How to Avoid Crochet Strain

Avoid Crochet Strain – Tips and Tricks

My Quick Tips on How to Avoid Crochet Strain

Over the years crocheting has caused me some pain and strain. Many, times I have had to put my hook down because of the aches and pains crochet caused me.  And to top it off I would spend hours buried in a computer compounding the pain.  After tons of research, and lots of trial and error, I found a few things that work well for me, if your crochet hobby is causing you pain, then this tid-bit might be what you’re looking for.  Don’t forget to share what works for you.

I have to start out with a disclaimer here.  You should know I am NOT a medical professional, all these things I am about to share with you are things I learned along the way that helped me.  I strongly encourage you to seek out a professional opinion.

One more thing to keep in mind, we are all different and what works for me may not work for you.  I encourage you to do some digging via google, look up things like carpal tunnel excercise, or crochet pain, and see what others are doing, there are so many ways to crochet.  I hope you can find something here that is useful.

Stretch

Crochet is actually an excercise believe it or not.  Yea, I know it probable won’t make you shed pounds or anything like that, but you are working your muscles in a repetitive manner.  Logically when you start a workout you are instructed to begin with stretches, same concept here.

Before I begin I practice a few shoulder rolls, wrist rolls, neck rolls, and stretch out those fingers!

  • Shoulder Rolls – Try moving your shoulders in a circular motion.  I mimic this 34 second video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJXquDX3DcM
  • Neck Rolls – Starting with your chin on your chest, move your head in a huge circle. Like in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_IUbuqmwZM
  • Wrist Rolls – Make circles with your wrist joints like seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_3ZMVC91fE
  • Finger Stretching – With my arm extended and palm up, I stretch each finger using my other hand.  This guy demonstrates a few ways you can stretch the fingers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPO-zST-7EE
  • Practice Yoga – Doing yoga a few times a week can really help, there are many free resources for yoga, try searching for free beginners yoga and see what you get.  I find I don’t always do a full 30 minute segment, but even just a few minutes of the right stretches can make your body feel ohhh sooo good.
Holding your Yarn and Hook

When I crochet I tend to hold the yarn to tightly gripping onto it like its gonna fall into a fiery pit of lava.  It took me years to realize that I was holding my yarn wrong, ‘DOH.  Changing how I held the yarn made all the difference, it can help keep your hands positioned correctly.  There are two methods to holding your yarn, explained below.  I personally use the first method, of course you should try it both ways.

  • Method 1 – Weave your ball end of yarn over your pinky finger, under your ring and middle finger, and over your index finger.
    how to hold yarn
    Method 1: Back view.

    how to hold yarn for
    Method 1: Inside of hand view.
  • Method 2 – With the ball end of yarn wrap yarn around pinky one time, weave over your ring finger, under your middle finger and over your index finger.
    how to hold yarn
    Method 2: Back of hand view.

    how to hold yarn for crochet
    Method 2: Inside of hand view.

Just as the way holding yarn matters to avoid pain, same applies for how you handle and hold your hook.  Below are the two suggested ways of holding your hook, I personally use method 1.

  • Method 1 – Called the pencil method. Hold your thumb on the flat part of hook and index finger slightly above.

    how to hold your hook crochet
    Method 1: Pencil
  • Method 2 – Known as the knife method. Hold your thumb on flat part of hook with the end hook resting in your palm.

    how to hold your hook crochet
    Method 2: Knife
Keep it Loose

Your wrists and fingers should always be nice and loose.  Never pinch or strain, it can cause major pains.  If your thumb or fingers start aching while you are crocheting, this is a sign you are holding to tight.  I tend to do this without thinking, if you are in this predicament, stop and give your writs a nice loose wiggle, then continue paying close attention to how tight you gripping things.

Practice Good Posture

Ok so I admit it, if it wasn’t for the fact that I can curl up on my couch with my coffee, watch a good show, and crochet, I may not crochet as much.  With that being said you should ENJOY your hobby comfortably, and in whatever environment you choose, but your body position matters.  Avoid crunching over with your back bent forward.  Also avoid sitting or leaning to one side, I love to tuck one leg under my bum but unfortunately that causes issues.  So do your best to keep your back and shoulders straight or at least in line with each other.  Sometimes I place a pillow at the base of my back this helps keep things straighter.

Take Breaks

I really, really struggle with this one sometimes.  I get so intense figuring something out that I stare at that yarn for an hour before I look up and see whats going on around me.  You gotta take a break, just a little one, and do it frequently. Look up every 10 min, lift that head up, focus your eyes on something else, look around, anything just look away.  If you find you are struggling like I was try setting a timer, or a mental reminder like: after each row look up and look around.  Mix things up and add in a wrist roll or stand up for one of your breaks.

Have Fun

In my opinion the best tip ever!!!  Crochet is wonderful, but it can stop being fun if it’s causing you pain.  When I’m fretting over a pattern remind myself, “you know Kristyn, the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I don’t get this done.”  So relax and soon you’ll have something that you made and can admire. Have a blast, get creative, enjoy your crochet!!!

I want to know…

I want to know how these tips worked for you, or do you have some tips of your own?  Let me know visit my Contact Page or send me an email, funkifybers@gmail.com.