Friday, June 20, 2014

5 ways to prevent crochet hand pain

Many crochet addicts at some point in time will experience some type of stiffness and pain in their hands, wrists, arms, and/or shoulder. I call it crochet hand pain since it is often brought about from the overindulgence in our favorite hobby and typically the majority of the pain is centrally located in the hands. At least it is for me, and it has been driving me crazy the past week. 

What causes crochet hand pain?
There could be a number of contributing factors, but the main culprits are:
-repetitive motion
-tight grip on hook
-finger position 

What can you do about it?
An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure; however, these preventive tips are also useful if you're currently going through a bought of crochet hand pain. Here are five simple steps to help you.

-Sit with support. If you don't have adequate support and light, you may strain your hands, arms, or shoulders trying to compensate. Those muscles begin to fatigue. Periodically check your posture. You also want to ensure your forearm has support as well. A pillow can assist in this matter.

-Take regular breaks. Break up the repetitive motion by giving your hands and wrists a rest. Before you start crocheting, set a kitchen time for 30 minutes to remind yourself to take a break. When it goes off, you stop what you're doing and take a break for ten to fifteen minutes. Your break should not mean you hop on the computer, since typing and mouse clicking are not really resting your hands and wrists.  Look to do something else like taking a short walk, getting a glass of water, or perhaps a household chore you've been neglecting to free up more time to crochet. Don't act like you're not guilty of this, we all are!

-Massage, stretch, and exercise. Gently massaging your hands, wrist, and forearm to encourage blood circulation.  Living Strong have some suggested hand stretches to try. Remember to not just focus on your hands. Incorporate your arms, shoulders, and back, since these are all interrelated and support one another. Ergocise has a number of wristshoulder, and back stretches with short animations demonstrating the moves. Simple yoga poses also help with an all body stretch. 

-Use cushions on your hooks or other ergonomic hooks. This all depends on your level of preference. Some people absolutely love the ergonomic hooks with large wooden handles for easy grips, while others think it feels awkward. Others place on their regular hooks the little foam pencil grips. One suggestion a read talked about wrapping rubber bands around the hook for cushion. Whatever you try, only use one hook at first. If you like it, then replace your hook set.

-Wrist brace or stress relief gloves. These items provide extra support. When my wrists are acting up, I'll wear wrist braces to bed so my wrists are not all bent up when I'm sleeping. Sleeping with my wrists curled up places stress on them.

Practice these preventive measures to be happily hookin' and stitchin'!

What are some things you do when crochet hand pain strikes you?

Margaret (24 February 2012). 5 simple ways to relieve and prevent hand pain. Lion Brand blog. Retrieved from

Maruska, S. (25 February 2013). How to prevent crochet pain due to repetitive motion. Yarn Obsession. Retrieved from 

1 comment:

  1. I have carpal tunnel in both wrists from stitching too many afghans one year. I've tried the braces, prescribed by our doctor. Ha! Couldn't sleep in them, that's for sure. I do try to take breaks often but when my hands go completely numb, I simply put my crocheting down and get busy doing something else until the circulation returns. I'm not going to have the surgery, as suggested by many, due to the fact that I'm afraid my hands would come out worse than what they are now. So I'll just keep plugging away and deal with the problem when it happens.
    Bobbie :)




Related content