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Old 07-28-2007, 09:04 PM   #1
sue in canada
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Knitting and Arthritis
Has anyone any suggestions or advice. I have very suddenly been inflicted with arthritis in my hands and feet. Knitting is one of my favourite hobbies which has now become very painful and sometimes impossible. Has anyone found any kind of help other than otc pain killers?
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:15 PM   #2
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Have you seen a doctor? The treatment for osteo arthritis is different than for rheumatoid arthritis.
Moving the joints ususally warms them up and produces more sinovial fluid in the joints. People with arthritis benefit from keeping active as opposed to stopping. Though at times the arthritis can make you want to stop!
I know one person who knitted for years and stopped due to arthritis. But I also once met a woman who started knitting at age 50 due to her doctor saying she should keep her hands moving to help her arthritis. She was in her 90's when she told me this and knitting like crazy.
Anti inflammatories like aspirin and ibuprofen are helpful, but you don't want to over do. Aspirin can be hard on the stomach and Ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding and kidney failure if taken over an extended period of time in high doses. Tylenol is not helpful for arthritis generally because it does not have an anti inflamatory component.
So again I suggest a visit to the doctor, particularly if it's a new onset.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:18 AM   #3
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A Rosehip based drug is the new treatment for arthritis - originally it was only thought to help osteoarthritis but they've found it helps them all. Worth having a look at, I'm thinking of picking some up to try. Painkillers are actually the most important part of the treatment - without them, you hold yourself very wrong and tense a lot with pain, and it makes things much worse. I also take anti-inflammatories from my doctor, which has helped an unbelievable amount (if I don't take them for a few days I can barely move). Unfortunately, with them, I have to take another drug to protect my stomach, but, to me, the benefits are really worth it.

Don't overdo it with exercises, but make sure you do keep the affected areas mobile. You don't even have to stretch them, just either use your other hand to bend and rotate your joints or get someone else to help you.

I see an osteopath to help put my bones back in the right places, but that's partly to do with old injuries and that I have muscle problems too, which steadily pull my joints the wrong way.

As for knitting - it's the best way I've found to learn pacing. I've spent 8 years with this now, and hate the concept of pacing cause I get bored so easily, but knitting's a fantastic training exercise. Do 20 minutes, or even just a row, then put it down for a while. Then go back to it after a break (again, it's what you're up to), and you'll find that taking regular time off means you can knit a lot longer than if you keep thinking 'must finish this bit' etc. If you do that, you'll find after a while that you get days or weeks when you can't knit at all, whereas doing it at a steady pace yields great results. It's crap though, and I'm really sorry that you've got this diagnosis.

Good luck :-)
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I did see a doctor at the first signs and was told to try glucosamine which takes about 6 weeks to work if at all. I have been away from home for the past month so have not been able to see my doctor again. She did say not to knit for more than 30 minutes at a time. So frustrating. I did read that bamboo needles may help, so I am going to try that too.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:46 AM   #5
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We have a young girl in our knitting group with arthritis in both her wrists.
She uses Bamboo needles and also some support fingerless gloves which she says helps enormously.
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:50 AM   #6
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Oh yes, that's the other thing - I wear tubigrips on my wrists :-)
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Old 07-29-2007, 10:02 PM   #7
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Thanks again for the advice
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