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 Crochet for beginners - basic questions
 crochet becoming painful--help!
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2009 :  07:11:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lately I have been experiencing pain in my thumb joints and I think it may be due to crocheting. I looked up joint or hand pain on webmd.com and it is called repetitive motion or writers cramp. The only advice is to quit the repetitive movement that is causing the pain. Well I don't want to quit crocheting! Have you ever experienced this, and do you have an advice? I hate to give up my craft, but my goodness my left thumb is so sore I cannot hardly use it!

http://asiftoknit.blogspot.com/

Calamintha
Permanent Resident

USA
2886 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2009 :  09:20:49 AM  Show Profile Send Calamintha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know what to say except to confirm that I find crocheting much harder on my hands than knitting is. Especially if I'm using a regular weight yarn. I can manage Knit-cro-sheen or whatever it is fine. I had to switch over to knitting more because of that. I still crochet occasionally but don't do it all the time. You might want to ask your doctor--there may be treatments or therapies you could try.
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PBELKNAP
Permanent Resident

USA
1136 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2009 :  1:05:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit PBELKNAP's Homepage Send PBELKNAP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1. REST. You don't want to strain yourself into a carpel tunnel operation. See a doctor if you need to.

2. Get yourself some of those foam rubber crochet hook covers. The added width is usually enough to relieve hand cramping. Either that, or Susan Bates has those bamboo-handled hooks now or you can try Clover Soft touch (I think they're called that).

3. Get some of these: http://www.herrschners.com/products/sku-320178__id-1538.html

This is just a suggested site to get them...they are available just about anywhere...Amazon, Joann's, Michael's, etc. I find that I can crochet longer if I wear these.

4. Take frequent breaks. I do find that crocheting requires more breaks than knitting. I literally, over the course of an evening, do 15 minutes of crocheting followed by 15 minutes of rest. I use the TV commercials to time myself.

*************************
PAM

WIP = Shadow Jacket (crochet), Snowflake Sweater (knit)

If I could only do this for a living...
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Kathleen-NYC
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
444 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2009 :  2:22:37 PM  Show Profile Send Kathleen-NYC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have arthritis in the basal thumb joint of my left hand. My doctor gave me a (very painful) injection in the joint to ease the inflamation - and suggested I take Motrin (I can't take aspirin). He also prescribed a splint to wear on my hand (overnight) when I have flareups.

It's been two years since I was diagnosed. Between the Motrin and the splint - I haven't had much of a problem since then. The important thing is when it does flareup - is that you rest your hand for a while.

Good luck - you'll be fine.
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Katheroni
Permanent Resident

USA
1407 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2009 :  8:50:40 PM  Show Profile Send Katheroni a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seriously. Rest. Crochet is hard on my hands too. If you want to crochet at all, you gotta take it easy on your body!
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MindyO
Permanent Resident

USA
2493 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2009 :  9:04:27 PM  Show Profile Send MindyO a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can only crochet for an hour MAYBE before my hand, mainly the muscle at the base of my thumb, hurts so bad I can't stand it. I don't know what it is or why it happens. But I did find using slightly larger hook like H-K and making sure I don't GRIP anything but hold loosely I have a much easier time of it than if I'm actually gripping the hook. I have been using those little purple hook sleeves to add grip and
girth to make it easier and so far so good.

My Ravelry
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Fraggle
Seriously Hooked

USA
747 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2009 :  8:21:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Fraggle's Homepage Send Fraggle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pretty sound advice here.

As for the suggestion of another tool that may help is that provocraft makes a handle with the ability to change different size hooks on it (and interchangeable crochet hook) Here's a link to the picture of it:
http://www.provocraft.com/products/detail.php?cl=knifty%20knitter&scl=needlecrafts&cat=&item=21-0246

~ Fraggle

". . . Or if you send me your size I'll knit you a new one" -Hawkeye on M*A*S*H

My websites:
Fraggle's World and For Me?! Knit-a-long
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knitz2
Permanent Resident

USA
1800 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2009 :  08:40:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit knitz2's Homepage Send knitz2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
some very good advice already given. I find it helps me if throughout the day while doing other things, I occasionally (at least once an hour) just pause in whatever I'm doing and flex/relax my fingers & thumbs a few times. I think it helps circulation or something.

