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 Knitting with arthritis
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New Pal

8 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  7:56:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit's Homepage Send a Private Message
Lucky me. Arthritis has invaded both my hands. They hurt all the time! But what really hurts is that I can't knit! Some of the creams on the market help considerably, but the smell is so strong, I'm afraid it's going to rub off on my projects. I originally took up knitting to keep my hands limber, but as of two months ago, the pain has intensified.

Short of going to the doctor and getting put on some drug (not my first choice...though I'm seriously considering it), I'm wondering if anyone out there has knit using those compression gloves I've seen online and in LYS. The ones I've seen seem overpriced, but I will gladly spend the money if others recommend them.

Pained in Austin.


Permanent Resident

3073 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2004 :  8:09:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
I know 2 people that use herbal treatments, creams, that have very neutral or earthy scents that blend in and are not strong. They swear by them. My gram tends to just work through the pain half the time. I've also had a friend that used acupuncture. I like the Handeaze gloves but my hands don't usually hurt that much.

I hope you find something that works for you

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Guardian angel

9776 Posts

Posted - 04/18/2004 :  01:38:45 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Are you aware of how many different types of arthritis there are? Some of them are just painful, but some of them cause deformities, some of them affect other parts of the body like the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Some, like gout, are controlled by the foods you eat. The first thing you need is a good medical diagnosis preferably from a rheumatologist, so you know what you are dealing with and what your options are. There is a lot more to arthritis than simple pain. I know, I have 5 or 6 different types of arthritis, but only one is killing me...literally. It has destroyed my kidneys, my skin, my digestion, and my lungs, and affected my heart.

The good news is that arthritis flares up and then improves, flares and improves. You may not be able to knit today but you will again another day.

That said, I have two types of gloves. The ones you would like depend on whether your wrists are more affected or your fingers are more affected. The handeze gloves put the most compression on the wrists but leave the fingers exposed. "Arthritis gloves" cover the fingers completely but do not give as much compression to the wrist. I cut the finger tips off my arthritis gloves so they still cover all the joints but I can knit with them on. I also wear them inside out to prevent the seams from indenting my skin. I know there are other sources but I got mine from "Dr. Leonards" catalog. He also has a website. I think they were around $15. Sometimes I wear the arthritis gloves over the handeze gloves. I'll see if I can find that website for you. I have also knitted a variety of gloves, mitts and finger covers for myself. They do two things, keep my fingers and hands and wrists warm and also provide some padding to those spots irritated by the pressures of handling knitting needles. A one inch tube of knitting is more tolerable in the summer than a whole glove.

If you put "arthritis gloves" into google, you will see literally hundreds of items and a lot of claims. These gloves will vary a lot in prices, averaging around $60 but as high as several hundred. I never wanted to spend that much on something that might not work.

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Chatty Knitter

268 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2004 :  09:54:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit kokopelmana's Homepage  Send kokopelmana a Yahoo! Message Send kokopelmana a Private Message
I couldn't agree more with Fran. I have two rheumatic conditions (RA & fibromyalgia) and a good rheumatologist is priceless.

You are probably having a bad flare right now. I have found that knitting and spinning has helpd my hand strength quite a bit - as has yoga. However, on "bad" days (or weeks!), I just treat myself kindly and with patience and eventually I get back to what I was doing.

Please don't wait too long to seek medical advice. RA and OA can be quite deforming, and other types of rheumatic conditions can be VERY dangerous to internal organs - as Fran so well pointed out.


"Be here now." - Ram Dass
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New Pal

8 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2004 :  9:22:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit's Homepage Send a Private Message
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Today is the first day in weeks I've been able to knit. My hands are sore but at least I don't feel like crying.

I have to confess that I am reluctant to go to the doctor. I recently had a traumatic experience with the doctor treating my father for his Parkinson's Disease. I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say I have almost lost all faith in Western medicine. Worst of all, my father suffers and that causes more pain than sore hands.

Well, I will keep all your thoughts and recommendations in mind. I appreciate the time you took to respond.


Belinda in Austin
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