9 tips to prevent hand and wrist pain during Yarnsports

Hand and wrist pain are potential hazards of the yarnsports.

Read Prevent neck and back pain during Yarnsports.


Whether you crochet and knit for fun or for productivity, it’s likely that at some point you will experience some kind of pain in your hands or wrists. Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) can be confused with other issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. However, RSI does not respond to the same treatments. Rest and extended time away from your favorite pastime is the best healer. But who wants to stop knitting or crocheting for a long period of time? Not me!

Ben Franklin declared, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Although he referred to fire safety when he said this in 1736, the axiom holds true for protecting our hands and wrists from strain associated with our fiber crafts.

CAUTION:

RSI is a serious condition. If you are experiencing aching, tingling, stiffness, or inability to move your fingers or your wrist, you should stop crocheting or knitting immediately. ~ Rest. ~ If resting does not completely cure the symptoms, you should seek medical advice.  Continuing to crochet through the pain can make the problem worse.


Just as in any sport ~ follow these steps

WARM UP


·    Soak your hands in warm water to loosen up the delicate muscles in your fingers. Maybe get the dishes done first, then reward yourself with some happy crafting.

·        Stretch those muscles. This website has super clear photos to help you with that.


USE PROPER TOOLS


·     Try ergonomic crochet hooks, the ones with the grippy stem. I’m grateful I finally invested in a set! Mine are like these. I've also found some crafters on Etsy who make custom grips in delightful designs.

If buying new hooks isn’t currently an option for you, then slip a pencil grip over your skinny metal hooks. Other diy solutions—wrap the stem with rubber bands or floral tape to bulk it up for easier handling.

·        Do flat knitting on circular needles. The method is the same, but the weight of your project is resting in your lap instead of hanging from each hand ~ a definite aid in preventing hand and wrist pain!

·        If you’re using bulky or high-friction yarn, try to use metal tools. I once knit a kitty mat using chenille yarn and plastic circulars. Oh. My. Aching. Hands. Never again!

·        Smooth yarns may be better on wood or bamboo so you’re not fighting slippage the whole time.

·        If you already know that your hands will suffer from your passion for your project, then it would be prudent to invest in stress relief gloves. Here’s a quick link to check some out on Amazon. For me, I need to have the thumb attached.


TAKE BREAKS


·  Treat your crochet and knit projects like a sprint, not a marathon. Set a timer for 30 minute sessions. Put down your work, stand up, and go for a glass of water. This not only rests your hands but gives your arms, back, butt, legs, and neck a reprieve from the stress of sitting for long periods. (BTW, who ever said yarnsports must be done in a seated position?)

·        Stretch your hands during each break. Here’s that link again. I've found stretches and massage work best for me to keep hand and wrist pain away.


CONCLUSION ~ prevent hand and wrist pain by taking care of yourself

Treat your hands kindly for, without them, most yarnsports are impossible.

Besides, pain hurts. Please don't hurt my friend. Yes, that's you ;-)

The goal of our crafting efforts is to bless our family or business by accomplishing projects in a relaxing manner with as little pain as possible. Hand and wrist pain, begone!


How do you treat or prevent hand pain in your crafting? Please share your great remedies!



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