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Hand arthritis

(18 Posts)
storynanny Sun 14-Feb-16 23:04:34

Does knitting make it worse? Can't bear to give up knitting and crocheting after enjoying it from a child to age 59! I've changed from metal to bamboo needles but no noticeable improvement.
I have bought soft gripped crochet hooks which are comfy and have seen square knitting needles marketed as good for arthritis sufferers. Has anyone tried them? I'm loathe to buy a pair at £7 without a recommendation.
Thanks in advance.

hildajenniJ Sun 14-Feb-16 23:17:00

I suffer arthritis in my finger joints. At present my right thumb is very painful. I crochet, but don't knit. I would persevere with knitting if you can as exercise is good. It keeps the joints from seizing up. My Granny continued to knit for as long as she could, this was her theory.

Nelliemoser Sun 14-Feb-16 23:26:10

storynanny I sympathise completely. My left thumb let me down big time in June just after I finished a complicated cable pattern. I also probably messed up my arms by misusing the muscles when doing some gardening and now if I do too much lifting etc they get very twingey and palinful.

It feels like a sort of RSI. I saw a physio who has given me lots of exercises and told me to avoid to much of the activities which cause pain.

I really want to get knitting again. It is really frustrating.

Coolgran65 Sun 14-Feb-16 23:40:41

I used to knit a lot, usually Aran patterns but had to give it up. Although my hands would get sore it was really my shoulder that caused the most trouble. I used a cushion to support my arm while I'd knit but it didn't work.

loopylou Mon 15-Feb-16 06:35:24

Have you tried circular knitting needles? I use them for anything bigger than baby clothes and they're brilliant.

NanaandGrampy Mon 15-Feb-16 08:51:15

Oh yes Loopylou I was going to recommend circular needles. They take the weight off your arms when knitting larger pieces.

I hope you don't have to give up knitting and crotchet storynanny !

JessM Mon 15-Feb-16 08:59:30

Hope you don't have to give up knitting but varying the movements might help as crochet very different action.

Teetime Mon 15-Feb-16 09:04:40

I sympathise as I have to give up knitting several years ago and never really learnt to crochet, cant hold a sewing needle at all DH has to sew on buttons etc. I wonder where I can learn to crochet.

storynanny Mon 15-Feb-16 18:50:06

Thanks for the replies. yes I have tried circular needles but hands still hurt.

Could knitting constantly have actually caused arthritis?
So has anyone tried the square needles?
I am presently conducting a fair test ie no knitting or crochet for 2 weeks to see if the joint pain goes, then introducing crochet back into the mix as that def does not seem so painful to do. Then reintroduce knitting.
I feel at a loss without my needles in my hand during the evening. Luckily no knitting circle as it is half term, otherwise I would have been a spare part at the group!

Jalima Mon 15-Feb-16 19:02:00

I use Knitpro Symfonie birchwood needles; they are very expensive so I haven't got all the sizes but try to replace my old metal and bamboo needles bit by bit. They are very light and extremely smooth, lovely to knit with.

At the moment I am knitting a cable pattern in Aran on bamboo needles and can feel the strain. Perhaps a pair of Symfonie needles in a small size with a finer ply wool would help stop the twinges.

Iam64 Mon 15-Feb-16 19:02:04

I've found bamboo needles has helped as well as not knitting for too long at any one time. I do hope you're having a flare up that will settle down story nanny. Friends say that supplements help - that is fish oil or turmeric

Jalima Mon 15-Feb-16 19:03:19

Two bottles of turmeric tablets in my kitchen - I must remember to take them as my thumbs are playing up at the moment (we are decorating).

storynanny Mon 15-Feb-16 22:17:39

I already have knitting withdrawal.
Just been googling aids for arthritic knitting. One of the suggestions is to try learning how to knit in the continental style. Anyone tried this?

Eloethan Tue 16-Feb-16 01:10:54

My husband buys fresh turmeric and blends it with water. It is supposed to be good for all sorts of ailments.

WilmaKnickersfit Tue 16-Feb-16 02:13:23

storynanny have you heard of the Knitting Aid? It was designed several years ago by a young man called David for his grandma to help her with her knitting. She's got arthritis in her hands and they're quite deformed. I think it's quite expensive (about £70), but it has won awards.

I didn't know what Continental style knitting was, so I looked on YouTube and found lots of tutorials. There's also quite a few videos on exercises and stretches to help with relieving pain from knitting and crocheting. Might be worth a look.

My GP told me to use Ibuprofen gel for my hands. I don't knit, but I do make jewellery and I think it could have caused my arthritis. Apparently it's holding things too tightly that's the problem.

Nelliemoser Tue 16-Feb-16 15:24:26

wilmaI think holding needles too tight along with tensing my arm muscels while gardening has caused my RSI type symptoms.
I found stretching exercises very good. You really should leave off knitting as long as possible if you get these problems.

storynanny Tue 16-Feb-16 19:41:13

Will a, yes I have seen that aid, will certainly bear it in mind if the pain becomes to severe to continue.
I've decided to buy one pair of the square needles and have a go. Also am going to teach myself the continental way as I definitely find crochet less painful.
Ironically I am left handed but it is my right hand which has been overworked. Also I have been a pianist since I started knitting about age 7 so my fingers have certainly been overworked! I don't really play anymore as I mainly was "the school pianist", now I have semi retired with no piano at home any more my playing days are much diminished.

storynanny Tue 16-Feb-16 19:42:22

Might have a chat with my doctor next time I go for my knee arthritis check up - occupational hazard from spending years and years on the floor with infants!