Crochet Pains and Some Solutions


Mikey, Crochet Crowd

The Top Hat Ladies at the Knit and Crochet Show

A fan was just asking me about pains in their shoulders and elbows. I’m not a doctor or prescribing you a solution. I’m just going to share a very quick, but personal story.

In 2011, I thought my career with Mikey was over. In the summer time, I developed severe pains in my left arm. I am right handed when I crochet. A very long story made short… I went through 3 months of constant pain, went through testing as it may have been heart related and etc.

I had read an article about pain in your joints and I had been going to a chiropractor about 6 months prior. I thought to myself… what if my pain is being caused by something else in my body?

I went to the Chiropractor. The guy is pretty good I must say. It was the best $30 I had ever spent! It had turned out that my bone in my right wrist was out of alignment. It’s more than likely that crocheting caused this. This was sending mixed messages to my brain believing that it was my left side that was in pain. The doctor did a quick shift, popped something in my wrist and my pain was instantly gone. It’s been three years now and I haven’t had any issues.

Today, as you will see in the video below is important key factors for crochet comfort. How you sit and the way you support your body is so critical. Your favourite chair in your home may be the same chair causing you the problems. I cannot crochet today without a pillow under my arms to support the proper angle and weight of my arms while I hook. With the pillows, my wrists, elbows and shoulders are all relaxed. I can crochet for hours and hours without any problems.

For an article for another time, your crochet hooks everything to do with your comfort levels. I cannot crochet at all with conventional straight crochet hooks. I was at a convention a few months ago where we were challenged to make as many granny squares as possible. I didn’t get through 1/4 of it and quit. While 7 hours went by and people at the table were cracking one after another, I hadn’t done one! I felt like a fool as being labeled as a crochet guru and yet I am not doing any. Truthfully as well, I think it’s a bit rude to be crocheting while there are fantastic speakers giving advice because taking notes and suggestions are critical for self development. I say that because when I crochet I get into the zone and I don’t tend to talk as I hook. I go silent, go into my thoughts and have my own personal serenity time. Crochet is 100% Me Time!

At the convention, I was given a cheap straight hook to use. I wasn’t going to sit there and injure myself as I had the pain instantly come on. I had left my ergonomic hooks in the hotel room. I didn’t realize we would be crocheting. My hooks have to be ergonomic. I find I over grip straight hooks as I am subconsciously worried about dropping the hook, or not rotating it right. The ergonomic hooks have grooves that match your fingers and your fingers instantly know if your hook isn’t sitting right in your hands.

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About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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17 Responses to Crochet Pains and Some Solutions

  1. Wendy Hill says:

    I have never Crochet before and at the tender age of 60yrs I felt it was a challenge for me. I discovered your page on FB and have watched several of your videos and I have to say I have come away feeling quite comfortable and able to do more then I have ever thought possible. Thank you so very much for all your time and patience. Huge fan….

  2. Daisy says:

    Mikey, I also remind my students to work below their heart. Working above your heart restricts blood flow which is why many people get numbness or tingles in their hands. Our fingers are running a marathon when we crochet. In addition to sitting upright, not hunched in a couch, I also have to remind my students to breathe. Sometimes we get so focused we forget to breathe.

    Question for you: I was teaching a Crochet class at Michaels to new students and I had a couple students having a tough time just getting their dexterity down and holding the crochet hook correctly. There was an older lady looking in on us who said she also teaches crochet and said she knows an easier way to hold the crochet hook. I was kind of annoyed she was disturbing the class, so just kind of smiled her off and redirected my students, but REALLY??? Ever heard of an easier way to hold the hook (other than the traditional way) for maybe older students or people with limited dexterity???

  3. Annie Barnett says:

    Wow, glad someone posted the yarn craft pain related issues…. I have had carpal tunnel, tendon release and numerous tendon injections in right hand, ouch!’

  4. Tami Pekera says:

    i am in the process of trying something new for the numbness in my left hand since that’s the had I use to crochet. I have purchased all the things I need to make polymer crochet hook handles. This is something new for me but badly needed to continue crocheting comfortably. When I get done with a few orders I’m gonna start on them. Wish me luck!

