Handy tips for you

Date: 13th November 2013 | Category: News, Something different, Tips

It was recently reported that RSI is on the up and with modern technology, keyboards, laptops, tablets, video consoles and mobile phones it's easy to see why more children are being diagnosed with painful hand and joint conditions than ever before. Unfortunately, any small, repetitive movements such those used in crochet can cause you to develop Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or other conditions such as Tennis Elbow and Carpel Tunnel, but we've put together our top tips to hopefully help you prevent pain.

Before we begin, it's worth noting that in some cases, where crochet isn't the cause, it can actually help to ease RSI and other conditions as it encourages your hands to move in very different ways, so if you're a regular knitter or spend extended periods at a keyboard, turning to crochet occasionally can actually help. Don't use it as an excuse to crochet for long periods of time though! Any small and repetitive movement can cause painful hands and joints and whatever your age, it's important to keep them rested.

Our tips:

  • Work in small bursts, taking regular breaks, especially if you feel any signs of discomfort
  • Try out finger, hand, wrist and should stretches (your doctor or a yoga or pilates teacher should be able to advise the best exercises for you) but be careful, some individual symptoms can be aggravated by certain movements.
  • Vary your projects and hook sizes, have a few different pieces on the go and switch regularly so your hands have to create different movements
  • Alternate your craft medium – spend a little time sewing, knitting or even scrap-booking
  • Keeping your hands warm can help to alleviate pain, try wearing fingerless gloves or wrist-warmers
  • Wrist and hand supports can help with aching hands or wrists
  • Take time to look at how you hold your hook and practice holding it with as little tension as possible, holding it too tight for expended periods can cause additional pain
  • Check your posture and where possible rest your elbows on an armrest or cushion to avoid additional tension in your shoulders and elbows
  • Experiment with different hooks. There are so many different types now available, some designed with padding, different hands and 'ergonomic hooks' can all help aching hands. Some of our favourites are available from Laughing Hens, PurpleLinda Crafts and Scarlet Dash
  • If all else fails, take an extended break. Sometimes you need to just take a few weeks off, and as hard as it can be avoid your favourite past-time, it's important to listen to your body.

One last note: If you suffer from pain in your hands, fingers, joints, arms (or anywhere else!) be sure to consult a doctor as they can advise you on ways to help alleviate your discomfort that are specific to your ailment.

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