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Knitter’s wrist

Last week I took a pause from knitting and rotated my wrists in concentric circles. It sounded, as it always does, like a Rice Krispies commercial. Snap. Crackle. Pop. Pop. The person next to looked horrified.

Oh…so everyone’s wrists don’t make those noises?

It’s been getting worse. I spend my workdays typing emails and notes, only to have my hobbies – spinning and knitting – put strains on the same muscles and tendons. I’ve also gotten less interested in big-gauge projects, so the tiny needles and sockweight yarn I’m always working with are exacerbating the issue.

I’ve been trying two things for the past month:
1. Using both pinkies to hit shift on the keyboard. For some reason I use only my right pinkie for all capitalization work, and it definitely hurts worse than the left.
2. Knitting with the yarn in my left hand (continental style). I’ve wanted to try this for years and all of the plain garter stitch rows of Waiting for Rain were a nice opportunity.

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Unfortunately the pain’s getting no better. My hands and wrists hurt all the the time. I need to just take a complete break from knitting until things feel better….so says the internet.

I could sit and watch television and night without a pair of knitting needles or a spinning wheel, but I’m not sure I have the willpower. Maybe you have some good book suggestions to help me through this hiatus?

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9 comments

  1. Elena · March 28

    Bummer. I have no advice to give, only sympathy. What will be more painful, the wrist or not knitting? That’s what I’d figure out first. Hope it gets better soon.
    Elena.

  2. Carlin · March 27

    Wearing thumb braces or wrist braces while typing and sleeping greatly helped my pain. Takes some getting used to, but stopping more permanent damage is worth it.
    Once I had my daughter, the pain got so bad I had custom thumb braces made, as it was diagnosed as “mommy wrist.” It isn’t hyperbole to say the difference is life changing.
    Good luck on your knitting break.

    • foxflat · March 27

      You know…I was thinking yesterday that holding my 14 mo old all the time is straining the wrists too! Might help explain why now – after 12 years – the knitting is finally getting to me.

  3. chrisknits · March 26

    No book titles, but advice to not read heavy books because that will strain your wrists too. Maybe use a pillow and weight to keep the book open on your lap or use a Kindle. Hope things get better! But limiting the knitting will help you recover.

    • foxflat · March 27

      If I can just find the charge cord, I can use my kindle!

  4. Anna · March 26

    I’ve had wrist issues flare up occasionally. Usually, when my wrists are bothering me, I wear a wrist brace while I sleep for a few nights until it subsides. My husband is a computer programmer and has some early carpal tunnel symptoms. He also finds that if he wears wrist braces while he’s sleeping he experiences less tingling, numbness, or pain in his wrists during the day.

  5. Angela Hickman · March 26

    Oh no! I definitely notice at the end of some weeks that my wrists are in bad shape, but I don’t tend to feel it when I’m knitting. That being said, things have improved a lot since I started doing yoga. One of my instructors does a few wrist-specific poses/exercises at the beginning of class and it is making a huge difference. They’re hard to explain without visuals, but I bet you could ask a teacher at a yoga studio if you have one nearby.

    Good luck!

  6. bonnyknits · March 26

    Ugh, so sorry! Have you tried a wrist brace before? I got one at Walgreens when I was having issues and it did help when I desperately needed yarn time. Unfortunately, a break is the only thing that really helped both with the wrist and the tendonitis in my elbow. Maybe you can find a great new author who’s written lots of books!

    • foxflat · March 26

      I have not tried a wrist brace yet. Maybe once I’ve done my full break from knitting, it’d be good to return with a brace. Encouraging to know it helped for you!

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