My past history of knee pain is fairly well documented here on the blog. Two years after beginning a regular ashtanga yoga practice in the 1990’s my knees started to fail on me. Three knee surgeries and more than fifteen years later I have no knee pain and live a fully active life doing whatever I want.
What about that wrist pain I mention at the top? Well… when I first started doing yoga I had been a rollerblading enthusiast, skating extremely long distances with relative ease. But skating requires little to no use of the arms. I was also a waiter and carpenter, both of which required arm strength and dexterity to some degree, so my arms weren’t totally weak.
I took to yoga completely—like I take to most things I like. I was quickly practicing six days a week and in ashtanga that meant a whole lot of jumping back and forward bearing a great deal of my body’s weight with my hands and wrists.
The pain that developed in my wrists simply seemed like a different kind of pain that the misery that was taking over my knees. It wasn’t necessarily less painful but intuitively it seemed less to be concerned about.
As some who helps people out of pain I tread a fine line because I am not big on telling people not to do things that they love, or need to do for work. Musicians often have repetitive stress injuries due to their work but I am not going to tell them to quit. A model who makes a living wearing five inch heels doesn’t want to be told not to wear them even though I think they are not the best choice of footwear.
But I am also not particularly big on the edict of telling people to simply work through pain though in certain, and actually many, instances it works well as a strategy. It just doesn’t seem a responsible approach to take when people put their trust in you.
When it came to my wrist pain, for whatever reason it didn’t worry me the same way my knee pain did. That being said, it was a little freaky to walk down the street and feel a shooting pain up my forearm if I moved my hand even slightly. And that was while walking.
There were times when opening a can became impossible.
And then after more than two years of this particular type of suffering, it passed. That was about 12 years ago and I haven’t had a twinge of pain in my wrists since.