View Full Version : Sore wrists

01-05-2006, 09:55 PM
I was wondering if there was a 'cure' for them. I am an English knitter and my right hand that I throw the yarn with has begun to hurt when I move it a certain way sometimes. Are there any stretchs or any ways to make it go away? Thanks in advance!


01-05-2006, 10:00 PM
You might try twisting your wrist around like you're stretching it...also, would wearing a wrist brace be too constricting?

Jan in CA
01-06-2006, 12:02 AM
Sometimes you need to take a break or try knitting another way. Taking a break works for me so far.

01-06-2006, 12:11 AM
Mine don't get too bad, with 3 kids I only get to knit about an hour at a time twice a day.

01-06-2006, 12:14 AM
Oh my, I recommend no knitting for a while.

You've heard of tennis elbow? Well, I once had knitter's elbow so bad I couldn't turn a door knob or hold a glass. I allowed it get so bad, that short rests didn't help. I finally gave up knitting for almost 5 years. I missed it too much. I modified my method just a little and I have to remember not to knit too fast. I make each stitch with a count of three and move my hands slowly.
It's slow, but worth it.
Lana :X: <<<<<< I can't knit like that anymore.

01-06-2006, 01:12 AM
Oh, I know this pain!

Take frequent breaks, and be sure to give your wrists a good stretch BEFORE you knit. (Bend your hand back as far as it will go comfortably, roll your wrists, etc.) In fact, give all of yourself a good stretch before you knit and when you break.

01-06-2006, 11:09 AM
I'm sorry you're hurting, that's so frustrating! I had the same problem after a major knitting marathon trying to finish a sweater. What helped me:
1. Take breaks and stretch about every twenty minutes, I make myself stretch every commercial break if I'm watching TV. (be careful of movies, I knit straight through LOTR: The Return of the King, OUCH!)

2. Try to have projects with different size needles, it makes you use muscles slightly differently.

3. If you can, learn to knit continental. I started out English, now I can switch back and forth (my tension's the same with both now) within a project, but even if you have a project being knit english and one continental it really helps.

Hope you feel better soon!

01-06-2006, 12:05 PM
BEWARE of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!!! My mother (not a knitter) has this and it is really a drag! The two links below (Web MD and The Arthritis Society) both list prolonged KNITTING as a possible cause.


Specific warm up exercises to help prevent Carpal Tunnel can be found at this link: http://www.eatonhand.com/hw/ctexercise.htm

01-06-2006, 12:17 PM
Hey Knittens! You're in Michigan? I'm from Michigan but left many years ago. Well all the advice is right on. What I've found to be very important for me coz I get a sore wrist too... I have 3 or 4 projects going at the same time. I always have a pair of socks on small dpns. I find the afghan and vest I'm making which are on Size 11 straights, does make my wrist hurt after awhile, so I put that away for a day and just work on the smaller needles, my socks. I don't know if you make socks or work on small needles but they are much less stressful than big needles on the wrist, I've found anyhow.

Yeah, and stretching exercises for the hands and wrists. My Pilates teacher always finished the class off by having us put our arms straight up in the air and MAKE A FIST then stretch hands out, repeat, then just kind of waving our wrists around in lazy circles. Important if you knit a lot!

good luck & cheers,

01-06-2006, 12:40 PM
I have arthritis and my hands get tired. I'm also an English knitter, but modified. I don't throw the yarn anymore. It's sort of a combination of English and Continental. I can do Continental, but it's still awkward, but when I learned (recently in fact) how to hold the yarn in my right hand with the string coming up over my index finger that I could move the needle slightly and use just my finger to wrap the yarn around the needle. Your hand movement is greatly reduced and I have less "tired-feeling" hands when knitting in this way. I hope that all makes sense. I basically hold the yarn like Amy does in her videos, but instead of moving the whole hand I am using just the finger.

01-06-2006, 01:04 PM
I have only been knitting for a couple of months, so take my advice as coming from a novice! I started continental knitting, but my hands got so sore after only a short time at first. I decided to go ahead and learn to throw with my right hand, too. So even though I normally knit continental, I throw with my right hand (heck- sometimes with my left) when my hands get tired. I imagine it is probably easier as a beginner to adapt to different methods as they all felt equally awkward!

01-06-2006, 02:27 PM
Yeah, I agree, even though many here including Amy like Continental, I hate it! I can do and force myself once in a while so I'll be able to do Fair Isle when I get around to it, but I just find English relaxing and Continental nerve wracking. It would hurt my wrist so much more to do Continental.
But of course, each to her own taste.

01-06-2006, 03:00 PM
This is close to, but not quite, Carpal Tunnel. It has more to do with muscles than tendons. If left un-attended it can turn into something called Repetitive Stress Syndrome, which cause micro tears in muscle fibers. The most important thing is to stretch!! Take the advice of previous posters and stretch before during and after!! And try to shorten your knitting sessions if your wrists and thumb muscles are sore.

