Do you enjoy needle point? Do you spend your free time knitting? Do you have hand pain? Do you have arthritis in your hands?
If you answered yes to any, or all, of the questions above, then this blog is FOR YOU! Don't let your hand pain or arthritis get in the way of what you love!
- Arthritis is Canada’s most prevalent chronic health condition.
- More than 6 million Canadians have arthritis (1 in 5)
- Incidence: women > men
- There are over 100 types of arthritis
- Common symptoms/complaints:
- Inflammation and stiffness of the joints
- Difficulties with activities of daily living
- What is it really?
- Arthritis wears away the cartilage of our joints (less cushioning), exposing bones.
- Hand Arthritis
- Women > Men (and often more severe)
- Affects those greater than 55 years of age
- Increased incidence in the dominant hand
- Our wrist & hand have 27 bones!
Movement is key with osteoarthritis, it is just a question of how much and how often!
Knitting/Crochet - What you need to know:
- Helps you maintain flexibility in hands (especially with finger osteoarthritis).
- Harder patterns are good for finger dexterity training.
- Different needle types – can help minimize harm to hands (flexible needles).
- Neck stiffness can occur due to forward dropped neck.
- Low back pain can occur from prolonged sitting & poor posture.
- Increased risk of carpal tunnel or repetitive strain injury since one hand moves faster than the other.
- Use flexible needles, or change type (bamboo/birch vs. metal), or flattened/square crochet hooks (easier to hold).
- Warm up first (soak hands in warm water before picking up the needles).
- Stitch in short sessions (be a sprinter, not a marathoner!)
- Stretch before/after.
- Stick to using wool and wool blends, as they are easier to manoeuvre (elastic properties).
- Knit flat on a circular needle (allows weight of sweater/item to fall in your lap, not off your wrist)dd foam sheath or wrap a rubber band around crochet hook handle a few times (prevent hook from slipping from your grip, and you will use less force to hold it).
- Consider one of the many knitting aids/tools out there on the market (e.g. www.knittingaid.com).
- Ask experts (needlework shop staff) for tips to help you make adjustments to yarn tension and other tips.
Stretches & Massage After Sessions:
- Move/bend your elbows, wrists, fingers (open/close fist) to loosen things up after each session, then massage and stretch.
- Hold stretches 15-20 seconds each.
- Massage for 20-60 seconds each key areas.
Palm/carpal tunnel massage Back of wrist/hand massage Thumb massage Wrist stretch