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 Sore thumb
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lucybug
Chatty Knitter

USA
104 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2012 :  09:39:50 AM  Show Profile Send lucybug a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The last couple of months my right thumb (the joint at the base) has been really sore. I knit continental and have been trying to keep my thumb relaxed since it doesn't have to do anything but help keep the needle balanced. I'm really hoping it doesn't have anything to do with knitting. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, any suggestions on how to reduce (or eliminate) the pain?

Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2049 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2012 :  11:32:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My suggestion is see a hand specialist, now. If you do have a problem related to tension on that thumb the Doctor may be able to identify the problem and suggest a possible solution. Possibly it is a swollen tendon problem, like I had, or Arthur has come to visit. Either way, get it checked before it gets worse and causes permanent damage. Your hands are way to important to your future. Don't ever ignore persistant hand pain.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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Grand-moogi
Seriously Hooked

Australia
783 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2012 :  06:34:49 AM  Show Profile Send Grand-moogi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have had some form of inflammatory arthritis since I was 22 and that was over 40 years ago. Sometimes the doctors called it rheumatoid arthrtis and sometimes they call it spondylitis or just inflammatory arthritis. Regardless of what they call it, I have had it in nearly every joint in my body including the pubic joint and also where my ribs join the sternum. BUT the lesson is this - I have always gone to the doctor and treated it with whatever is the best current advice and I have very little deformity. I have had people tell me about fish oil, magnets, copper bracelets, castor oil and you name it but although I have tried them, none of them were really effective for me.
My advice always is to get it checked out by a proper doctor and if necessary go to a specialist and make sure you do not leave this sort of thing because the longer it goes untreated, the more likely it is that you will end up with real damage.

I knit a hug into every stitch
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lucybug
Chatty Knitter

USA
104 Posts

Posted - 03/09/2012 :  11:03:05 AM  Show Profile Send lucybug a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the suggestion - I probably will go to a doctor and have it checked out. I mentioned it to my doctor at my annual and without looking at it said it's probably tendinitis. Have either of you tried accupuncture?
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1260 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2012 :  12:00:26 PM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've had acupuncture, but never for something like this. I would recommend an ice bath for 10-20 minutes a few times a day, in the meantime while you're waiting to see your doctor. That would help to reduce inflammation and might reduce pain.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2049 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2012 :  7:23:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never tried accupuncture. I can't see how that could help inflamation, if it is something to do with the tendons.

I have to tell you part of the conversation between my doctor and myself on the first visit. First she gave me the cortizone shot and then she said: "You will probably experience some discomfort, from the shot, so go home and take an Advil and relax.

Me: "I can't go home, I have cards tonight at the club and I'm expected there!"

Doctor: "OK, well, be sure and buy a drink."

Me: "But I don't drink, will a coke do?"

Doctor: "A cold drink with ice, to put against the spot where I gave you the shot."

Boy did I feel stupid! By the way, I took the Advil as soon as I got to the car and didn't experience any problems from the shot.

PS: I'm doing something wrong, during the night, while asleep. I'm waking up with the pain. It goes away after I've been up 10 or 15 minutes!

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1843 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2012 :  7:35:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
See your doctor to rule out anything organic, like a past accident or (gulp) a tumor or something. If it is neither of those things, then it could be that the arm movements are off, causing the pain. Or, computer use or something else could be the root cause, but it shows more in the knitting?

I study this kind of thing for musicians, and then teach them. Much of the info applies to knitters, who I also teach. I now have Skype, and can give you a lesson over that medium if need be. It'll cost something, but could be worth it if you want to knit for a lifetime. For now, I will simply say: We knit with our >arms< more than our fingers. So, see what your arms are doing, or what they aren't. Send me a PM if you need more help.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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eldergirl
Permanent Resident

USA
1810 Posts

Posted - 03/10/2012 :  8:25:00 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I too have this pain in the specific place at the base of the thumb.

Several years ago, one of our feature writers on the Baltimore Sun wrote about her problem too, and she gave some really helpful imformation.

She said her hand specialist informed her that women's hands have a structure at the base of the thumb where a little triangular bone is fitted into the joint where the bones meet.

The triangular bone can get worn from use, scarred by arthritis, and get out of place slightly, where it rubs on nerves or tendons, and makes pain.

I actually saved the article, and the sketch of the bone structure.

The remedy was to wear a thumb brace as much as one can to immobilize the thumb and give it time to heal. (plus take anti-inflammatory pills if necessary)

I did this, and although I have flare-ups sometimes, the problem isn't chronic, and I can knit.

I think immobilizaton with a thumb splint is important.

Best wishes,

Anna

Life is beautiful.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1843 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  5:50:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
[i]
The remedy was to wear a thumb brace as much as one can to immobilize the thumb and give it time to heal. (plus take anti-inflammatory pills if necessary)

I did this, and although I have flare-ups sometimes, the problem isn't chronic, and I can knit.

I think immobilizaton with a thumb splint is important.



Both of these ideas are good for bedtime. Anti-inflams mask pain, so if you take one and then knit (or whatever), you could do more damage because you can't feel the pain. To that end (and medical people have confirmed this), pain is good to have, because when you start moving well, you will feel the pain go away. That's a good thing, odd as it may seem.

Knit in good health, everyone!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1843 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  5:52:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lucybug

Have either of you tried accupuncture?


Acupuncture can be okay, I guess, but I'd still look at how the arms (and body) move when knitting. When the movement is out of whack, it can negate the benefits that acupuncture and exercise are designed to supply. Time to do some dectective work!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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lucybug
Chatty Knitter

USA
104 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  09:08:47 AM  Show Profile Send lucybug a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I haven't taken Advil, Alieve, or anything else because I agree that it isn't a good idea to mask the pain and maybe make it worse. It has been better the past couple of days because I've really been stretching it and it seems to be working out the pain. I'm on a computer all day and I recently read an article about "Blackberry Thumb" -- I do have a Blackberry but don't text or email very often on it -- and now when I do I use my fingers. So, long dull story over -- I'm really hoping that its something other than knitting.
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Janettoo
Warming Up

65 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2012 :  7:21:52 PM  Show Profile Send Janettoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Taking an anti-inflammatory can be a very good thing to do, not to cover pain while you knit, but to decrease inflammation and aid healing. I have a cracked bone in my left hand that sticks up a bit and sometimes rubs a tendon. This causes pain and swelling. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often. I consulted a hand doctor who advised me that surgery wasn't likely to be helpful, but did suggest rest, anti-inflamatories,and ice.

I'm having trouble off and on currently with my left thumb and wrist. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and a thumb brace from Jo-Ann's have helped. Knitting with heavier yarn seems to worsen it. I tend to knit Continental and purl English, so I vary how my hands get stressed. I try to maintain a neutral hand position. I'm thinking about going back to the specialist for a custom brace and to see if he can identify any overly stressful motions.

Janet in TN
PS I cracked the hand bone 40 years ago, so it's done all the healing it's going to do.
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