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Topic: Knitting Aches: proper posture suggestions?  (Read 2134 times)
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kitschkween
« on: December 22, 2006 12:21:03 PM »

 Cry I try to knit at least an hour a day for my sanity, but IT HURTS SO MUCH!!! My arms tire easily. My shoulders are sore. My neck gets sore from looking down at my project. I think I have some serious carpal tunnel going on. The cramps in my hands and fingers use to go away over night, but not anymore. I love knitting, so I just push through the pain. I like to sit on the couch and knit while I'm watching t.v. or nursing my son.  Is there a way to prevent all this pain? I'm only 22 and I'm afraid I'll be arthritic by next year if I keep going at this rate.   Cry
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006 12:34:24 PM »

I think you may be knitting for too long at once. Try knitting for 15 mins, take a brake, and then knit more.
You you get pain like this, you need to stop. It's your body trying to tell you that you've done enough.
I know there are glove thingeys sold at Hobby Lobby that I hear are very good for achy fingers and hands. Perhaps you should look into those.
After you back off the knitting, if you keep experiencing this pain, please considering seeing a doctor. Healthy knitters are happy knitters!
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006 12:45:44 PM »

I actually used to have a similar problem - no matter if it was 5 mins or more, I would get terrible cramps in my hands and fingers, and major pain in my wrists - enought that I gave up knitting for awhile. Then, one day I was a store, and found some yarn I really loved, and decided to give it a go again. This time, I picked up a pair of bamboo needles - and let me tell you - it's made ALL the difference - no pain no matter how long I knit or where I sit. I also now have some Boye aluminum ones that I picked up at walmart because they're hollow in the middle :. light - no problems with those either! So, I would suggest maybe trying a lighter set of needles?
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2006 12:53:11 PM »

I used to get pain like this when I first started crocheting.  Make sure you're actually comfortable in whatever position you're in.  I like to have my back supported, so often, you'll find me on the floor against a wall with my knees up.  When I first started, I put a couple pillows under my arms to support them.  Now, the only time my wrist hurts is if I'm using a small hook for long periods of time.  Make sure you're stretching your back and neck every once in awhile, too.  Too long in one position will make you stiff!  Smiley
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kitschkween
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006 01:02:08 PM »

i've been using those lion brand plastic ones. i should invest in bamboo.
I actually used to have a similar problem - no matter if it was 5 mins or more, I would get terrible cramps in my hands and fingers, and major pain in my wrists - enought that I gave up knitting for awhile. Then, one day I was a store, and found some yarn I really loved, and decided to give it a go again. This time, I picked up a pair of bamboo needles - and let me tell you - it's made ALL the difference - no pain no matter how long I knit or where I sit. I also now have some Boye aluminum ones that I picked up at walmart because they're hollow in the middle :. light - no problems with those either! So, I would suggest maybe trying a lighter set of needles?
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2006 06:42:32 PM »

I find that if I have to knit (nearly always Wink) it's better to work on a project that allows me to look up and watch TV or something.  I get neck cramps (and then headaches!) all the time if I don't take care to not look down while I'm knitting.

Also, as for posture I find that sitting straight up is better than lounging for my lower back, but my favourite knitting chair is actually the family rocking chair, because I can prop myself back and manage to look at my knitting without  having to look down as much.
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Kittiker
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2006 02:06:09 AM »

Another couple of things which might help:
- put a pillow on your lap and knit with your knitting and wrists supported on that.
- make sure you can see what you are doing. Is the lighting good enough or do you need glasses to see your work? This helps a lot with neck pains and headaches.
- A lot of people find switching between English and Continental helps . Just not on same project.
- Try to teach yourself to knit without looking at your work for simple patterns. This really just takes practice to manage and will help with your posture a lot.
- Don't knit when it hurts!!! It's meant to be fun. (but I do understand!!) Bear in mind that taking a short term break to help your muscles heal is lots better that permanently disabling your knitting bits!!
Hope this helps
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kitschkween
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2006 05:52:51 AM »

thanks so much everybody. i hope it gets better. i'll try not knitting when it hurts. it'll be hard, but it has to be done.
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006 06:50:10 AM »

Another tip we recommend at the yarn store where I work: ALWAYS USE CIRCULARS! If you are using long straight needles, your hands/wrists are bearing too much weight. Circular needles can always be substituted for straight knitting.

About carpal tunnel syndrome: My husband has it, and his doctor told him blood flow will help immensely. Get up every 30 minutes and walk around the room with your arms waving around and see if it helps.
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kitschkween
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006 07:00:59 AM »

i never thought to use circs! i actually never tried circs, but now i'm more motivated than ever to.
Another tip we recommend at the yarn store where I work: ALWAYS USE CIRCULARS! If you are using long straight needles, your hands/wrists are bearing too much weight. Circular needles can always be substituted for straight knitting.

About carpal tunnel syndrome: My husband has it, and his doctor told him blood flow will help immensely. Get up every 30 minutes and walk around the room with your arms waving around and see if it helps.
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