Uh oh

OK, I admit it, I am having a lot of pain and tingling in my right hand. And it is asleep when I wake up in the morning. I have been avoiding admitting this to myself for about 2 weeks now.
I have been doing a lot of knitting and a lot of keyboarding at work.

I also have been doing a lot of mouse work from a standing position while helping students who are having computer problems. I know, I know, not good ergonomic position.

I’ve been through this before and it “wasn’t bad enough” to show up on any tests, and it couldn’t be pinpointed to exactly where the problem was. Weren’t sure it if was Carpal Tunnel or Ulner nerve problem.

What I really don’t want to admit is that the knitting is causing this issue. I have been doing more knitting lately, it has been getting me through some really stressful times. I do more keyboarding and mousing than I do knitting as far as time ratio. :help:

Sorry for the pity party, just feeling scared by this and don’t want to end up back at the doctor’s office with endless testing in my future.

Uh oh. I know how it is. I was having TERRIBLE pain in my left hand forefinger. Turned out that it was knitting. Grrr. When I knit now, I be sure not to clang my finger into the needle like usually happens. Hope you figure it out soon!

It may not be CTS but tight muscles and tendons in your arm or neck and shoulders. When muscles get tight, they pull on the bones which can in turn put pressure on the nerves leading to the hands and fingers. Give your arm a massage, from the wrist to the shoulder, and have someone work on your upper back and neck. Even a 10 minute chair massage in the mall (or wherever) can be of help. Better yet, book a half hour or hour massage on a table; it’s well worth it, more than spending the same money on a doctor visit and tests.

When you help a student bending over you probably pull your head back, so that strains the neck muscles. See what you can do to relax all the muscles from your neck to wrists (heating pads/pillows) and watch your body position. It can help prevent worse problems.

My mentor warned me about this, she is a computer teacher and developed wrist and neck problems. You are 100% right, I need to really pay attention to my position. And the massage is a great idea. I’ll look into it this payday. Much better than paying for my doctor’s next vacation.
Thanks for the ideas and support!

Hmmm. I’m not a specialist in these matters whatsoever, but better do something about it now because it gets worst! Taking frequent breaks and move your hand once in a while maybe would help?

I had neck problems related to my laptop, and because I didn’t want to admit it, it got pretty bad. If only I’d done something about it earlier… :wall: Lesson learned! My physiotherapist gave me some exercises to do while I’m working, and it’s been helping a lot.

You may also be aggravating it by bending your wrists at night. Get some wrist guards to sleep in and see if that helps.

I know I need to take more breaks at work and to watch my hand position while typing. There is a rest thing attached to my keyboard and I am noticing that I rest my wrists on it. That is probably not helping.
I won’t let it go too long, I am going to try massage and heat and see if I can’t resolve the main issues but if not, I will see a doc.

Another thing is needle size. If all your projects are done on mostly the same needle size, try doing one that calls for a much different size, either larger or smaller. This helps since you’re not holding your hand in the exact same position with different sizes.

I had the same problems, caused by over-knitting, and typing.
How I solved the problem:

  1. set a timer, knit no longer than 20 minutes at a time
  2. wait about an hour between knitting sessions
  3. I belong to a gym, so, I went to the exercise machines EVERY day, before knitting, and did a lot of stretching exercises, and weight lifting.
    I do this one, using a 2 lb. weight: http://www.changingshape.com/exercise/strengthtraining/gym/dumbbellsideshoulderraise.asp

and, I get on the machine with big pads, that you put in front of your forearms, and then the machine pulls your arms BACK, and then you push the pads forward, to about in front of your face, then stretch your arms BACK again. That helps.
Plus, I do an arm swing, making my arm going in a complete circle,
about 20 times.
And, I got a squishy ball, and I squeeze that, which helps my hand muscles.
I do this every day, plus, whatever a professional recommends.

Plus, open your hands WIDE, make your hands stretch out like stars,
way out, and keep doing that. It all helps.

Two words for you… Jack Daniels. Cures anything. :mrgreen:

LOL Mason!! :roflhard: :roflhard:

Hey, you’re not supposed to know what JD is…!

Have you tried using one of those squeezy ball things? Sorry, don’t know the"official" name of them…lol…Maybe do it for a little while in each hand a couple times a day? When I was learning to play my violin, I did that to help with the cramping in my hand…Also, have you tried using wrist supports while knitting or using the keyboard? That may help too. You can get them pretty cheap at Walgreen’s/Wal-Mart/Target.

:roflhard: That would lead to much bigger problems and might get me on the news… in a bad way:happydance:

This is a great idea! I have been doing a lot of dishcloths lately and I wondered about working with the less flexible cotton yarn. I will give the different needle thing a try.

"Jan in CA: You may also be aggravating it by bending your wrists at night. Get some wrist guards to sleep in and see if that helps."
I have one of those somewhere, I just have to find it. I know that will help as it has done wonders in the past.

I also have a doctor’s appointment next week. Had to go anyway so I made the call…
Thanks everyone for all your great suggestions…and to Mason for putting things into perspective!

Oh yeah, working a lot with kitchen cotton is hard too, especially if you use smaller needles. I’ve only used it for a summer top with 7mm needles, for string bags on 15s or my yoga mat bag on 10.5s, so it wasn’t a probably for me.

So I got the brace and have been sleeping with it on and that is helping a lot. I also discovered I am knitting with a death grip using the Cotton and new Inox needles I just got. Switched to bamboo and am having a better time. The pain is [I]way [/I]less… I am hopeful I have headed this off at the pass. I will mention it to the doc on Thursday still… can’t be too careful.
Thanks again for all your help and suggestions…

Yeah, so it’s official, it’s Carpal Tunnel. However, he was quite optimistic that with rest, awareness and good posture practice, I can keep this from getting worse. Bad news, lay off the kitchen cotton for awhile ( I just bought like 10 skeins of it-they will be packed away to resist temptaion), good news, he told me that if I can knit with my brace thing on, then I should be able to knit within reason. (:roflhard: ) So while when I heard the actual words I felt bad, his solutions are totally reasonable and doable. He, in fact, was more concerned about the computer usage in my job than my “hobby” of knitting… Yeah, he must not personally know any knitters. So good news overall.
I just want to thank everyone, you all were so helpful and right on in your suggestions and advice. I really appreciate it! :slight_smile:

I “borrowed” my son’s Wacom over a year ago and that has helped immensely.

Stress Balls