Knitting Health: 16 Tips for Avoiding Knitting Pain

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Close-up photo of a woman clutching her swollen hand with a text overlay which says ", Knitting Health: 16 Tips for Avoiding Knitting Pain, Find out how you can eschew pains and enjoy nothing but hours of blissful crafting" followed by the LKO lettermarkI know that when I first started knitting in earnest, I would often lose myself in hours and hours of endless creation. It would only occur to me to take a break when my joints, arms, and fingers began to throb from the hours of limited mobility. There was no avoiding knitting pain for me as I continued on and on.

The pain that set in after some of these marathon sessions remained for hours later, only receding when I bathed them in warm water.

But there are many hints and tips for avoiding knitting pain I have discovered over the years.

While some of the following might be seen as nothing more than common sense, others have really opened my eyes to some of the ingenious ways people learn to overcome barriers in order to continue their pursuit of a passion such as knitting.

16 Tips for Avoiding Knitting Pain

Tip #1: Take Frequent Breaks to Avoid Knitting Pain

This is one I have been guilty of neglecting on more than one occasion, often lost in my own mind for hours at a time.

Tip #2: Stretch Before, During and After

Just like fitness exercises, give your fingers, wrists, and arms a gentle stretching routine to warm them up.

Tip #3: Proper Posture

Slouching is a sure-fire way to help the onset of pain. Keep your shoulders well relaxed and your back nice and straight.

Tip #4: Wrist Braces Can Help in Avoiding Knitting Pain

I find that wearing a wrist brace at night helps me wake fresh and ready to face a new day of knitting.

Tip #5: A Rubber Ball

To exercise the joints in my fingers, I find giving a rubber ball a squeeze for a few minutes helps significantly.

Tip #6: The Thimble of Success

The fingertips also suffer just as much as the joints. For them, I like to use flexible thimbles on each during my knitting sessions.

Tip #7: Support is Important

Make sure you support your arms while knitting. Letting them hang loosely puts extra muscle strain on your shoulders.

Tip #8: A Great Chair

Comfort is important. The more uncomfortable you are, the more stress your body suffers because of it. Find a comfortable chair just wide enough to support your arms in comfortable positions.

Tip #9: A Squeeze Toy Helps in Avoiding Knitting Pain

Having a soft squeeze toy nearby helps. The squeezing action helps loosen tightened joints and muscles.

Tip #10: Shake, Shake, Shake

Take a small break every 10 minutes or so and give your hand and fingers a thorough shake out. This helps loosen tight joints.

Tip #11: Use a Cushion to Cushion

Using a pillow or cushion on your lap while knitting helps to eliminate some of the strain.

Tip #12: Listen to Your Body

Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. If you feel cramps, tingling or other types of discomfort, take a break for a few minutes.

Tip #13: Rubber Bands Help Avoid Knitting Pain

Use a rubber band for simple stretching exercises for your hands and fingers.

Tip #14: Use a Timer

Give yourself regular breaks by using a timer set for certain intervals.

Tip #15: Size Does Matter

The size of your needles may also affect the pain associated with knitting. Adjust your needle size and see what helps.

Tip #16: Ointment for Knitting Pain

Although not one of my first choices, certain creams and ointments are also great for relieving the pain. But as anything medicinal, use sparingly.


  1. Thank you so much for this info…I find I get thumb joint pain & sometimes my index finger goes numb…will be doing exercises now. Thank you again

  2. Really great tips that I will definitely use going forward. Now that I am retired, knitting is my favorite go to pastime.

  3. Hello, very pleased to receive these ‘remedies’ I certainly loose track of time while knitting. Love all your Daily patterns and this New Weekly Newsletter. Best wishes.
    Margaret Sedgwick 💕

  4. Maria Zarb

    I do a lot of knitting and plastic canvas. Lately I am experiencing much pain in my thumb joints. Thanks for the exercises which I will start right away. Will keep you informed.

  5. Mrs Carole Domanski

    Hi thanks for those exercises, any particular ones for the thumb please? Now wear rubber thimble turned inside out as pricked catch the wool, or is that just me? As you say breaks are important, mine happen once discover daft mistake (therefore often) and this dead feeling on the inside of thumb driving me a wee bit nuts. So would appreciate any advice or go to places (Mediterranean sounds nice) no am being serious, bit scared may develop into carpal tunnel as in my right hand. Yes been offered surgery but as others will agree, not able to use the right hand during toiletries duties is very embarrassing, already endured left one. Not a pity message but genuine request for thumb exercises. Most sincerely. Carole D.

  6. Elizabeth

    I appreciate the tips and exercises for knitting. I often lose track of the time as I knit. So far my hands are good let’s keep them that way.

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