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Janie

Hand/Wrist Problems??

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Does anyone experience hand and/or wrist problems when crocheting? If so, what helps, if anything? I was forced to stop crocheting due to some wrist & hand trouble a few yrs back. Probably carpal tunnel syndrome, Doc has speculated...I sometimes experience pain, numbness, and some pretty remarkable swelling. I never did see a surgeon for it, (my sister had it and advised me against it, for as long as I can hold out). I wore a brace and learned not to over-do (most of the time). It's the hardest thing for me, but I HAVE learned to pace myself so that I am able to enjoy doing what I love, which is crocheting, as well as other various crafts. For me the brace seems to relieve the problem, but I must be careful, still.

Any suggestions?

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I would be interested in some suggestions as well. My discomfort doesn't come close to what you are expieriencing but sometimes I do have to put my crochet away for a couple of weeks because my wrist gets very sore. Oddly enough it isn't my hook hand that gets sore, it's the hand that holds the yarn. Maybe I have a bad way of holding it (I learned how from a crochet book).

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Oddly enough it isn't my hook hand that gets sore, it's the hand that holds the yarn.

 

My yarn-holding pinky is the one finger that gets stiff constantly. I just take a break and stretch it out. If I don't do that, I get a pain in my forearm. When I'm working with thread over the course of a couple days, I stop for one whole day and if I need to crochet (yes, it's a sickness!) then I do something with bigger yarn. I don't have the stiffness problem with bigger yarn.

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I had tendinitis a few years ago and spent an entire summer getting therapy for it. Since then I find that having a pillow under my arm as well as wearing a brace helps. I also alternate my projects , working on a yarn and then switching to a thread project for a hour or so each. I find working with thread a lot harder on my arm than yarn, but I love working with thread!

If I start feeling sore, I take a couple hours or more for a break. I haven't had a problem since I started doing this. I hope this helps a little with your problem.

Wendyb532

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I crochet and make jewelry full-time. That's all I do day and night, so my hands don't get any rest. I make wire jewelry, so I'm always tugging on wire, and my hands have to work hard to do that. I've had some injuries done to a couple of my fingers. I jammed one several times and fractured another, so I have some arthritis in them. When I get orders or I'm down at the last minute getting things ready for a book, I'm crocheting constantly with nothing else. That's when I feel the pain in my elbows and wrists. I get a lot of numbness in a couple of my fingers, and tension in my shoulders. I hold my hook and thread correctly, so it's not that. I believe it's from a couple of things. 1. I sit in a recliner with my feet up, and leaning back. That's not a good position, because my neck has to tilt further down to see my work. Also, my elbows are pushed in by the sides of the chair. That makes me work in a more cramped, tension-like position. I think that is why my elbows get to hurting. 2. I crochet fast, so that causes more tension in my shoulders. I need to make an effort to slow down and go steady, so I don't tense up. I don't think that there is really anything you can do, but slow down, sit in a correct position, switch between a couple crafts, so your hands and arms are doing something different, and take breaks to give your muscles and joints a rest, even 5 minutes does a lot of help. You may not feel like taking a break, but do it anyways. When I am careful to do these things I don't have any problems.

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I find that working on various projects with various sized hooks helps alot. The smaller hooks seem to require less motion and so I move to a thread project when I need some relief and then move to larger hooks (J or K) for my usual stuff.

 

My uneducated opinion is that the changing hook sizes, exercises different muscles in my hand and arms, so therefore I don't overuse the same muscles all the time.

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I suffer from bi-lateral carpal tunnel syndrome (both wrists) and, your sister is right, surgery did not cure it. 6 months later it was back in full force.

 

Some types of massage therapy seem to help some people. I know it does help me.

Another thing that helps is the BioFreeze roll on lotion. It is very cold and feels great on my wrists. I get mine from a chiropractor around the corner from me. :-)

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I've said this before and I know I probably sound like a broken record :P but for anyone who hasn't seen it--if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, try taking a B-complex vitamin supplement. It doesn't help everyone, and it takes a couple of months to start helping, but for a lot of folks, including me, it ends up being almost a miracle cure after a couple of months of taking it. My take on it is that it's cheap enough to be worth trying...

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When my wrists and forearms start to get sore from crocheting, I put a heat patch on it. It helps a lot.

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I have the problem with both hands and wrist. There are times when my hand holding the hook will just let go. I can't hold the hook and I can't pick it up, the hand and fingers on the right hand go numb.

 

 

The left hand gets sore and I have two fingers that just go numb.

 

My dr has me sleeping with braces that cover the hands and wrist. These braces have steel or something down the center of the hand, so you can not bend your wrist when you sleep. Now when I am crocheting I purchased wrist bands that are adjustable and have magnets in them. These seem to help when I am crocheting or knitting. My Dr wanted me to wear my braces during the day, but how can you crochet, knit or do anything with them on????

 

Believe it or not, the magnets do help some.

 

Just another suggestion.:hook

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Oddly enough it isn't my hook hand that gets sore, it's the hand that holds the yarn. Maybe I have a bad way of holding it (I learned how from a crochet book).