Keep knitting, this too shall pass.
Come visit me at http://yarnbasket.wordpress.com
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JoliGee
Chatty Knitter

223 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2009 :  1:55:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit JoliGee's Homepage Send JoliGee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, gang. A big thumbs up for KR crocheters!

http://asiftoknit.blogspot.com/
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zknit08
Chatty Knitter

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2009 :  11:31:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit zknit08's Homepage Send zknit08 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
JoliGee, I hope your thumb feels better by this time and one or more of the above sound advice had worked for you. May I ask if you are a left handed crocheter or a right handed one? I am a right-handed crocheter
and hold the hook with my right thumb, index and middle fingers. May I also ask how long have you been crocheting?
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2009 :  6:16:19 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another suggestion....relax... ease up on the tension you are putting on your thumb joints. I have everything wrong with my fingers and wrists, several arthritises, carpal tunnel, old fractures, etc. I could only crochet for less than 5 minutes when I had to stop from the pain so I gave it up for over 20 years. Long enough that I lost my muscle memory. One day I picked up my crochet hook but I picked it up like a knitting needle instead of a pencil. It worked, I can crochet again. Learn to crochet with various hand positions and you probably won't have any more problems.

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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Mocha
Permanent Resident

Singapore
2903 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2009 :  10:21:17 PM  Show Profile Send Mocha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't try medicine as long term solutions. I think Fran made a good point. Relax your finger. You can try massaging or stretching or even stop crocheting for awhile (maybe 1 week?)
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lella
Permanent Resident

9712 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2009 :  10:53:54 AM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a long time crocheting person, I agree with fran and others who said shift the hook holding positions. I shifted to a pencil holding position after overworking my thumb the other way. Just the opposite of fran.

Shift how you hold the hooks and give up "death gripping" it. That's what worked for me, as well as resting at least a few minutes every so once in awhile. You know, if you are watching tv and it gets too exciting, unconsciously, you can clamp a death grip on that hook.

My Blog @ Zippiknits
Knitting@ Flicker
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Yarnbazaar
New Pal

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2012 :  01:37:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Yarnbazaar's Homepage Send Yarnbazaar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe it's the risk that you will face doing repetitive motion...
but you won't have any choice but to stop or you will just continue to feel the sore...
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jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1346 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2012 :  6:39:48 PM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Knit! Honestly when I started back into the yarns world 10 or so years ago I first started as a crocheter until it was just too hard on my hands so I started knitting rather than slow down completely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Signature? Who needs a signature?
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2046 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2012 :  9:26:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knit Continental and hold my yarn in my left hand, just as if I'm crocheting. My pain started between the 2 joints in my left thumb. I started using Banalg, a menthol type lotion, and it worked - for awhile. (Actually, it still works, but I'm really careful because I don't want to cause perminent damage.) Then the pain started to travel to the fatty part of my lower thumb and into the wrist joint. It got so that I could not even twist a door handle with that hand. I finally went to a hand doctor and she gave me a cotizone (?sp) shot up the arm, about an inch from the wrist. She said the tendon for the middle finger, ring finger and thumb were swelling. The shot made loads of difference, but eventually the pain came back, even worse. Had a 2nd shot which didn't really help. You can only have the shot after a 3 month time separation between shots. Now I have an appointment for 6/7/12 to see if there is some kind of a brace I can wear at night because I now wake up with the pain and a feeling of a swollen hand, which leaves when I stretch my arm and hand straight up. Weird. I can only knit between 800 to 1,000 stitches a day now, where I used to knit up to 6,000 per day with no problem. I refuse to give up my knitting and so I keep trying to do some, but do you realize how long it takes just to knit one sock at 800 stitches per day! That isn't even 1 cuff! Just holding a book for any length of time is now a problem.

My specialist X-rayed my hand and told me my hand was "beautiful", "perfect", the best she'd seen. Considering my age that was a real complement! I'm old as dirt! It's just those **** tendons giving me problems!

Maybe you should see a hand specialist to make sure you aren't damaging your hand. Always remember, pain = problem! Don't ignore pain, ever!

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
1782 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2012 :  1:27:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OMG, your crochet movement may be little or nothing! Can't say, but rest won't do a thing for the long term. I'd have to see you crochet to understand what you are doing. I sense that your left hand is frozen somehow.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Yarnbazaar
New Pal

USA
8 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2012 :  12:02:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit Yarnbazaar's Homepage Send Yarnbazaar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Resting from crocheting for a while might greatly help on recovering from pain in your hand. I think repetitive motion is the major cause of that pain or it's almost the same as a carpal tunnel syndrome.

JO ELLEN
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zknit08
Chatty Knitter

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2012 :  09:44:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit zknit08's Homepage Send zknit08 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with Fran too. You must learn to relax all your fingers while crocheting, especially your thumb. Don't think of crochet as serious work. Do it playfully. This is my attitude when I'm crocheting--I'm playing (with hook and yarn):)
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