I'm a beginner too and was getting really sore. The gals here told me it was probably the way I was holding my needles etc. I would hold them really tight, and I'd tense up. I got sooo sore that I couldn't even knit the next day! So, since then, I've just been trying to relax, and whenever I notice myself getting tense, I relax myself. Also, we're not used to holding the needles and doing those movements, so we're bound to get a little sore
I don't think there'd be any reason to switch, unless you felt more comfortable doing so.
I knit when I have free time. Between work and all that, I can only get a few rows in at a time. My hands are sore too, nbut I wiggle my fingers and stretch them, and it seems to help a bit