Wrist + Hand Pain
It's time to take care of those wrists, knitters!
For our second installment in A Knitter's Guide to Pain Management, we will be discussing wrist and hand pain for the avid knitter/crocheter. This is where it all starts! If you're experiencing pain in your hands and wrists and do not address it, chances are the pain will spread upwards to your neck and shoulders (like it has for me!!). Your main goal, as a healthy knitting machine, is to take lots of breaks and take care of your hands in the process! This week we will go through different stretching techniques to keep your wrists in tip-top shape so you can avoid getting an RSI, one of the more common injuries for knitters and crocheters. Obviously, I am not a doctor, just a knitter like you! So if you are injured and experiencing severe pain, please visit your doctor and ask about these techniques before trying them yourself.
Do you knit for hours on end with no breaks, and then when you stop, notice a tingling sensation in your hand, or numbness in your fingertips? This is due to repetitive motion and can be a sign of early stages of carpel tunnel! Make sure you are always taking breaks at least every half hour while you're knitting. If you are feeling like the repetitive motions of knitting are taking too much of a toll on your joints in the wrists or hands, I would high suggest asking your doctor about getting wrist guards to use while you knit. These help immensely to mobilize your joints and protect them from repetitive strain.
These are a few stretches for your fingers and wrists to do while seated in a straight back chair or butterfly style on the ground with your tailbone pressed to the floor (hips even to the ground).
Place the back of your hands together and hold them to your chest, stretch out the joints in the back of your wrists and palms but lightly pressing your hands together from the top of the wrist to your fingertips. Take care not to raise your shoulders to your ears---keep them level and low to the ground while you stretch elongate your neck like a line is pulling the top of your head to the sky. Hold for 10 seconds, rest 5 seconds, repeat 3 more times.
Place your palms together and hold your hands to your chest (like a prayer pose). Stretch out the joints in the front of your wrists and palms by lightly pressing your hands together from the top of the wrist to your fingertips. Your arms should be parallel to the ground and your hands perfectly perpindicular. Take care not to raise your shoulders to your ears---keep them level and low to the ground while you stretch elongate your neck like a line is pulling the top of your head to the sky. Hold for 10 seconds, rest 5 seconds, repeat 3 more times.
Lift your right arm up and stretch is away from your body keeping it parallel to the floor. With your left hand, press back on your fingers so that your hand stretches the right, your hand perpendicular to the wrist. Breath into the stretch for 10 second. Rest 5 seconds, repeat once more. Repeat again for the left hand.
Lift your right arm up and stretch it away from your body, keeping it parallel to the floor. With your left hand, press down on your fingertips so that your hand is perpendicular to your wrist. Breath into the stretch for 10 second. Rest 5 seconds, repeat once more. Repeat again for the left hand.
Press both hands onto the floor or table palms down in front of your, taking care to stretch out the tendons in your wrist. The trick here is to have your hand and wrist/forearm perfectly at a right angle. Breath in and out as you count to ten. Switch so your palms are face up, fingertips pointing towards your body, and repeat the stretch.