Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Can Crocheting Cause Carpal Tunnel

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Should I Stop Crocheting

Knitting causing hand pain and carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel is NOT a reason to stop crocheting! Try taking a break for a few hours or even a few days. You can also try icing your hand, or get a wrist brace! Switching your hook to one that feels more comfortable is also very important in order to avoid carpal tunnel.

Some people find wooden ergonomic hooks to be the best while others prefer hooks with a rubber grip. There are so many tools and resources to help with carpal tunnel when crocheting so dont give up and find what works for you!

Athena Elements Crochet Hooks

These hooks are also a favorite to those who suffer from carpal tunnel and arthritis due to their ergonomic handles. The handles are made out of high-grade thermoplastic rubber that makes it easy to crochet for longer without pain.

Athena Elements crochet hooks have a longer length, making it easy for you to create multiple loops on the shaft. These hooks also make it easy to work with larger yarns as the hooks are up to 6 inches in length.

The hooks have a smooth finish that allows you to crochet without the yarn snagging, which means you get a clean finish on your projects without stress or frustrations.

Pros

  • The needle is full length and does not slip off the ergonomic handle as it goes all the way to the bottom of the handle
  • The handle is sturdy and non-slip, thus causing less tension to the hand
  • It has a longer shaft that makes it easy to crochet patterns that require more loops
  • They are great for Amigurumi projects that require tight stitches
  • They come in all popular US sizes and letters, which means you dont need to convert the sizes

Cons

  • The handle may feel sticky at first
  • They are inline and may be a turn off to those who prefer tapered hooks

Who Can Get Carpal Tunnel

Almost anyone can get carpal tunnel syndrome! But it does affect some groups of people more than others. People who are very active with their hands either at work or for hobbies suffer from carpal tunnel more often.

Manual activities like knitting, sewing, crocheting and even typing can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Additionally, carpal tunnel is thought to be more common in women because women usually have smaller hands and thus their carpal tunnels are smaller increasing the risk of pressure on the median nerve.

The probability of carpal tunnel also increases with age and is very uncommon in those under 20. In conclusion, the group most affected by carpal tunnel are middle aged to older women who do lots of work with their fingers, hands and wrists.

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Are Wooden Crochet Hooks Better

Pros. Knitting needles and hooks made from wood share many properties with those made from bamboo. Wooden needles/hooks are comfortable to use, relatively quiet and have some grip, so are less likely to drop stitches and are good for intricate knitting/crochet. Theyre also light but not quite as light as bamboo.

Teamoy Ergonomic Crochet Hooks

Can Knitting Cause Carpal Tunnel?

Teamoy ergonomic crochet hooks are another great option for those suffering from arthritis or carpal tunnel. They are lightweight and thus cause no strain to your wrists and fingers when crocheting.

These hooks have soft rubber grip handles that reduce wrist, finger, and hand pains. They are beginner-friendly and are also perfect for experienced crocheters.

Teamoy crochet hooks have a smooth finish with no rough edges, ensuring you can crochet without the yarn snagging. The end is also sharp but not too sharp to prevent splitting the yarn. The sizes range from 2.0mm to 6.0mm.

Pros

  • The hooks come in different colors and sizes for easier size identification
  • Sizes are on the handle, thus making it easy to find the hook size you need
  • The rubber grip is removable so that you can remove it if you find them uncomfortable

Cons

  • Hooks are available in only nine sizes

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If Knitting Is Causing You Pain Read This

I’ve been a knitter since my teens, but not until I finished my second novel, “The Immortalists,” did my sporadic hobby become a full-blown obsession. Mentally exhausted and in search of a more relaxing creative outlet, I picked up the needles that sat in a cotton basket and planned a project more ambitious than the scarves of years past: my first sweater. An open cardigan with a shawl collar, this pattern was my gateway drug. The catch? Making sweaters took time. Lots of it. I told myself that knitting was meditative, but it was also addicting: I could knit for hours without stopping as episodes of my favorite television shows played back-to-back onscreen. Even when my back began to hurt or I felt a headache building, I couldn’t stop.

I knew that squinting at my needles wasn’t helping my chronic migraines, and that huddling over a project contributed to the muscle tension in my shoulders. But I didn’t think about the toll knitting was taking elsewhere until I began to experience a burning sensation in my forearms. Before long, I was waking up at night with one hand entirely numb. Worse, there was an ongoing ache in my wrists and hands, particularly around my thumb. I stopped being able to unload the dishwasher, open jars and even drive a car. I was only 28. How could I be suffering from symptoms that typically afflicted people two or three times my age? I didn’t want to admit that something I loved so much could be hurting me.