  5. Sandra says:

    I’m glad you were able to figure out and work through your pain. There’s nothing worse than hurting and not knowing where it’s coming from and how much it can affect your life, including your career! In addition to the chiropractor, massage is a huge help too. It can help prevent and alleviate impingement (pressing of muscles) of the nerves and vessels that travel from your shoulders, back and neck down into your arms and hands. It can also help relieve pain associated with repetitive stress syndrome (you know, like the repetitive motion we crocheters use over and over and over again). It’s at least worth looking into, and from my own personal experience, it’s well worth the money too!

  6. mary Jeffery says:

    I suffer with Psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia. I have not seen the ergonomic hooks. Can you please tell me where I could find some? I bought the Boye Ergonomic Aluminum Crochet Handle but haven’t opened it yet. I guess I should try this before I go looking for something else but having two long term projects going, its difficult switching up between hooks.

  7. This is a very interesting topic for me as I have fibromyalgia. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to crochet due to hand pains. Being an artist and do it myself-er I went about solving my problem by creating my own crochet hooks and many have had great success with them. I would love to share them where and when it is appropriate. Thank you for the great information. -julia

  8. Pingback: Pain in hands and shoulder due to long sessions in hand embroidery and crochet - IndusLadies

  9. Terri Baker says:

    This now makes so much sense to me! When I am feverishly crocheting my neck and shoulders become tense, knotted, and sometimes I get migraines. I tried placing a pillow under my arm after reading this and there is a lot less stress on my shoulder and neck. Thank you so much Mickey for sharing your story!

  10. thefrugalcrafter says:

    good advise on sitting, I tend to curl up and sit on my feet acckkk! On the couch while watching TV no less LOL!

  11. aboeve says:

    Thanks so much for all your wonderful videos and information. I have recently been diagnosed with degenerative joint disease. I am going to looking for crochet hooks that are “fatter” to take the pain out of my hands. Do you have any suggestions on which ones are best and hofefully not too expensive?
    Thanks again Mikey!

  12. lellieb says:

    I have a chronic pain disease called reflex sympathetic dystrophy and am in constant pain 24/7, 365 days a year. If I had to describe the pain I would tell you that it feels like someone ripped me open soaked my insides with kerosene, lit it and then stitched me back up. RSD has been labeled the disease which causes the most pain and there is a significant suicide rate. There is no cure and treatments usually include opiates which can make you drowsy. I was unable to crochet for several years because the swelling and pain were so bad.
    Now I am happily back hooking despite the pain. I wear Compression gloves, have a baby bop that fits under my arms to keep them at an appropriate level. I also use a music stand to keep patterns at eye level. I have discovered that the joy I get out of crocheting and completing a project helps me to keep my spirits up and helps to reduce my pain. I hope that others fighting this disease and others will give this a try. Crocheting has literally changed my life!!

    • valerie_y says:

      Thank you for your good advice. Sending you hugs and best wishes. When I broke my collarbone, I was focused on recovering enough so that I could continue to crochet. It took a long time and some physical therapy but I am recovered enough to crochet.

  13. AngieG9 says:

    Thank you so much for this video. I have found my most comfortable position is in my recliner, with my feet elevated, and a pillow under each elbow, and behind my neck. Right now I am recovering from a broken shoulder, and am still crocheting a few stitches at a time, all day long. I started the corner to corner afghan before breaking the shoulder, hoping to give it to my granddaughter for Christmas, but then had to slow down, so now it is the start of several for next Christmas. And even with the pain in my shoulder, I am able to crochet at least one row per day, which is slow sounding, but considering the severity of the break, I am just glad I can still hold the hook and the yarn, which is between my legs on the chair. I’ve had to find new ways to do everything, but as you said, crocheting is “me” time. BTW, love the yarn you are using. What brand and name is it? I’m collecting a stash for afghans for the family for next year now. Several years ago I made 17 of them in 8 months for my sibs, so now the grand kids are coming along and it’s time to make them their own afghans.

  14. Joanne Green says:

    Thank you Michael, that was very informative. I have always used a straight hook and I too always worry about dropping the hook because my hands hurt so bad. I’ve never seen these types of hooks(except on U-tube, but then I was never looking for them. I just assumed they were designed too look pretty but that was all. Now I’m am interested in trying one, maybe it will improve my achy hand problem. I truly appreciate all the great patterns too.

  15. Helen says:

    What ergonomic hooks do you use? I get pain in my thumb joint close to my hand when I crochet a lot Helen (Hmdb@bellsouth.net)

    Sent from my iPod

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