Repetitive movements can cause tennis elbow and Repetitive Strain Injury. This means that knitting is bad for tennis elbow. This is true if you overdue this hobby. Knitting over long periods of hours for months and years can lead to over usage of your forearm muscles.
Tennis elbow is the inflammation of the tendons in your forearm and elbow muscles. This causes pain outside and around your elbow. It happens when you overwork your muscles with repetitive movements.
You don’t have to be a tennis player to develop this condition. Knitting and crocheting over the years can cause this condition. It all boils down to the repetitive actions you do, and how often you do them.
Knitting is bad for tennis elbow because it strains your wrists, elbows, and fingers. This is true, especially on large projects and long periods of knitting.
List of Contents:
- Can You Get Tennis Elbow From Crocheting?
- Does Knitting Cause Tendonitis?
- What Is Best For Tennis Elbow?
- Is Dry Needling Good For Tennis Elbow?
- Should You Wear A Tennis Elbow Brace All The Time?
- Should I Wear A Tennis Elbow Brace At Night?
- Do Tennis Elbow Straps Work?
- Tennis Elbow Strap
- How Does An Elbow Strap Help Tennis Elbow?
- How Tight Should A Tennis Elbow Strap Be?
- Should You Immobilize Tennis Elbow?
- Is It Better To Ice Or Heat Tennis Elbow?
- What Can You Not Do With Tennis Elbow?
Can You Get Tennis Elbow From Crocheting?
Any movement that you constantly do over long periods can cause tennis elbow. This includes crocheting, knitting, and other hobbies that use fingers, elbows, and wrists. If you work on many projects, crocheting can take a toll on your forearms and elbows. Just imagine the numbers of purl stitches, knots, casting, and binding off you perform in a year.
Does Knitting Cause Tendonitis?
Aside from tennis elbow, prolonged knitting can also cause tendonitis. The constant wrists twisting inflames the tendons of your wrists near the thumb. You know you have tendonitis if your thumb becomes stiff and hard to move.
What Is Best For Tennis Elbow?
There are surgical and non-surgical treatments for tennis elbow. If your condition is not severe, you are likely to recover with a non-surgical approach. Here are some non-surgical suggestions to consider:
- Take a rest
This is the initial step to your tennis elbow recovery. You need to give your hands, arms, and elbow some rest. Make sure not to engage in knitting projects for some time. This will lessen the strain and stiffness of your arms, wrists, and elbows.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
Medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin can reduce swelling and pain. Make sure to consult your doctor before taking any of these. This applies to senior knitters and those with heart or blood pressure conditions.
- Consult a physical therapists
Consult a licensed physical therapist if your tennis elbow hampers your everyday activities. Physical therapists can recommend remedies to lessen your pain and discomfort. They can recommend movements to strengthen your arms and hand muscles. A specially trained therapist may suggest you undergo dry needling. It’s a unique treatment to relieve the symptoms of your tendonitis and tennis elbow.
- Dry needling
Trained therapists perform this technique to reduce pain and improve muscle movements. This technique uses fine needles like those of acupuncture. It claims to relieve chronic pains in different body parts.
- Use brace and strap
Wearing tennis elbow brace or strap reduces pain on your forearm and elbow. It relieves these symptoms by immobilizing your tendons and muscles.
In severe cases of tennis elbow and tendonitis, surgical treatments may be necessary. Surgeons remove the affected muscles and re-attach the healthy muscles to the bone. Surgery is the last option if symptoms persist over 6 months to one year.
Is Dry Needling Good For Tennis Elbow?
Dry needling is good for tennis elbow because it relieves the pain and stiffness. This technique has been around for years and proven safe. Dry needling and other treatments help improve your mobility and reduce pain. Keep in mind that only trained therapists can perform this technique.
The process shuts down the nerve that relays pain to your forearm and elbow area. This inactivates the pain signals causing you relief. Dry needling promotes fast healing of your muscles. It improves blood circulation and relaxation of the affected area.
The relief does not mean recovery from tennis elbow. But, this technique improves your muscle mobility and wellness. You need a holistic approach to fully treat your condition.
Should You Wear A Tennis Elbow Brace All The Time?
You can wear a tennis elbow brace all the time until you feel better. Use it only to avoid making the repetitive movements causing your injury. Wearing a tennis elbow brace does not mean you won’t move the affected area at all. The purpose is to relax and rest your forearm muscles to lessen the pain it causes on your elbow.
You may take the brace off to perform stretching and therapeutic exercises. Wear it at times when you cannot avoid moving the affected area. This is true when the movements are habitual and have become almost involuntary.
Should I Wear A Tennis Elbow Brace At Night?
Wearing a tennis elbow brace at night is good. The condition involves pain, swelling, and other symptoms. All these can keep you awake and uncomfortable at night. Using a tennis elbow brace helps immobilize muscles and reduces unpleasant symptoms.
The brace compresses the upper forearm and absorbs the forces. This relaxes your muscles and lessens the pain outside your elbow. Wearing a tennis elbow brace is useful if you clench your fist when you sleep. It prevents your forearm muscles from contracting, giving you a comfortable sleep.
The following are some tips to help you enjoy a good night’s sleep even with your injury.