Stretches That Help Prevent Pain While Crocheting

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Crocheting is a relaxing and therapeutic pastime both mentally and physically, but making sure you get to enjoy crocheting for years to come requires keeping your hands and body in good working order. Experiencing pain while you crochet is never a good sign. Sitting for extended periods of time can lead to tense neck and back muscles. Repetitive motions often cause strain in hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, as well as causing muscle cramps. If you deal with pain from arthritis, carpal tunnel, or a past injury it is especially important to take steps to avoid further damage.

Part of the way you can do this is by performing these 8 simple stretches before you pick up your hook. It might seem like an inconvenience in the moment, but your hands will be much happier in the long run!

Speaking of hooks, this one from Furls was specially designed for people who experience hand pain while crocheting. < Click this link to get one of your own!

The most important thing with these stretches is to remember to be gentle when you do themdont overstretch! Overstretching if you have tendon or joint damage can injure those spots further. If you experience more pain while doing these stretching exercises, stop.

1. Stand up, and reach high into the air, then bend down toward the floor a couple of times. Take it slow transitioning from high to low, and back up again. You should feel the stretch in your shoulders, back, and possibly even your legs.

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How To Choose The Crochet Hook Thats Right For You

If youre looking to try an ergonomic hook then thats my best recommendation. Try one style or brand and see how you like it.

You may need to give it some time. Most of us dont like change! So youll need to stitck to using your new hook so you can adjust to it.

It is more cost effective to purchase a crochet hook set. However, if its not the right hook for you then you may not want to go all in on that product.

Thats why I recommend trying just one ergonomic hook, in a common size like 5mm. You know youll give it plenty of use to see how you like it.

Ive covered the types of crochet hooks I use and what I love about them. There are plenty of others on the market. Whats your favorite? Or what hooks do you want to know more about?

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Summit Orthopedics Provides Personalized Hand And Wrist Expertise

Treating carpal tunnel syndrome and hand pain caused by knitting

The function of our hands is integrated through our wrists and arms to our shoulders a problem anywhere along our arm may have a significant impact on hand function and quality of life. If you experience an injury or uncomfortable symptoms, our fellowship-trained hand and wrist surgeons are here to help. Summit physicians receive the highest levels of training and exclusively provide individualized care for conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow.

Start your journey to better function and less pain. Find your hand expert, request an appointment online, or call us at to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you do have carpal tunnel syndrome from knitting, there are a few ways to help treat the symptoms. Some treatments range from mild to severe, depending on the diagnosis and severity of the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Disclaimer This Website is not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

Wrist splinting Wrist splinting involves placing a splint to hold your wrist still while you sleep. This helps reduce the symptoms of numbness and tingling that often occur at night.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs like ibuprofen or Advil might help relieve the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, however, this is a short term solution and does not help improve carpal tunnel syndrome in the long run.

Corticosteroids Corticosteroids such as cortisone might be injected into the carpal tunnel by a doctor. Sometimes an ultrasound is used to help guide the injections into the right place. The corticosteroids help to reduce swelling and inflammation which helps to relieve pressure put on the median nerve. There are oral corticosteroids as well, but they arent nearly as effective as the injections.

Can Knitting Cause Carpal Tunnel

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Knitting is seen as a super relaxing and rewarding hobby. We associate it with comfortable time spent on the couch, watching a movie and creating a beautiful woolen piece.

However, did you know that knitting can cause carpal tunnel? While knitting isnt an extreme sport, there are certain side effects that it may have on your body, specifically your fingers and wrists.

Learn about what carpal tunnel is, how knitting can cause carpal tunnel, how to avoid it and how to treat it once it sets in.

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Sprained Hand Or Wrist

A wrist sprain occurs when the connecting ligaments between the hand and wrist bones are stretched too far, resulting in a small tear or a break in a ligament. A hand sprain most commonly results from a person using their hands to catch themselves from falling. You can also sprain your wrist due to extreme pressure on the wrist, the wrist being hit, or twisting the wrist. While sprained wrists are a common injury sustained while playing sports, its also very possible to sprain your wrist in your regular daily activities.

A sprained wrist can mimic carpal tunnel syndrome temporarily while you heal because the swelling and inflammation may reduce the carpal tunnel area and cause irritation to the median nerve. The symptoms should go away during the healing process. Weakness in your hand is a common symptom of the two conditions. If your symptoms arise after a sudden injury or fall, you may likely have a sprained wrist. It could also be broken if the injury was severe. In addition, you may have other symptoms, including:

  • Popping or tearing of the wrist.
  • Bruising.
  • Weakness.

Improved Mental Health For Better Crafting

The Best Ergonomic Crochet Hooks for Carpal Tunnel &  Arthritis ...

