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Topic: Knitting Aches: proper posture suggestions?  (Read 3706 times)
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« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2006 08:30:56 PM »

First off, if you think you have carpal tunnel, you need to go have your hands looked at! The sooner it's diagnosed and you have it corrected (minor surgery), the better chance you have at no nerve damage and a full recovery! If you do already know that you have it, (and even if you don't) try sleeping in ACE wrist braces. I have carpal tunnel and am lacking the $$ to have it corrected, and I sleep in the braces every night. It helps amazlingly! The reason the braces help is because they keep your wrist in a healthy position. Having your wrist flexed too far forward or back does serious damage.

That would be my main suggestion. Deal with the carpal tunnel, and try sleeping in the braces when your hands are bothering you. Also, what everyone else has said. Use light needles. Try and watch the way you are holding them, and take frequent breaks.

Let me know if you have any questions!
« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2006 09:13:27 PM »

Most carpal tunnel is actually tight muscles in the arms, necks and shoulders. A good massage, seated or on the table, can help enoromously. Try self massage too, especially the lower arm muscles near the elbow, and the upper arms. Tight muscles will squeeze the nerves and blood vessels causing numbness, tingles and a lack of blood flow.


« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2006 11:40:24 AM »

Some of this has already been suggested but...

Breaks with lots of arm, wrist and finger stretching and massaging ever 15-20 min. I do best when I remember to put down the needles regularly, stretch well, and do a lot of rolling my wrists around and flexing my hande/fingers.

Try different methods of holding your yarn and/or needles. Find something really comfortable and that doesn't make you tense or hold thigs too tightly. Can be a bit awkward for a while but you'll get used to a different method after a while. You could try Continental or combination knitting. I can't attest to these personally though. I find I just don't like Continental much.

Experiment with lots of different needles makes and materials. Different brands of metal needles have different weights that can make a difference. Bamboo can be easier on your hands. There are lots of wood options as well (birch, rosewood, ebony). May cost a bit more but if it allows you to knit pain-free, it's worth it. You might also try the super flexible Bryspun needles. Or plastic, casien, resin, etc. Try circulars, or shorter straights. Different circs have different weights and needle lengths so experiment until you find something that works for you. They're not cheap but Addis are super light and great to work with. There are so many options out there, something's bound to work for you.

Do more simple stitch patterns you don't have to look at. Practice in stockinette or garter stitch just feeling the stitches without looking down at your work. This is easiest with some good quality, non-splitty, medium weight wool. Takes time to learn but is so helpful once you do.

Support your elbows and back well. Don't hunch over. I'm bad about this and it makes my back hurt across my shoulders after a while. I often don't notice until the following day.

Try propping your pattern up on one of those book holders or even a music stand. That way you can keep it at eye level.

Find a good chiropractor and have your back adjusted. I find this helps a TON with neck pain especially and also really helps with posture. A regular massage helps a lot too. Or an adjustment then a masage. Mmmm.... I need to do that again ASAP. Many chiropractors' offices have massage therapists on staff so you can make the appointments together and a lot of insurance plans will cover a portion of the massage as well.

After the fact, anti-inflamatories can help. Don't take 'em before hand though. Like going to the gym, it can help to prevent swelling afterward but if you take something before hand you might not know you're hurting yourself. Pain means stop, or do something differently. It's your body telling you something is wrong and shouldn't be ignored.

Do you do a lot of typing or using a mouse and such? You might need to adjust how you do other things like this that could be making the general problem worse. Good posture, a good chair, and frequent breaks while doing computer work and such can help you stay in better shape for knitting in the first place.

« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2006 12:12:16 PM »

Do you do a lot of typing or using a mouse and such? You might need to adjust how you do other things like this that could be making the general problem worse.

Oh, that's a good one. I developed tendonitis in my wrist partly due to not watching how I held my hand using the mouse. Make sure your wrist is straight and not bent down with the hand up. That's really hard on the arm and wrist. There's a pattern for a knitted wrist rest in the Completed projects board somewhere.


« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2006 01:16:10 PM »

i am on the computer half the day. i try to use the mouse with my left hand, and usually type with my left hand b/c the baby is usually in my right lap. i have started to teach myself continental. it's coming along slowly, but hopefully i can get faster soon.

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