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 Knitting as Therapy
 Arthritis and Knitting
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Meanie
New Pal

21 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2008 :  3:20:27 PM  Show Profile Send Meanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi everybody.....

I was told in my early 20's that I had arthritis in my hands. At the time I had given up crocheting for the usual pursuits of young single women, but I took it up again as an alternative to medicines that really didn't help. I taught myself to knit two years ago, and I've found that it helps just as much. Instead of reaching for pain relievers, whenever the aches set in I grab my needles instead.

Anybody else here use knitting as physical therapy?

Sara Sue
Permanent Resident

USA
1089 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2008 :  4:09:21 PM  Show Profile Send Sara Sue a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know about physical therapy ---- but a whole bunch of us use it as mental therapy!! Welcome to the forum by the way. Glad to have you.
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Catlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

394 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2008 :  4:32:49 PM  Show Profile Send Catlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, I have. I've had two hand injuries in recent years and couldn't knit for awhile each time. Last summer I had surgery for the second injury. There were no restrictions on what I could do and I found that knitting helped me stay flexible. I'm convinced it helped me keep the benefits of my pre-surgery physical therapy. Some people need PT after surgery and I didn't. If my hand starts to feel even slightly stiff I pick up my needles right away and that solves it.
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Catlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

394 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2008 :  4:33:23 PM  Show Profile Send Catlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, I have. I've had two hand injuries in recent years and couldn't knit for awhile each time. Last summer I had surgery for the second injury. There were no restrictions on what I could do and I found that knitting helped me stay flexible. I'm convinced it helped me keep the benefits of my pre-surgery physical therapy. Some people need PT after surgery and I didn't. If my hand starts to feel even slightly stiff I pick up my needles right away and that solves it.
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fiberlicious
Permanent Resident

1637 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2008 :  8:39:21 PM  Show Profile Send fiberlicious a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that lots of people with RA knit to relieve pain and keep joints flexible. With my fibromyalgia, knitting makes (my) pain worse, so I'm not knitting as much at the moment.
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HomekeepingGran
Seriously Hooked

614 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2008 :  06:17:11 AM  Show Profile Send HomekeepingGran a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmmmm... my hands hurt after I knit very much. Especially if it's a tight gauge like socks or something.

Blessings,
Carla

She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands... Proverbs 31:13
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KL
Permanent Resident

6041 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2008 :  06:24:58 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When my Doctor diagnosed the Arthritis in my hands; she said it was because I was very hard on them, besides genetic.

That being said, she told me not to stop knitting- that it would actually keep them fluid. I don't think I have ever had one ounce of pain in ten years. A couple of my fingers just look bad. KL
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lella
Permanent Resident

9712 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2008 :  9:29:55 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hope that you can keep knitting, since it's it's been very good for your hands. I have to rest my hands after a while but then can go back at it again. I used knitting for PT after breaking a wrist. Usually, when knitting, I watch for tensing up of my toes. That signals me to relax my shoulders and everything else for a little bit.



Lella
Bloglet


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knit4sanity
Chatty Knitter

USA
156 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2008 :  12:53:22 AM  Show Profile Send knit4sanity a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My Mom has arthritis in both of her hands. A few of her fingers look swollen, nobby,and crooked but they don't bother her. I always assumed that it was a type of arthritis that did not result in pain. But ya'll are making me think it's knitting!

This is good news because when she taught me to knit years ago, it rekindled that flame and she doesn't go a day without it. I'll have to let her know the good news. Thanks :-)
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Meanie
New Pal

21 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2008 :  4:01:14 PM  Show Profile Send Meanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Today has been really wet and cold where I live, so my hands are killing me! I can't wait to get the kids in bed and start knitting, it really does help more than any other therapy or pain reliever.

Thanks for the great replies, I'm glad other people have found relief this way too.
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amanda23
Warming Up

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2008 :  8:40:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit amanda23's Homepage Send amanda23 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting that knitting actually helps arthritis... as a 24 year old who knits all the time, people tell me I'm going to develop arthritis from my non-stop knitting!

Amanda

my blog:
http://mollywaffles.blogspot.com/
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Fivefibers
Permanent Resident

USA
1131 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2008 :  09:55:09 AM  Show Profile Send Fivefibers a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Grandma Moses gave up embroidery when the arthritis in her hands became too severe. She still knitted, though.

Took up some other hobby as well. Painting, maybe?

Fivefibers
2sheep; 3goats; 5bunnies
(so far)
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Grace26
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2008 :  10:11:28 AM  Show Profile Send Grace26 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello-

I'm a journalist in the Denver/Boulder area and I'm writing an article on the health benefits of knitting. I find it really interesting that knitting has helped with arthritis. Do any folks in this forum happen to live in Colorado--or know knitters who live in CO and use knitting for similar benefits? If so, I'd love to interview you. Thank you-

Grace Hood
gracehood2@yahoo.com
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CharRube
Chatty Knitter

125 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2008 :  2:06:21 PM  Show Profile Send CharRube a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Every day that I knit, I keep thinking that I don't know why it doesn't hurt my hands and wrists and elbows. I have had so much pain from other things that I do. I garden a great deal and the digging with the trowel and other activites just about kill me! I keep feeling that not only does the knitting not hurt, but that it actually seems to help! I think it keeps everything loosened up. CharRube
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Bettyboo
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2008 :  12:14:24 PM  Show Profile Send Bettyboo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi
I have arthritis and I knit to keep the hands moving. Sometimes if I knit for too long, my hands can swell and I have to stop. Larger and heavier projects can cause pain and aching, so I try and stick to smaller stuff now, toys etc.
I have tried to switch to bamboo needles, they are lighter to use.
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Catlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

394 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2008 :  3:46:33 PM  Show Profile Send Catlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've recently ordered a fabric ball that's lavender scented from Patternworks. According to the catalog you can heat it in a microwave and hold it sooth your hands. I'm hoping it will help when it comes. I have OA in my feet and knees and may nowbe developing it in my hands. Knitting helps quite a bit and I'm eager to try that ball too.
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Meanie
New Pal

21 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2008 :  5:56:44 PM  Show Profile Send Meanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't use metal needles at all because of my hands, I've found that the bamboo are much easier for me.

Catlover, let us know how that ball works for you. That sounds like something I'd enjoy using.
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2008 :  04:42:23 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can make hot packs in any shape you wish and just fill them with rice. After a while, when the rice gets too dry, just sprinkle them with water to reactivate. I have an oval shaped pair that has an extra layer of fabric on one side so that I can slip my hand in it with the fingers sticking out and wear them while I knit. I wear alpaca wristlets more often as alpaca is really warm enough for me.

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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Catlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

394 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2008 :  5:34:36 PM  Show Profile Send Catlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My "Good Medicine Ball" came about two weeks ago and I've been using it. It's very soothing to hold and does get nice and warm. I was wondering how rice would perform. I think it's affect is not as strong as the affect of a heating pad or hot pack but I'm glad I have it. It smells nice too and that's bonus. I'm definitely glad I ordered and will enjoy using it.
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