Some stretches you can do:
1) Place your fingers of one hand on the palm of the other and bend them back until you feel it in your forearm. Repeat 3-4 times on both hands.

2) Hold your hands like you are opening a jar and shake your hands vigorously (you are doing it right when your upper arms jiggle)

3) Like #1, but backwards; place your palm on the back of the other hand and push until you feel it in your forearm. 3-4 times per hand.

4) Roll you wrists in circles. (when i do this I sound like a Rice Kristpies commercial)
Whatever you do, do not ignore pain! It is your body's way of letting you know that something is wrong. Pace yourself and take care of those hands!!

Sorry for the lecture, but my SO is Phyical Trainer/Health Coach so I get this all the time. He gave me these stretches just for this purpose so they should help.

Take care and Happy knitting!!


Jan in CA
01-06-2006, 03:07 PM
Hey thanks for the lesson, Wes! I haven't had too many problems, but I will start doing these so I don't. :thumbsup:

01-06-2006, 03:15 PM
Thanks for asking, cause I was about to ask too :D
Since a month or so, my wrists started to hurt too when I knitted too much or too often. I guess I will begin to do those stretches before knitting know and before turning in the computer!
Thanks for sharing!

01-06-2006, 05:35 PM
Thanks for all of your help! I haven't knit for two days and it feels better. I thought that it might be because I'm left-handed and knitting has me useing my right, so could it just be from not being used that often? Thanks again!


01-06-2006, 08:57 PM
Thanks for all of your help! I haven't knit for two days and it feels better. I thought that it might be because I'm left-handed and knitting has me useing my right, so could it just be from not being used that often?And I only have metal needles. Thanks again!


01-07-2006, 01:09 PM
Good question to ask! I've been wondering about that too and will also have to try those stretches before I knit or go on the computer or play PS2 :D

01-07-2006, 03:09 PM
Those are great exercises! I just tried them. Thanks! :thumbsup:

01-07-2006, 03:28 PM
I remember when I was younger, I told the doctor that my wrists hurt. He told me that if I didn't stop that, I would go blind.
:shock: :shock:
<--- wears thick glasses :thumbsup:

01-07-2006, 07:14 PM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

Got hairy palms, too?

01-07-2006, 07:49 PM
Ang, are you following me? hehehehe

01-07-2006, 08:29 PM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

Guess that means "Yes"!

01-08-2006, 01:53 AM
try physical therapy putty from a medical supply shop.
like this http://tinyurl.com/bzoxu
I have Repetive stress injury and that helps. i also wear neoprene hand-wrap around things by futuro can pick up at a pharmacy usually in the footcare aisle. like these http://tinyurl.com/9wotl


I bet it would help if you eased up on the tension as well. and took breaks to stretch your hand out.

hope this helps!

01-08-2006, 02:51 AM
AGREED! Definitely stretch your hands before, during and after you knit!



I suggest taking a break every 15 mins for about 2 mins or so, maybe more and stretching and breathing. and you could massage your hands and arms too...that could help.

Here's a good page for self massage.


Hope this helps!

And of course, if the pain continues, please see a doctor! We don't want to be in pain while knitting! ;) :XX:

Also, there's this GREAT stuff called BioFreeze. It works kinda like IcyHot, Bengay and TigerBalm, if you've heard of them, but it's the strongest I've ever felt. I love it and recommend it if the pain continues, or if you just plain forget to do the stretching and breaks (it happens). Also, this could be due to repetitive motion from your muscles and perhaps pinching a nerve - another hint to take frequent breaks. And also, a good body massage never hurt anyone. I'd give one for free if you lived near, but I highly doubt that!

I'm a massage therapist in training ;)

01-08-2006, 03:09 AM
if you want strong than biofreeze (i do!)
i use warmfx (by bodyglide http://www.sternoff.com/ ). Also the benefit of warmfx is that you dont have to touch it to put it on. it comes in a stick like deodorant - so you just roll it on! I'm not sure if i would use it on my hands though. one touch to your eyes and you'll be in trouble!


01-08-2006, 12:04 PM
After knitting for Christmas my wrist felt they were going to fall off... Mine do hurt but I just give them a rest for a bit also something else I"ve found out... Different ways of sitting will cause them to hurt more... If I knit on the couch I have trouble but if I'm sitting up in a chair they do better...

01-08-2006, 12:15 PM
I just tried the stretches from the link you provided humblestumble, and my wrists and fingers feel great! Thanks for that link :cheering:

01-08-2006, 02:43 PM
Dustina, I've discovered the very same thing. If I'm sitting straight up, nothing hurts when I knit, but "relaxing" on the couch makes for painful knitting. Weird! :??

01-08-2006, 11:44 PM
glad I could help, mks! :cheering: :cheering: :XX: