hand cramps

scottly's picture

I usually don't have this problem but I just started a pair of sock for which I am using size 0s. I don't have huge hands but they aren't little girly hands either and gripping those little tooth pick needles is doing a number on my hands. My left hand was crampy all day. Does anyone know of an exercise or stretch that would be helpfull? Just a note, I'm left handed and my left hand is also my mouse hand. I'm a CAD guy and it's heavy on the mouse work so a crampy left hand really sucks.

Comments

TheKnittingMill's picture

I have spondilitis (an

I have spondilitis (an autoimmune disease like RA) and I do get hand cramps quite frequently. I usually just take a break, do the stretches mentioned and plead with my hubby for a hand massage. I know they sell theraputic fingerless gloves on Knit Picks for people with arthritis even though I haven't tried them. It comes in different sizes and maybe worth a try. Look under the accessories tab.

“Now, let us all take a deep breath and
forge on into the future;
knitting at the ready.” -- E. Zimmerman

scottly's picture

I love those stretches -

I love those stretches - they feel really good. I'm going to try to get into a habit of doing then every couple of hours at work and while I knit. Thanks!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

You are very welcome. Glad

You are very welcome. Glad they help. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

daveballarat's picture

I would bribe your lover

I would bribe your lover over a bottle of red and a lovely meal, so that you can hold hands all evening, then he/she can massage romantically for hours... romance a great motivator... and not only might you get a good lay out of it, emotionally you will be satisfied and maybe even all the muscles that have been cramped for so long will finally be released 100%.

It's a serious suggestion by the way. I massaged a colleagues calf muscles for 2 1/2 hours once to relieve her of her water retention problem in her legs. She felt so wonderful afterward that she immediately headed for the shopped and did 6 hours shopping str8. I was not impressed.
So masssage to release the tension in the muscles but those muscles have now learn the tense is ok.... you got to reprogram the muscles... total relaxation... and then you can always do accupuncture...little needles with electric zaps... on your hand ... nowhere else. :)

Dave
Istanbul, Turkey

scottly's picture

Great idea! I already make

Great idea! I already make him message my feet on a regular basis. I've got him convinced that it's an essential bonding exercise.

rjcb3's picture

How do you knit?

How do you knit? Continental or English?

)O(
Robert

scottly's picture

Continental - but just like

Continental - but just like a right hander.

rjcb3's picture

Perhaps you might wish to

Perhaps you might wish to try to knit English style, not 'throwing' the yarn, that's way too much to do, but, carrying with your finger over the needle -- using your left hand to actually guide the needle, and your right hand only to carry the yarn across (and under and through, etc. etc. etc.)

...that way, you're equalising motion between both hands and wrists.

)O(
Robert

Thomasknits's picture

I'm also left handed (though

I'm also left handed (though I knit right handed). I have been having some wrists problems knitting, because I also play piano, and with computer usage it seemed as if my wrists were always active. Techniques I learned from piano...try to make sure your wrists are parallel to the floor (in other words try to push and pull with the up down movement of your wrists, not the side to side movement of you wrists). For your hand, try to make sure your fingers are as relaxed as possible. Don't death grip the needles... also if you knit continentally, take advice from the fastest knitter in the world to rest the index finger that feeds the yarn against the needle. It lowers tension.
Also, take rests frequently.
-Thomas

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Good points, Thomas. I

Good points, Thomas. I tried the finger against the needle suggestion but it wouldn't work for the way I carry my yarn. However, consciously relaxing the finger to its natural curve made for more comfort. Keeping the wrists in a neutral position also helps a lot. I had to retrain myself to do that many years ago and now it is so second nature that I never even thought of it. Same with death grip; that's why I recommended changing style. It helps me, especially if I've been knitting a lot with one size of needles and switch to a different set, either larger or smaller. - Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

scottly's picture

I had the same problem with

I had the same problem with resting my index finger on the needle. The yarn won't stay wrapped around my finger that way. But the other suggestions are great, thanks.

Thomasknits's picture

When I first tried resting

When I first tried resting the finger against the needle, I thought, "How the hell does this work?", but similarly to learning Continental in the first place, I figured it out. It makes it so all of your motions are confined to the centimeter nearest the tips of the needles. I think I actually don't "rest" the finger on the needle, but put it as close as I possible can. Also, try wrapping the yarn in your left hand the way Miriam Tegels does...over index, under middle finger, over ring finger, under pinky...it's weird at first, but actually helps out.
-Thomas

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I've always held my yarn

I've always held my yarn that way when I knit, whichever hand is actually controlling the yarn, wrapping a loop around my pinky as well. In fact, at first, seeing the way other knitters held their yarn always appeared strange to me. It looked awkward. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Some stretch exercises I use

Some stretch exercises I use is to hold my hands in the prayer position, palms flat together, but right over the solar plexus which puts the fingers up and the forearms to the side, creating a 45 degree angle. Hold for a slow count of 3 to 5. Then reverse your hands so they're back to back in the same position. Some times you have to drop the hands a little more towards your belly button to get the full stretch, or pivot your wrists so the finger tips touch your sternum for this pose. You may have to switch back and forth a few times before you feel any relaxation. Afterwards, I do finger wiggles several times, followed by clenching my hands into loose fists a couple of times. (Can also add a shake out to help fully relax the wrists and hands.) Seems to help me. Another thing that sometimes helps with finger and/or wrist cramps (for me) is to go to Continental style knitting - it has a tendency to loosen my overall grip and ease the pain. I'm a lefty, too, so can relate. --- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.