- Try not to sleep on the injured arm
Commonly, some people sleep on their sides. This can be a problem if you have tennis elbow. Sleeping in your injured area prevents the proper blood flow on your muscles and tendons. It will deter the natural healing process that happens at night. It’s best to sleep on your back at night to boost healing and blood circulation of your injury.
- Put your elbows on pillows
If sleeping on your back is not comfortable for you, you can rest on the unaffected side. This, however, may still cause stress to your injury. The muscles on your upper forearm can add force to your elbow and tendons causing it more pain. This sleeping position may tend you to twist your arm while you sleep.
Put pillows under your injured arm while you sleep at night. Pillows restrict movements on your injury and reduce pain while you sleep.
- Wear a tennis elbow brace
A tennis elbow brace can make sleeping comfortable even with your injury. You put the brace on your forearm a little lower your elbow. This limits the pressure on your affected elbow and tendons giving you a better sleep. This brace supports and restricts the full contraction of your injured arm.
Do Tennis Elbow Straps Work?
Tennis elbow strap works by reducing the pain you feel outside your elbow. This strap, along with tennis elbow brace, helps you deal with your daily activities. Both gears give comfort despite chronic pain and pressure of your injury.
Tennis Elbow Strap
Tennis elbow straps or some call them counterforce straps are widely available. You wear this strap around the mid-forearm up to the middle of your upper arm. The cinch strap must be over your forearm muscles. They should feel secure and comfortable, so don’t make it too tight.
Do not confuse yourself between tennis elbow strap and a tennis elbow brace. The former relieves the pain, while the latter reduces the pressure. Both are useful tools to help you cope with your injury.
How Does An Elbow Strap Help Tennis Elbow?
You wear tennis elbow straps to help you move despite your injury. Put it around your forearm with 2 fingers distance below your affected elbow. These straps are inexpensive and can fit your preferred tightness.
You can buy straps with a mini pillow or gel padding with them. These inclusions provide extra support. If you have these additions, place them over the largest part at the back of your forearm.
It’s important to put the cinch strap in a comfortable fit. It must be snug but not too rigid. The best way to check is by sliding a finger between the strap and your arm. If you can’t slide a finger or you feel a throbbing sensation, then it’s too tight.
The tennis elbow straps compress your forearm and absorb the force causing the pain. This process changes the movement angle of your tendons. This will soon improve its mobility and healing.
How Tight Should A Tennis Elbow Strap Be?
Tennis elbow straps must give you a comfy fit. They must be tight around your forearm but not too straining. You can ensure its snug-fitting by providing 1 finger space between your skin and the strap.
The straps should not make your forearm numb or give it a throbbing sensation.
Should You Immobilize Tennis Elbow?
You should immobilize your tennis elbow to prevent it from its repetitive actions. You must not overdo immobilization over long periods. Therapy and stretches are important to your full recovery.
People experiencing chronic and severe pain can immobilize tennis elbow in a sling. They can also use splint angled at 90 degrees. Therapists and doctors will recommend on how long this immobilization should last.
Is It Better To Ice Or Heat Tennis Elbow?
Applying heat or hot compress is good for your tennis elbow. Heat provides long-term relief and healing of your injury. Medical practitioners may recommend different approaches depending on your condition. Tennis elbow involves pain and swelling on your forearm and outside elbow. Therapists and doctors suggest applying ice or a cold compress to reduce swelling. This is good for a couple of days but not as a long-term remedy.
Applying ice does not help in the healing process. This is true in the study made by Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc published on February 23, 2014. It states that cold causes the blood vessels around the injured area to constrict. This will then shut off the blood flow and inhibit the healing. Poor blood circulation can lead to permanent damage to your nerves.
This denotes that ice must be a temporary relief. Applying ice packs over the affected area must only be around 5 to 10 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Do this in a couple of days, then switch to heat compress. Heat solution offers more relief to your tennis elbow. It promotes proper blood circulation on your tennis elbow.
The heat helps your muscles relax and expands to allow proper blood flow to your injury. The good blood circulation around the injured area speeds up the healing process. Applying heat on your tennis elbow must be around 10 to 15 minutes each day. You must not do it longer or too frequently to avoid skin and muscle damage. You can do a heat solution as you undergo other treatments or therapies until your full recovery.
What Can You Not Do With Tennis Elbow?
Having a tennis elbow limits your movement. The pain and swelling prevent you from performing your daily tasks and exercises. Below are some exercises and hobbies you must avoid when you have tennis elbow.
Hobbies and Leisure Activities
- Slicing, cutting, and preparing food
- Excessive computer use
- Fixing things with screwdriver
- You must stop playing sports that use your arms and wrists like
- Push-up, bench press and chin-up
- Dumbbell curls and barbell lighting
- Straight-arm routines
- Weight lifting or repetitive motions
Tennis elbow is the last thing you want on your arms. This condition prevents you from doing the things you enjoy like knitting, exercise and sports. For knitters, you must take care of your arms. These are the parts of your body that you use most of the time. Work on projects but give your body time to rest.
It’s fun to knit, especially when you have mastered the skills. But the frequent stitching, knitting and casting may take a toll on your health. Learn to manage your time and balance the projects you work on. It’s true that knitting can make you forget the time and just go on with your creation. You will never run out of projects so don’t over exert your body – your arms, to do everything continuously.