Knitting and Wrist Pain, How Does it Happen?

So you’ve been happily knitting along for years, and maybe even decades. You don’t understand Wrist Pain from knitting and its hurt. But lately, your wrist and hand and forearm have been starting to hurt.

It’s going to get Wrist Pain from Knitting, and then get worse.

The good news is that it’s not the knitting. Knitting in and of itself is not dangerous. Knitting does require repetitive motion, and that gets us close to what’s going on that Knitting and Wrist Pain.

But what is really going on with knitting that gives us wrist pain? Maybe it’s hand pain, maybe it’s forearm pain, and maybe it’s a combination. For right now let’s just lump it all together into wrist pain.

1. You perform the exact same repetitive motion over and over cause the muscles to fire over and over.

2. Muscles slowly start getting tighter and tighter, and the nervous system resets that new tightness as a new normal.

3. Connective tissue starts shrinkwrapping, like saran wrap around a half squeezed sponge.

4. The muscle and other tissue get less circulation. Less blood and nutrition in, less waste product out. This counts as an irritant.

5. Because of the irritant, the body tightens muscles to guard and protect against the irritant.

6. You continue to do a repetitive motion, like knitting and feel no pain or problem.

7. The muscles fire tens of thousands of times, which tugs on tendons and connective tissue. As everything gets tighter and tighter this tugging meets more and more resistance.

8. Eventually, some micro tear happens, tiny little wear and tear damage cause knitting Wrist Pain.

9. The nervous system notices the damage and kicks in an Inflammation Response.

10. Inflammation traps fluid in the area and releases chemicals that make you feel more knitting Wrist pain.

11. The body feels pain, so tightens up muscles to protect and guard you against the pain.

12. A Pain Causing Dynamic is now officially in place. This is a Downward Spiral of increasing tightness and pain.

13. At some point in here, you start to feel the knitting Wrist pain and suffer. Then later you start to feel pain, but it goes away quickly. Even if you don’t feel it, the Pain Causing Dynamic is constantly at work.

14. The body tries to compensate and fight off the Downward Spiral as long as it can. But it starts to lose. Then it can no longer win, and can’t really even put up a fight.

15. This is when you really feel the pain.

16. And you still think it will go away, and you love to knit, so….

17. You keep knitting and the wrist pain gets worse until you literally can’t knit anymore because of the pain. Or because you are afraid of causing permanent damage.

18. At this point, you get serious about looking for a way to make the pain go away.

19. You try everything the doctor prescribes, it doesn’t work.

20. At this point, you are desperate for something that will really work, and you haven’t picked up the needs for a good long while and it’s killing you.

17-20 can vary some. But 1-16 is set in stone. By default, that’s just how the body operates with repetitive motion.

The first step is to understand how and why you have Knitting and Wrist Pain and why it won’t go away. The second step is doing the RIGHT activities to reverse the Pain Causing Dynamic and make that Downward Spiral into an Upward Spiral.

Knitting is something that you should be able to do for the rest of your life, without wrist pain.