how we respond to different stimuli. Postures are creative ways to examine our bodies, and through varied asana, we learn.

3. Regular practice

Continuing attention means we can trace how our hands feel moment to moment. If we’re in the shala in the afternoon, we’re more likely to open our fingers and prepare our hands through the morning. Without yoga, we can forget our little grippers and when we finally come to use them they’re tight and take longer to loosen.

4. From mat to table

Connecting to the healing and body-aware community through yoga, we’ve the opportunity to experience and fully appreciate the power of massage. If you’re suffering from Dupuytren’s, or other pain and tightness, massage can be a major-league game-changer.

5. Cutting back on the coldies

Principles of yoga go hand-in-hand with consciousness and clarity, so more yogis want to stay clear and clean. Links between Dupuytren’s contracture, smoking, alcohol consumption and liver disease suggest that moving away from booze and fags can only help. We’re not preaching, it’s just science.

Other reading

For more information about Dupuytren’s contracture visit: www.thisisdupuytrens.com

Practical Tips for Dealing with Dupuytren’s from the Dupuytren’s Society

Former professional cricketer and TV pundit Jonathan Agnew on how his Viking ancestry nearly cost him his hands



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