Sore hands

Anybody can help me to feel better ? My hands are sore because of knitting and crocheting. My 2 fingers from my left hands are tingeling and my right forarm hurt too. I don’t understand, some women knit and crochet for hours everyday and they never feel any pain. What do I do wrong? Any ways to get better (exercises, streching etc.) beside rest??

My hands become painful if I’m frustrated with a pattern, because I ‘clench’ up and hold the needles tightly.

If you have carpal tunnel, or arthritic changes in your hands, that can be causing pain also.

My doctor has told me to hold ice to the area [I]and not to knit,[/I] ha!

Whatever pain killer you take might help also.

I’ve noticed that when I am working on one of the baby blankets I am trying to finish for a teacher at school, the yarn is really thick, and I have to work harder to move the needle…my arm goes numb! I moved to a circular needle and haven’t had this problem since changing from straight needles to the circular. That may help. Also, check that you aren’t resting your elbow on something that could be pressing on a nerve while you are working…cuz, even though I am a new knitter…I am addicted and couldn’t stop now if I had to!
Good Luck!

The secret for knitting for long periods of time is to take breaks! Get up and move around, roll your shoulders and head, stretch your arms (extend them in front of you with the hand pointing up and gently pull back on the fingers; then point the hand down and push) massage your arms especially around the elbow, that’s the muscles that control your finger movements. And loosen up your grip a little.

Is it your pinky and ring fingers that are tingly or is it your pointer and middle fingers?

If it’s the pinky and forefinger than you are compressing the ulnar nerve as it’s passing through the elbow region. Cubital tunnel syndrome or Guyon’s Canal Syndrome. I had symptoms for cubital tunnel last year.

If it’s the other two fingers than it’s more likely carpal tunnel and wrist related.

How’s your grip strength? Does it hurt to shake people’s hands? If so, what fingers hurt?

You have to figure that part out or attempts to curb it won’t be as successful.

For me it was multi-factored. I had a huge increase in phone time for work, started using the eliptical at the gym and got more time to knit. The doctor heard my symptoms of finger pain and hand tingling. He assumed it was carpal tunnel. The physical therapist changed it once she did her exam.

They make both elbow and wrist braces. I don’t wear the braces when knitting since the velcro can catch the yarn. I use them at night when needed as that’s another time I bend my elbows. They sell wrist braces at most any pharmacy. Elbow ones are harder to find. I just wear the wrist ones at night even though I have the elbow condition. It feels different enough to remind me to keep my arms straight when I am sleeping. I only wear them if I wake up and my arms/hands are in pain. Just wearing them the next night gets them back to normal.

Headset helps too if you have a lot of phone talk time for work. Basically, minimize the wrist or elbow activity for the stuff that is not essential (ie anything besides knitting!) Leaning a lot on your elbow can contribute to it too.

Hope this info helps.


I used to have the same problem, Martino. Since arthritis started in my hands a couple of years ago, I had to teach myself not to have a death grip on the needles. I also switched to knitting with only cables or dpn’s and not resting my elbows on anything (except the cat) while knitting. This has helped tremendously and my hands no longer ache from knitting. HTH. :hug:

Hi ! It is the pinky finger and the ring finger that are tingling. So, its my ulnar nerve that is affected right ? What should I do next after knowing that. And thank you for responding.

You can rub just above your elbow on the inside of your arm up into the bicep area. Likely the muscles there are tight and sore from bending the elbow, and a little massage will help loosen them and relieve pressure on the nerve.

There are lot’s of things to do to prevent RMI’s (repetitive motion injuries).
A couple of exercises before you start knitting for the day should help out here.
Splay your fingers (like you are going to pick up a basketball) onto a table or other flat surface. Ever so gently push down to stretch out your fingers and thumb. Hold for 5 seconds, repeat with the other hand. Do this at least twice.
The second exercise is to hold your hand out at arms length in front of you with your hand pointing up, now take your other hand and gently hold the fingers of the outstretched hand and pull back very gently, hold for 5 seconds. Now point your fingers down toward the floor, grab em again and stretch them and hold for 5 seconds. Do this for the other hand also. Repeat for 2 more times on each hand and then shake out your arms.
Now you can start knitting or crocheting.
Another important thing to remember is to take a break every 20-30 minutes and do a couple quick stretches and shake out the arms and hands.
I used to be a foreman on a trim crew and repetitive injuries were out biggest money sucker. Just by doing these simple exercises every morning before they started working, I was able to keep the RMI’s pretty much non-existant.

Oh my, I do so hope that you begin to feel better sooner. #1 - never, ever do marathon knitting sessions! it’s very, very important that you stop and stretch, etc.
I have recently been diagnosed with carpal tunnel and elbow injuries from 20+ years of being on & off of crutches. BUT, PRAISE GOD, my doc is handling this thru therapy and putting off surgeries as long as possible bc it would interfere with my walking (crutches & walker). Anyway…it’s very, very important that you stretch before you begin, that you knit for a few minutes, stop, get up and walk around. you can google exercises and find many, for example some of these may be helpful. Deep tissue massage is also very beneficial, as is heat, paraffin wax baths like those seen in nail salons are wonderful, my occupational therapist highly recommends them. She also stated that the most important thing to do is to listen to your body and if you are doing something and you begin to hurt -STOP whatever you are doing and stretch, etc. As I’ve said earlier with hands & wrists, stretch, heat & exercise and RELAX and have fun!
i know knitting is FUN, but no marathon knitting sessions…I, too, learned this the hard way!
Good luck, hope you are feeling LOTS better!

I keep a can of “Smart Mass” thinking putty in my knitting bag. It can be found at It’s actually one of those putty type things that changes color from the warmth of your hands. It helps me to bring it out my knitting bag once in a while and just squeeze some for a few minutes in each hand.