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View Full Version : Tingling in my thumb and elbow


new_knitter
09-16-2008, 11:41 PM
I have been knitting on some 5mm needles and I have started having some tingling in my hand and elbow. The needles are so small I think I may be squeezing too tight... or since I taught myself how to knit, I may be holding the needles wrong.

Any tips or advice?

suzeeq
09-16-2008, 11:45 PM
Take breaks, stretch out your arms, hands wrists. Massage the lower arm muscles, rotate your neck and shoulders and watch that you're not sitting hunched over. Don't spend too long a time knitting at once, intersperse it over the day if you can.

JustAFloridaGirl
09-16-2008, 11:54 PM
I messed up my wrists a bit when I was a server, and I notice that yeah, if I'm holding the needles too tight it'll make my arms tingle. However, when I first started knitting, I didn't hold the yarn correctly, I'd just grasp it in my hand rather than wrap it through my fingers (actually, I still do that occasionally.) Anyways, I noticed that doing this for extended periods of time would also aggravate my wrists.

And I second the above post, make sure you take plenty of breaks and stretch.

new_knitter
09-17-2008, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I do wrap the yarn through my fingers, but it is the other arm tingling. I have been knitting quite a bit and I think I must be grasping the needles to hard. I guess I will have to add me a knitting exercises routine! Thanks again!

Crycket
09-17-2008, 01:58 AM
With smaller needles, I often lose feeling in my pinkies and ring fingers....just got to have a break every now and again

Daylilydayzed
09-17-2008, 10:36 AM
When you take a break , excerise the fingers by making them bend fastone by one in a wave motion. Then spread the fingers wide and make claws and do that fast.

suzeeq
09-17-2008, 10:45 AM
Another good stretch is to extend your arm, elbow bent with your wrist bent so fingers are pointing up. Then take the other hand and gently pull the fingers (together and/or separately) back toward your elbow. Then make a fist and bend it down toward the underside of your arm toward your elbow. You should feel a stretch in your arm muscles on both upper and lower sides.

heatherg23
09-17-2008, 12:39 PM
I've noticed the same thing with me. That's why I don't use small needles. I'm a very tight knitter that could be my problem as well.I hope it gets better :p

new_knitter
09-17-2008, 04:23 PM
Thank you everyone for the great suggestions and exercises! I have been trying some out and am taking a short break from knitting.... been working on "witches bottles" for Halloween instead.... of course now I am really dying to knit up some eyeballs or skeletons!

Thanks again!

OffJumpsJack
09-19-2008, 12:45 PM
Suzeeq,

Those felt like good stretches (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1153964&postcount=7) you described. When I took Tae Kwon Do, we were taught similar stretches.

New_Knitter,

When you feel tingling or numbness in your hands, it may be a sign of repetitive motion injury. Clenching your hands while bending your wrist causes irritation and swelling of the tendons in your wrist. The swelling creates pressure against the nerves and that pressure causes the pain felt at numbness or tingling.

You want to reduce or prevent the swelling and the numbness and tingling will subside. First, rest the wrist(s) affected by keeping it(them) relaxed and still. Stretches before you start will help avoid the swelling. Keeping a relaxed grip and hold your wrist straight. I don't like the wrist braces, because you me find yourself straining against them and causing more harm. I prefer to imagine a flat ruler lying across the top of my wrist from the back of my hand straight to my elbow. Practice holding your needles or hook like this. When knitting, this means you will need to move your whole arm to change the angle of the needle points. If you crochet, you will need to learn the knife hold and roll the hook between thumb and finger to minimize flexing of the wrist.

Some 25 years ago, I worked summers in an assembly line at a factory that made electrical connectors (think nuts and bolts as tiny as the tip of your pinky finger to as large as a mason jar). While this helped pay for my college tuition, it left me prone to numbness in my hands. I occasionally feel your pain and have to retrain myself to be friendly to my wrist. Crossed Fingers

-- Jack
:guyknitting:

new_knitter
09-20-2008, 01:06 AM
Thanks for all the info and tips Jack!