Sadly, annoyingly, this topic has been on my mind lately.  I’ve started wearing a splint at night for sleep and it’s helping.  I DO NOT want to get into advice giving here.  A crochet blog is not the place for medical advice sharing.  But, I have looked around on the web for ideas that might make crocheting easier on me.  So, I’m gonna share a few of those ideas.

First, this looks funny but might be very helpful and the accompanying article has some good hints:

crochet-hook-with-foam-0709

http://www.craftycrafty.tv/2007/09/dont_give_up_crochet_because_o.html

There are other hooks available that call themselves ‘ergonomic’.What does ‘ergonomic’ mean?  Here’s a good definition:

Ergonomics is the science of adapting the job and/or the equipment and the human to each other for optimal safety and productivity.

It makes sense to me that if a hook fits my hand nicely and I keep my elbows close to my body while crocheting, I’ve created the safest way for the muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves in my upper extremities to crochet safely.  The thing about keeping elbows close to the body came from #1 Nancy Nehring during a class I took in 2001, and #2 Laura, the hand therapist I worked with after I broke my left wrist a couple years ago.  I figure that’s good information – and, even if it’s not written in granite by the world’s leading orthopedist, it can’t hurt, right?

This one is hand turned and available at the site linked below it.

ergo-hook-4-0709

http://www.woodbyc.com/other_goodies1.htm

Here are some other ergonomic hooks that are widely available (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Walmart).   Check them out to see if one might work for you.

ergo-hook-2-0709

ergo-hook-3-0709

By jd wolfe




Comments

12 Comments so far

  1. Cindy on July 23, 2009 4:43 am

    I must hold my crochet hook wrong as none of those handles would be touched while crocheting. I hold my hook like I hold a pencil.

  2. Kcrystina on July 23, 2009 9:16 am

    Thank you SO much for this post. I too deal with pain while crocheting due to carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists and Fibromyalgia. Most of the time I work through the pain or I go do something else for a while. I’ve also found that if I have a few different projects on the go, switching projects every once in a while tends to help too.

    I’ll have to check out those links and products.

  3. Painful on July 23, 2009 2:38 pm

    I feel like I have to say something to all those people reading this who might be in pain from crocheting or knitting:

    STOP!

    You hurt because your body is trying to tell you something. It is warning you it is tired of doing that repetitive motion and that you need to stop or you risk further injury. I knitted and knitted. First, my thumb began hurting, so much I could not lift a cookie sheet. I “rested” it by crocheting instead. My neck/shoulder muscles began hurting. Not long after that, I got a major cramp in my shoulder blade and things got progressively worse from there. Now, I cannot use my arms like normal people. They hurt with the simplest of activities. I feel I knitted myself into a serious injury. For the last two years I have been seriously limited and in much pain. I don’t mean to scare, but I wish someone had told me.

    Please, if you hurt…stop now and treat the injury you have. No afghan or sweater is worth the pain you might face later.

  4. Kate Wallis on July 25, 2009 11:03 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! I have used fimo (modeling clay) to shape a grip onto my hooks. basically I just got a blob of fimo, wrapped it around the middle to back portion of the hook, gripped it in my hand how I do when I crochet and baked it. the aluminum in the hooks doesn’t seem to mind, and TA DA! a made to fit ergonomic hook! Hope this helps a little

  5. teresa Maria on July 29, 2009 6:52 am

    Still working on website. I learned crochetting at 7 from a 75 year old neighbor. I believe the problems you all have is due to the way you hold the hooks. The way I learned I hold the hook with my right hand, being right handed, but my left hand holds the thread in a very natural way I put the thread between my middle and index finger and hold it softly with my thumb for tension. At the beginning you develop a little bit of calluses on your index finger facing the needle but that is temporary until your skin gets used to it. I also hold the work right in front of me not looking to the side or anything you might want to rest your elbows on the arms of the chair you seat on. One very important suggestion do not wear a watch on either wrist. I have been crochetting for a few decades and do not have any of the problems listed by the readers. Hope this is helpdul.

  6. rose on November 21, 2009 4:25 pm

    I think i’m trying very hard to learn my throat hurts and my neck and fingers are sore as well… i wish i could learn without any pain because i love it.

  7. lolita on January 30, 2010 12:18 pm

    well.. i am glad to see i am not the only one who lays awake at night bc they cannot crochet.
    last year i had to quit knitting because it hurt too much. Now, 8 months later, i can knit only about 2 rows before i am up all night in pain.
    I am working on a blanket right, crocheted, and had to quit. I got 8 rows done, and laid on the couch 2 nights in a row from pain.

    I hope your ideas are a saver;) I am going to try. I thought about buying those smooshies you buy to put on pencils for little kids. I just dont know if they sell them anymore.

    What a horrible thing crafting is going to be to me, if i cant do it because of pain.
    there must be others out there like us suffering – and whats worse– some of us use crocheting or knitting as a way to escape life for a while.
    a horrible cycle.

    anyways my point was, thank you for posting this and making us not feel alone!

  8. jd wolfe on February 2, 2010 10:36 pm

    Lolita,
    you’re definitely not alone – thus all the ergonomically designed crochet tools. and yes, those smooshies are still made. just look in the school supply aisle at target, walmart, whatever. they don’t fit all hooks, however. others use some foam material they get at the hardward store and tape or glue on. others use the baking clays to create a custom grip. not too hard to do, but takes some experimentation. if you haven’t tried the clover soft touch hooks, i do recommend them. i like the softer grip on them.
    jd

  9. Janey on October 12, 2010 3:52 pm

    I have some things that may make it easier- looms- like in knitting, you trade the bottom and the top loop and Nothing on your body will wiggle! I have shoulder pain and it seems like that lady said, a Mad injury ( well, a Warning ) I am NOT going to lie on a sofa in pain because I am having an injury- I bought the ultimate sweater machine, its like ironing- the looms also help too. Much luck to All of us in a knot over this problem, but how do you get out of shoulder pain? I have a Bump right above my shoulder blade, AND SEVERE acid problems.

  10. Victoria Richards on September 17, 2012 11:06 am

    I have been knitting & crocheting for years. I am left handed & no one could teach me so I learned right handed sitting beside my right handed sister & watching till it clicked with me. Now that I can do all of this right handed I have tried to teach myself lefthanded & I just can’t get it. Anyway I totaly have hand probs & can’t fint the spongy things that go over the hooks. I cannot get the pencil grips to go on the hooks. Please help……………….

  11. Leelee on January 17, 2013 2:56 am

    Okay, I get pain when I knit or crochet. It is definitely the muscles working, they’re not used to it. I do it little and often and building up the strength I need. The same with any new activity it is going to hurt. My consultant certainly hasn’t told me to stop, in fact he says it’s brilliant that I am doing exercises for my hands! I also use theraputty (always have) to help build strength. Don’t stop completely, but don’t cripple yourself! Little and often and build it up slowly!

  12. jd wolfe on January 17, 2013 8:07 pm

    I think this is probably pretty good advice. Thanks! Typically, pain is a guide that we should listen to. But, it makes sense that when developing new muscles, there will be some discomfort. Just try getting off the sofa and running a mile – using muscles you haven’t used since 11th grade. Then, you’ll be reminded about those unused muscles!
    jd

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