Knitting pain

Okay, I really, really need help. I am developing carpal tunnel in my right hand. Last night my left hand was cramping when I tried to spin. Flood me with advice on keeping this at bay. I already stretch, and knit various projects to switch up the size of my yarn and needles. Help. Must knit and spin. I’m way too young to have to deal with this. I have a long fiber career in front of me.

A huge thanks in advance!

When I was in dentistry I suffered horribly with carpal tunnel. I used to wear a brace and that helped alot. Resting the wrist helped but wasn’t practical. Worse case scenario do the surgery, supposedly from the people who have had it that I’ve talked to they have no regrets and recovery was pretty quick. I opted to retire instead. :teehee: Hopefully, knitting won’t bring it back on again. :verysad:

Most carpal tunnel pain is from tight arm muscles, and that’s why surgery on the carpal tunnel itself doesn’t usually help. Stretching is good, so is massage and warmth on the muscles to help relax them. Poke around your forearms, especially close to the elbow and in the middle of the arm (top and bottom) and look for tight or tender spots. Rub them a bit, gently at first, then more firmly.


I developed tendonitis in my wrist from knitting. The OT gave me exercises and wrist braces to wear while knitting. I am also suppose to knit for only 15 minutes at a time then take a break.

I have tendonitis too. Mine comes mostly from overstraining at work (I’m a massage therapist) compounded by too much knitting and too much computer mouse a few months ago. The overly tight muscles and tendons pulled a few of my wrist bones out of alignment too. Caused much pain with certain hand/wrist movements. Most of the bones have shifted back and it’s gradually getting better. I’m using Traumeel, an homepathic/herbal anti-inflammatory and analgesic cream which can be found at health food stores. If I’m going to knit or use the computer a lot, I wrap the wrist and most of my lower arm in an ace bandage - seems to help some. And stretches and rubbing…


I wear fingerless gloves and flex my fingers up for 30 sec. then I’m good to go.
I also make sure I am sitting where my elbows can rest on something-my knitting recliner. I :heart: my la-z-boy!

I wear a brace at night when my carpal tunnel flares up. I found it really helps, especially when my hand would go numb, really numb. It would wake me out of a dead sleep and take up to an hour to get the feeling back. The first few nights were annoying, but you get used to it.

Thanks for the advice. Nothing has gotten really bad so far. I just don’t want it to get any worse.

hi lily…

a good friend of mine suffered from cts and had quite a severe case (had trouble even holding utensils at one point!). she tried all the standard therapies stopping just short of surgery. her last ditch effort was visiting an accupuncturist. it cured her and saved her from surgery. the dr she visited was an md trained in accupuncture. he explained to her that a few visits should do the trick and if she didnt get any relief after that, it wasnt the modality for her. its not too invasive, not too expensive and might just help u before it gets really bad.

good luck!!!

debby :slight_smile:

Acupuncture is wonderful for lots of things, including pain. I worked for an acupuncturist and it was amazing to see the improvement in people with strokes, MS, and other things.

Massage is also good for CTS because the main cause is tight muscles, not just in the hand, but the neck and shoulders too. When they get tight, they squeeze the bones down on the nerves and blood vessels, cutting off the flow to the hands.

Either one of these options is much cheaper, and much less invasive, than surgery. Though most insurance won’t cover it. :frowning:


I used to have a bad problem with wrist pain at work. (I was an executive assistant, so I was on the computer constantly.)

They sent me to an ergonomics specialist, who advised me to change the height of my desk, change the way I was sitting, and put my computer keyboard on a tray that flipped out from under the desk.

The pain went away completely.

I’m sure there are things you could do differently when knitting and spinning that will help with the pain.

Do you have a video camera, or could you borrow one? Try videotaping yourself spinning and knitting. Then, think about what you could do to keep your back, arms and hands at a more comfortable angle. Maybe you’ll need a different chair or a thicker cushion. Maybe you should adjust the angle you are holding your arms or hands. Maybe you are unconsciously putting weight on your arms or hands.