Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wrist Pain - When Crafts Turn Bad.

It seems like recently, more and more of my knitting friends are complaining of wrist and hand pain from knitting and sewing. It makes sense - if you're spending 10 or more hours crafting a week, then you're going to be in pain from the repeated motions, right?

For me, it's been a long-time struggle. The first time I experienced wrist pain from tendonitis, I was 14 years old, and attending tennis camp. After the first week, I was in so much pain I cried. My doctor diagnosed me with tendonitis, and sent me off with just a wrist brace and a "good luck!"

After tennis season was over, it didn't effect me much. I mean sure, bowling meant a sore wrist and hand, but it wasn't a huge deal day-to-day. 

Then, I got super into knitting and opened up an etsy shop selling tiny hand-sewn accessories, and that meant multiple hours of crafting a week. It was when I was prepping for my first craft fair that my tendonitis came back and bit me in the ass, hard. 

So I bought a pair of these stress-relief gloves. And they helped! I wore them for years while knitting and sewing, and they really seemed support my wrists and hands.

But then, about a year ago, I got a Vespa scooter, started riding my bike a lot more, and started playing tennis again. I think you know where this is going... with the added motion of squeezing the breaks, and playing the tennis, my tendonitis got super mad at me, and I was in a lot of pain.

So I upped my wrist support, and got something like this:

It's a heavy-duty, stretchy wrist support, and I love it. It feels like a wrist-hug, and when I'm really in pain, it helps a lot. I got mine from Target, and you could probably find it at a drug store.

And then, the game changed. Last October, I did a few sessions with a personal trainer at a gym, and I told him about my 15 years-worth of wrist pain. He asked if I was on supplements, and was shocked that no one had ever suggested it. 

I was skeptical. He was just like, a gym-type guy who was trying to up-sell me on his $30 bottle of supplements, right? But then I tried it...

I didn't buy the gym stuff, but I found a similar, cheaper product at Rite-Aid, and then at Trader Joe's. My wrist pain has been so much better since I started taking these daily. The suggested dose for the TJ's supplement is two pills daily, but I only take one and have found that works well. 

I can knit! I can sew! I can bike and type and lift things up! I still occasionally wear my wrist supports when knitting and exercising, but I am in a lot less pain day-to-day. Hopefully if you're going through the same thing, it will help you, too. 

Ps. I'm not a doctor. I just wanted to share my experience, so if you're thinking about taking supplements, please consult a physician, etc, and so forth. 


  1. Thanks for this! I need to find those first two. My current wrist brace can only be worn when I'm not knitting.

    1. Yeah! That's especially why I like the second brace. It's pretty heavy-duty, but still flexible!

  2. I do a variety of daily stretches and twists on my wrists but I'm going to add your suggestions to my regime. Thanks so much!

  3. I'm all about a good wrist brace while crafting, too - I get golfer's elbow from knitting, so I also do stretches and ice as needed. If things get really bad, I make an acupuncture appointment! I'm not a fan of needles, but it's super effective to manage the pain. The glucosamine is pretty rad, too - I used to take a vegan version when I was working on my feet all the time and I'm starting to think it could come in handy again. Thanks for sharing what's been working for you!

    1. Oh, I've heard great things about acupuncture! Excellent recommendation!


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