Contributed by staff
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.