Monday, 28 April 2014

How to avoid crocheter's elbow

Hello all!

Did you know you could get a tennis arm or golfer's elbow from too much crocheting? I didn't but discovered the hard way.

My elbow hurts when I crochet too long or if I work at the computer (which I have to for work). Ouch. It started about two weeks ago and I was sure I just bumped my right elbow into something. I am clumsy like that after all. When the pain didn't disappear, I talked to my office colleague about it and she knew right away what I was talking about... So I have a golfer's elbow. That is, the underside of my elbow hurts. It's a dull pain which gets worse the more I repeat one motion (such as crochet or keyboard work). 

A golfer's elbow therefore seems to be a repetitive strain injury. I am not a medical person, so I can't really tell you much about it except that it hurts. 

Anyway, I spent some time on the internet to come up with cure (apparently there is none) and ways to avoid getting a nasty golfer's elbow. Since there are probably a lot of people around who share the crocheter's elbow or want to avoid one, I will share my research with you.


How to avoid a crocheter's elbow

1. Make sure your elbow isn't "free". Pop a pillow under your arm when you crochet, so the elbow rests on it. 

2. Stop crocheting right away if you feel any pain.

3. Stretch your forearms and hands often. I found that these stretching exercises actually help: Youtube Stretch Exercises.

4. Massage your forearm muscles after a crochet workout. I have one of these back massage pillows and discovered it works for arm massage too. 

5. Try out an ergonomic crochet hook. This didn't work for me but it might for you.



Do you know more tricks? I am happy to add them to this list, so drop me a line!

Take care, Anne

P.S. Does any of you know a miracle cure for my elbow? I have crochet withdrawal....

14 comments :

  1. I get this pain too! :( Usually it means having to take an unwanted break from crochet for a couple of days. Those couple of days are no fun, but afterwards I'm usually good to get back into i for a few weeks or more without another flare up. If you keep "pushing through the pain," the pain gets worse, and then it takes longer to heal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good too know I am not alone (well, not good for both our ellbows though). I am off crochet since a couple of days and have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. Let's hope it actually helps!

      Take care,
      Anne

      Delete
  2. This video had some tips on crocheting pain free http://www.podbean.com/media/player/embed/postId/4806042?url=http%3A%2F%2Fmikeyssmail.podbean.com%2Fe%2Fcrochet-lessons-lesson-1%2F&type=video

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh boy, that's how I must have gotten it... #1, make sure your elbow isn't "free". Yah. I worked on something under time pressure for a gift, and it was a very thick item that required some physical pressure and some dexterity and I was away from home, so not in my usual 'crochet spot'. Instead, since the light was to the left of the sofa I sat on that side of the sofa with my right elbow "free". For hours. And I am an IT professional so I work on a computer all day. I have stopped crocheting now for about 10 days and am feeling much better. Am thinking about trying again for limited periods (I am going through a withdrawal!) so I think this clue about ensuring the elbow is supported is an excellent one. I think I should also try the left handed mousing for the computer but I am not sure that I have the dexterity on that side to pull off what I need to do for work. Who knows? Perhaps that will be a new challenge to keep me from being bored at work! I can hope. No, seriously, I do like my work. Most of the time. :-) But I would rather crochet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry to hear your ellbow is bothering you, too! I also go a pressure sleeve for the ellbow which helped a lot. Hope you will feel better soon!

      Delete
  4. BTW, any links provide in this thread seem to be unavailable now. Too bad. Would have been helpful. Will keep looking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hm, how weird, they still work for me. I will look out for new links though!

      Delete
  5. My doctor prescribed these cuffs that I wear between my wrist and elbow for support when I knit or crochete and they really work well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad they work well for you! I am not wearing mine at the moment but it is stored away in reach in case my elbow gets inflamed again!

      Delete
  6. What do these cuffs look like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen those. It's like a brace, but I have no idea how tight they are supposed to be so I haven't bought one.... check out this picture..... http://clinicsuppliescanada.com/catalog/product/gallery/id/119/image/9186/

      Delete
    2. Mine is tight but not too tight. That is I can still move the elbow. The braces have pressure points (for the inflamed parts in the elbow).

      Delete
  7. Loving your blog. yes, discovered the pain last night... I'm quite new to crochet, but been binge crocheting on an all round granny square afghan, thanks for the tips

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wish i knew about this before I got it. Ended up needing a cortisone injection. Which has lessened the pain but hadn't healed it completely. I miss crocheting ��

    ReplyDelete