Here are some tips for crocheters who suffer from arthritis:
Don't try to crochet very early in the morning or very late at night, since arthritis pain and stiffness is more severe at these times.
Soak your hands in warm water before and after crocheting. This will help soothe the inflammation and relieve tension.
A gentle massage, with or without one of the good topical pain relief ointments on the market, will help. Be sure you use a non-greasy formula, so you won't defeat your purpose by having to work harder to control your yarn with sticky hands.
Choose a comfortable spot to crochet. If your body is relaxed, your hands will be less apt to cramp. Don't crochet for lengthy periods. Take a break now and then to stretch and move, and flex your fingers in a nice warm water bath.
Have a soothing cup of tea. Don't think about the arthritis; think about the lovely things you are creating and direct your energy toward that. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it-arthritis or not.
Your condition will dictate when and how to pace yourself. Arthritis pain and inflammation are affected by weather and stress. On a particularly bad day, you might want to forego your project.
Although mild exercise is helpful to keep affected joints mobile, to tax those joints during periods of flare-up or severe swelling could make matters worse. See your doctor for regular checkups. Contact your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation for updated information on the latest help for arthritics.