 

Me too! Used to hold the fabric really tight, and I used to get terrible aching up my arm. Now I'm consciously trying to hold it more loosely, and it appears to be working. It does slow up stitching a little because I'm having to think about what I'm doing, but I haven't had to stop due to pain for over 2 weeks :)

 

When the pain did get too bad though, I'd break out a knitting project (I'm not that fond of knitting, but it's better than nothing) which would feel just fine.

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Thanks for all the replies and great advice...I'm sorry that everyone else has to deal with these aches and pains, but at least I get to benefit from your experiences.

 

I do wear a soft brace-type thing when I crochet and often at night wear one with the metal going down the center, too. It definitely helps. I've found that I often have to stop and drop my hand down toward the floor, shaking it to let the circulation come back....Geez, I never had these problems in my 20's. ;) Forty-something is sure different! :hook

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I have alot of the same problems as many of you. Mine is definitely c. tunnel. The Dr. told us a way to check. Tap the wrist area with your other hand. If you experience pain or tingling, then it is c.t. I will say this though. My husband had surgery for his. The Dr. Actually removed a tiny piece of the tendon so it could not grow back together (he says that is why most other surgeries fail). My husband has been pain and symptom free since. So, if you have the means, don't rule out surgery!

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I also have pain and problems, Mainly in my hand that holds my thread. I don't know that it is crochet related. It normally flares up when I have stressed it someplace else in my life. but it can make crocheting miserable. I wear a brace at night these days and when I am doing anything that I think might be stressful to it. I rarely wear the brace when I am crocheting. I do have one though that I can crochet with while wearing, So when I have stressed it I can continue on with my crochet work.

I picked up a great brace at the grocery store of all places that has extra support for the wrist. Not just the metal bar. I find I can do just about anything I want or need to do and it doesn't restrict me, but it definitely helps me. I can tell you the brand name if its permissable to.

I refuse to give up what I love doing, so will do whatever is necassary to continue with my crocheting and if I eventually have to have the surgery I will. Though I would rather not unless I have no other options. For now I seem to be able to control it with watching what I do. Wearing the brace before I need it. ( Like when I am gardening not after I have hurt it gardening. )

Taking lots of breaks. That's where you guys come in. I stop often and read a few posts and maybe answer a couple. It keeps me from marathoning like I used to.

I wish you luck dealing with your pain. Mine is definitely c tunnel. My doctor did the same test as Shari's and explained it to me. DRAT it all.

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I thought I was the only one with sore wrists! My right wrist gets horribly sore, and when that starts to happen during crochet, I put my project down and work on my knitted project. That doesn't seem to be any better because then my left palm starts to cramp up. I took up knitting to relieve my wrist from crocheting.. but...either way.. after working nearly all day, my hands are killing me.

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We got some of the Biofreeze for my DH's back and neck and I have been using it on my arm, wrist and hand and it helps so much!

I suffer from bi-lateral carpal tunnel syndrome (both wrists) and, your sister is right, surgery did not cure it. 6 months later it was back in full force.

 

Some types of massage therapy seem to help some people. I know it does help me.

Another thing that helps is the BioFreeze roll on lotion. It is very cold and feels great on my wrists. I get mine from a chiropractor around the corner from me. :-)

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I have had tendonitis for years and since I started doing all my crafts it just keeps getting worse. It had gotten to the point recently, that if I am using the mouse at the computer my whole arm goes numb. I am also a photographer and after I have had a wedding the next day is just pain and swelling. I had one tonite so I'm not going to be able to do anything tomorrow. My pinky is still numb right now from shooting pictures all day.

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I am just getting over tendonitis. I had to completely stop crocheting for 2 plus weeks. I also wore a brace and didn't really do anything with my hand for that time also. It was really painful and I was paranoid that I would have to stop crocheting! Now I am slowly getting back to crocheting. The first day I only did it for 10 minutes and it was hurting again. So I have been slowly increasing the crochet time and stoping every 10 minutes or so and stretching my hand out. I really had a lot of pain in the palm area and thumb area. Stretching really helps a lot. Also massaging it. It is getting much better.

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I too had severe pain in the hand that held the yarn, not the hook. I was unable to even crochet up one side a knitted dish cloth without having to put it down.

 

Now this is not a cure I recommend but as they say something good comes out of something bad....

 

One day I took my neice and nephews to the playground and I thought I could show the kids how to do the barrel roll/log roll whatever you want to call it. Kinda like when the loggers walked on logs in the water. Anyway, I ended up falling but held on to the support bar as I did not want to fall and hurt my body. I ended up hurting my left hand. :eek It was verrrrrry sore, and I could not hold my knitting needles. So I tried crocheting again and there was no pain. I have been crocheting for the past year with no pain. The only thing is the afghan I have on the knitting needles is still unfinished from over a year ago.

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2 suggestions:

 

If you don't already, holding your hook "overhand" can help. That is, if you are able to change - I know I can't crochet using the "pencil" style hold.

 

Hooks with larger handles can help as well.

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