While we all enjoy crochet and the lovely results of our time and work, there is a not-so-fun side that many people don't talk about. I've been crocheting for over twenty years now and its only been within the last five that hand and arm pain has really become an issue. At first, I thought this was simply because of the massive amount of projects I tend start in mid November and push myself to finish by Christmas. However, I also have a few friends who deal with this problem quite regularly and one suggested this topic for a post (Sorry it took so long to actually get it posted.)
There are a few different causes of pain while crocheting. We will go over them as well as ways to prevent pain and deal with it when it does happen.
As with any pain, if you are having continued and/or intense pain, you should discuss it with a licensed medical professional. I am not a Doctor or other medical professional. Please be safe and take you health seriously.
Now, lets talk about types of pain while crocheting, the most common causes, and ways to prevent or help relieve it:
- This type of pain is generally caused by prolonged periods of time spent sitting and looking down while crocheting.
- Sitting for long periods of time is not healthy normally and can cause all different kinds of back/leg/hip/shoulder/neck pain. This is especially true when you spend the entire time looking down at a crochet project.
- Preventing this type of pain is simple; Take breaks. For every thirty minutes to an hour you sit crocheting, take ten to fifteen minutes to get up and move around. Go for a walk, step outside for a few minutes. Just get up and stretch out your muscles.
- If you do start having this type of pain, Take a longer break from crocheting and try to relax those muscles. Heating pads or a hot shower can go a long way toward making you feel better.
- I find this is an issue not many people consider when crocheting.
- Depending on how small and intricate your project is, this can be a more important issue.
- I find when working with thread (while making a doily or lace) I often need to wear my reading glasses to help with eye strain.
- If your eyes start feeling tired, painful, or your vision blurs, take a break. Look somewhere farther away for a while.
- Across the room, out the window, etc.
- These are the most common types of pain I hear about from other crocheters.
- If you have had previous issues with Carpal Tunnel, Arthritis, or other hand/wrist/arm injuries, it can make this type of pain a bigger and more serious issue.
- If this is something you have to consider, please discuss this issue with your doctor.
- If your hands/wrists/arms are otherwise healthy, use common sense when dealing with fatigue or muscle strain.
- Take breaks!
- I cannot stress this enough! Breaks are important. Let your hands/wrists/arms rest every once in a while.
- I understand being excited to finish a project or wanting to get it done on time. There are times when I have pushed through the pain to finish a project by a deadline I had set. Doing this can cause the pain to worsen, last longer than it normally would, decrease your ability to use the hand/wrist/arm for an extended amount of time, and has the potential cause more damaging and serious injury.
- If you are having forearm pain, simple Carpal Tunnel stretches or exercises can help loosen up forearm muscles and lessen pain.
- Please check out this post by WebMD for some fantastic examples of Stretching Exercises to Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I use most of them daily.
- Even if Carpal Tunnel is not something you are worried about or currently dealing with, these stretching exercises are a good idea both before an after crocheting.
They can be found in almost any price range and in most stores. These are fantastic to use while crocheting. The only issue is finding an appropriate size. They should fit snugly without cutting off circulation. I would suggest reading customer reviews as different brands tend to stretch and sag with extended use.
I have had many people tell me they use a thumb stabilizing brace to help ease hand/wrist/arm pain.