Various reasons can cause pain to your hands. If you are a knitter, you probably know.
Knitting, as much as it is a relaxing hobby, can bring pain to your hands. Knitting is not entirely bad for the hands, but as a knitting enthusiast, you must look out for these pain-inducing moments that fellow knitters have experienced through time. Pain experienced during knitting may be due to fatigue in the hands and arms from the repetitive movements of knitting or holding a position for a long time. Pain may also come from holding the needles too tightly or the tension of the yarn.
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How do I stop my fingers from hurting while knitting?
If knitting can cause pain on your fingers, there are ways you can prevent it from happening to you. Knitters have found practical solutions to prevent your fingers from hurting due to knitting. Here are some recommendations fellow knitters advise are working for them.
- Find the cause of your discomfort. When you are already experiencing pain on your fingers, the first thing that would come to mind is how you can treat it. A better approach is to look for the cause of your discomfort, understand why it is happening, and avoid the movement that is causing the pain.
- Pay attention to your knitting habits. Sometimes, in an effort to finish a project quickly or become too hooked to stop knitting, you are not aware of how you use your fingers and even neglect your body’s position while knitting. Some knitters use their index fingers to push the stitches towards the needle to avoid slipping. This habit can cause pain because you keep hitting your finger with the tip of the knitting needle. Pain can worsen, especially when you use smaller needles, which have sharper tips. You can try to control your stitches by using the other needle to push instead of your fingers.
- Avoid having a very tight grip. Sometimes you can focus too much on not missing a stitch or else all your work will go to a waste of time. Thus, you unintentionally hold onto your needles very tightly, unaware that your hands are getting tired.
You can change this unintentional practice by using ergonomic knitting needles. Ergonomic knitting needles are designed to fit perfectly into your hands so that you can naturally hold them as you knit. The needles are usually made of soft material on the area where you hold them. They promote normal grip to avoid sore fingers and wrists with long hours of knitting.
- When struggling to keep your needles up is real. You can try using a circular needle so your knitting project can rest on the cable itself rather than on the needles. This way, you do not need too much effort to keep the needles up. You can also put pillows beside you where you can rest your arms instead of carrying your project’s weight and your needles as you knit. Placing a pillow on your lap where you can rest your hands and your knitting can also help prevent your fingers from hurting.
- Find the right tools. Using bamboo knitting needles can help your fingers from getting hurt and tired from knitting because they weigh less than their metal counterparts and create less friction between needle and yarn.
How do you protect your fingers when knitting?
Do not wait before you feel the first tinges of pain before changing your bad knitting habits that affect your fingers. Erase the practice of using your finger to push the needle to keep your stitches in place; instead, use the other needle to prevent stitches from sliding off. You can also try knitting looser so your stitches can move along the needle more manageable, and there is no need to push it.
Some knitters have looked for finger protectors, and some have even designed and made their versions to make knitting comfortable on the fingers. It is possible to make these finger protectors from cloth, spandex-blend fabric, or rubber. These finger protectors can protect your finger from yarn chafing when you knit. They may also protect your fingers from getting hit frequently with the needle tips.
And last but not least, rest your fingers by taking frequent breaks, especially when you have big and bulky projects. Stretch your hands and arms after every knitting session to help your blood circulate to your extremities. You can also alternate between knitting projects to avoid too much strain on your fingers.
Does knitting cause arthritis?
There are no studies that indicate that knitting can cause arthritis, although knitting can aggravate this condition. That is why, when there is a recurring pain in the wrists or hands, it is best to have it checked by a medical expert to try treatment options for arthritis and get recommendations on how frequently knitting can be done.
Is knitting bad for arthritic hands?
Medical experts indicate that knitting and other needlecrafts can still be done by people who have arthritis. But they should follow some guidelines and should rest if they experience pain.
Knitting and other craftwork making use of the hands can be considered exercise for people with arthritis. Doing needlepoint such as knitting or crocheting can keep their condition from worsening. The movements encouraged by needlework helps the fluids to move in and out of the surrounding cartilage. These constant movements make the joints well-hydrated and lessen arthritis outbreaks.
Can knitting cause trigger finger?
Knitting can cause trigger finger. Trigger finger is a condition that happens to people who have work or activities straining to the hands. The tendons responsible for the finger’s bending do not work as they should, and there is great difficulty in bending a finger.
Repetitive motion and medical conditions like arthritis and diabetes can cause trigger finger. Knitters, people who engage in craftworks like crochet, musicians, and factory workers, are at higher risk of experiencing this condition.
Can you get RSI from knitting?
RSI means Repetitive Strain Injury. Knitters are susceptible to this condition because it occurs when the muscles and tendons of the wrists and fingers become strained by repetitive movement. In RSI, the damaged muscles contract, limiting movement of the hand. RSI symptoms include aches and pain, cramp, stiffness, tingling, numbness, weakness, and swelling.
It is essential to rest your hands if you experience any of these symptoms before, during, or after knitting. If you continue to knit in this condition, it could make the problem worse as the muscles and tendons become more swollen.
RSI is a condition that is quite hard to understand because it is sometimes confused with common hand injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis but does not respond to treatments of these conditions. However, it was observed that when the activities which could have caused the condition was minimized, like knitting and other needlecrafts, the symptoms improved in months.
So, resting from knitting when your hands say so will be more beneficial to you. Reducing your knitting time, regular hand exercises, and frequent breaks during knitting will help you recover from RSI. It is an excellent bargain against not having to knit at all.
Developing better knitting habits can bring you back to the reason you are knitting in the first place – to relax and be amazed at your hands’ work.