Knitting and crochet have been shown to reduce symptoms of mental illness, particularly depression. The opposite is true as well when you feel better then you can be a better, more inspired, more productive crafter. As depression lifts, you get more motivated to try new things in your craft, explore your own creativity and use crafting as a form of self-expression. As anxiety lessens, youre more comfortable to take the risk to put your work out there for others to see and even try to make some money off of your knitting and crochet efforts. As you feel better, you craft better and as you craft more, you feel even better.

What can you start doing today to improve your total wellness and therefore improve your crafting?

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Ways To Prevent Hand Pains

Crafting for any length of time can cause pain, so we now bring you some ways to prevent pain when you create. Someone wise said, to live is to love. You gotta love what you do. Thats why we do it, right? Now, one of the lessons that we have learned through life is that sometimes love hurts. So, you either face it and deal with it, OR you try to prevent it.

We know that many of you craft up to the point where you really shouldn’t anymore. When the pain becomes too much, your hands, back, and shoulders can ache. This doesnt mean that you have to stop it just means that you need to make adaptations to reduce the pain of repetitive stress.

Of course, you should always consult your doctor to make sure you are medically okay. And, WE’RE NOT DOCTORS, so we’re not giving you medical advice. But, we did find some tools to help you be more comfortable while you crochet.

So, without further ado

Choose A Lighter Weight Yarn Or Thread

Lighter-weight yarn or thread is easier on the hands than heavier material. A thinner yarn will also require fewer stitches per inch, which means less work overall and less pain while crocheting. Thinner yarns will also allow you to get more done faster because it doesnt take as long to stitch each row together as it does when using thicker material.

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Headaches Neck Shoulder And Upper Back Pain

Headaches and neck pain after crocheting are usually caused by one of two things, eye strain and neck or upper back strain.

Good lighting is the easiest way to prevent eye strain. Also, by contrasting the background to the yarn you are using, it ensures an easier time seeing your stitches. For example, if you are working with dark colors, drape a light or white cloth or towel across your lap to provide a contrast your yarn.

Neck and upper back pain results from looking down at your work either for long periods or repetitively. During your mini-break, relieve neck tension by flexing your head from side to side then forward and back 5 times in each direction. To relieve shoulder and upper back tension, roll your shoulders forwards and backwards 5 times in each direction then squeeze your shoulder blades together tightly, count to 10 then relax for a count of 20, repeat 3 times.

Leg & Lower Back Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes in 75 seconds

Have you ever consider that your lower back pain may be a crochet injury? Crocheting is a sitting hobby, and its impossible to sit for long periods of time comfortably. Lower back pain & leg numbness can be eased with the use of an orthopedic seat cushion.

It provides additional support you need to maintain good posture and the natural curve of the spine. By evenly distributing the weight of the body.

Its design helps to increase blood flow, prevents pain in the lower back, helps with muscle fatigue, leg tightness, hamstring.

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Hand Health For Knitting And Crochet

Hand pain is a burden. Its even more of one when it comes to knitting and crochet. No maker wants to put down their latest hat, shawl, or mitten WIP because of sore hands! Many knitters dont realise that your hands are your most important knitting tools, so it’s important to look after them. As knitting and crochet fanatics, a number of us have chronic hand pain to deal with when we make so were always on the hunt for the best hand pain treatment. There are many hand pain causes out there like carpal tunnel, and arthritis. No matter the cause of yours, were here to help with some easy and handy remedies.

Stretch And Use Massage

There are several great stretches that help stimulate blood flow in your hands and wrists. Try to remember to stretch before you crochet, and about every 15 minutes if you crochet for longer intervals. Using small resistance bands for the hands can help strengthen your grip as well. Stronger hands mean less strain from crocheting.

My physical therapist also recommended using a deep tissue roller ball to roll my thumb joint and my opposite forearm. You might have one at home that would do! If you also have shoulder pain from crocheting, you can use the massage ball to help loosen your upper back and chest muscles, too.

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Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome come on gradually. They may come and go at first gradually getting worse and more frequent as time goes by. Many people experience symptoms at night because of sleeping with their wrists bent. Symptoms may be severe enough to wake you up at night. Holding an object for long periods of time with your wrist bent forward or backward can also cause the symptoms. Usually, the symptoms resolve themselves if you move or shake your hands.

Here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Pain or tingling which travels from the forearm toward the shoulder.
  • Shock like sensations that radiate to the ring, middle, index fingers, and thumb.
  • Clumsiness and weakness in your hand. This may make it difficult for you to perform simple tasks.
  • Dropping things because of numbness, weakness, or a loss of proprioception .

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