arrow178 Comments
  1. Misa
    Dec 30 - 4:39 pm

    I wish my doctors had given me these stretches when I was diagnosed with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. I just went through this series of stretches, and I feel more pain relief than I ever did after the last cortisone injection – and I didn’t have to pay $300!

    • liatmgat
      Dec 30 - 6:46 pm

      I’m so glad these helped you! I was so surprised when I could actually feel less soreness in my fingers immediately after doing them. Thanks for commenting!

      • Maggie O
        Jan 16 - 6:33 pm

        Just tried this and I had to stop my right elbow is hurting real bad. Do you have any suggestions? I believe I developed burstisis I had this before but not this bad. Muscles and joints hurt. I do have arthritis it is no specific kind my doc says it’s not lupus whatever that means! Anyway I like to do those stretches I will when my elbow heals.

        • El Edwards - Customer Happiness
          Jan 18 - 9:28 pm

          It sounds like you are doing just the right thing – waiting until your elbow has healed. If it continues, it would probably be worth seeing your doctor again.

    • Sally
      Dec 30 - 7:44 pm

      This works great.wishi saw it a week ago after a month of knitting my hands were super sore…thanks so much!!!!

      • Liat Gat
        Dec 31 - 11:39 am

        Hi Sally, I’m so glad that the stretches are working for you. Better late than never, right? :)

    • Holly
      Aug 18 - 8:49 pm

      I had De Querain’s, too. I had surgery for it in 1990. My wrist still hurt for 20 years until my chiropractor started working on it. I just did these stretches and I wish I had had them in 1990. I might could have done without the surgery or at least the twenty years of pain.

      • Wendy
        Sep 11 - 6:52 am

        I had DeQuervain’s as well. Had surgery for it MANY years ago. Still have a lot of pain in that wrist (which I also have Carpal Tunnel in that wrist). Hoping these exercises will help as well. Thanks!

    • tia mia
      Aug 20 - 3:08 pm

      I was also diagnosed with De Quervain’s Tendinitis due to crocheting for extended periods of time without taking a break. It is quite painful, especially in the mornings. I am now wearing a special brace on my arm that stabilizes the thumb and hand while I sleep. This seems to be helping. I have also started doing some exercises for my thumb which seem to help. I had (1) cortisone shot 4 months ago and vowed to find relief through other means…cortisone shots are so caustic and can leave even more scar tissue. It is just temporary relief…not a solution to the problem. I wish I had known about these hand exercises and the fact that you should NEVER crochet for extended periods of time without frequents rest periods!

    • Amina Yusuf
      Dec 19 - 7:28 pm

      AWESOME HELP, THANK you so much!!

  2. Linda
    Dec 30 - 9:24 pm

    These stretches are AMAZING! I did them briefly after seeing the pictures and immediately felt relief from the stiffness in my fingers! Thanks so much!

    • liatmgat
      Dec 31 - 4:31 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad! Isn’t it amazing?!

  3. Joyce
    Dec 31 - 3:02 pm

    Hi Liat
    Thanks to you and your sister Kate for these exercises. I can definitley feel a different already. I am presuming that the 90 seconds hold is not crucial as I only did it for 20 seconds and I still felt the difference. If I had to hold for 90 secs on each exercise I think I would give up.

    I wonder if Kate has any suggestions for the muscles under the arm next to the breast? I find when my work starts to get heavy that I feel the most discomfort there.

    I will certainly be passing this information on to all my knitting friends.

    Thanks again

    Joyce :)

    • Chris Kyle Link
      Sep 17 - 9:48 pm

      Get hold of a stiff Pilates roller
      I use it for illial tibial band syndrome which is the same problem with the fascia as described above but with the quad muscle in the thigh-google it

      I put it on the floor with pillows at either end for head and bottom and lie on it with arms outstretched at right angle to body- a bit like doing snow angels- I think you will feel the stretch immediately
      I got this one from Physiotherapist here in Australia
      Hope that helps

    • Heather
      Apr 10 - 2:30 pm

      Re: heavy knitting; using circular needles helps with the weight.
      Lots of great stretch advice here, thanks so much. Def sharing with my knitting & crippled friends (lots of us have uncle Arthur in our joints!)

  4. Kate
    Dec 31 - 11:51 pm

    Hi, guys! I’m so glad these helped you! Perhaps when I get back in town Liat and I can shoot a short video about how to work on your friends at Knit Night so everyone feels better! You don’t have to be a massage therapist to really help someone’s pain, just a few good pointers.

    Joyce, I think that the muscle group you are talking ant is the pecs, and front delt from how you are describing it. Stand in a doorway or at a corner of a wall, like you are going to walk through the door. Then, put your palm against the wall straight out from yr shoulder, at 90 degrees to your body. Use a long, straight arm. Now, rotate your body away from your palm as far as you can with a straight arm and no big discomfort.

    Relax your shoulders down from your ears. Relax your face, let the tongue fall off the roof of yr mouth. Breathe out, then rotate your body a bit further. Let the pec and the front of the shoulder feel a good stretch, which can feel burn-y, (that’s a fascia feel) but should not feel crunchy. Know the difference between “bad pain” and “good pain” in your body and be mindful of going to your place of benefit.

    Happy knitting and happy new year!

  5. kkuff
    Jan 01 - 2:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing these stretches with us…great relief. I did them while reading and could feel it immediately.

    My sister is a Physical Therapist and I questioned her about the discomfort from knitting a while ago. She suggested I wrap my arms and hands with a warm towel prior to stretching, stretch about 30 mins prior to knitting (yea, like that’s going to happen!), and to also stretch my neck (ear to shoulder then slowly rolling my head forward to stretch the muscles around the shoulder blade). She also suggested to ice my hands AFTER I knit, not to stretch, so the muscles, tendons and ligaments can calm down.

    Again, thanks for sharing these very specific stretches!!!

    • liatmgat
      Jan 02 - 7:49 pm

      Thanks for adding this advice, Karen! The neck stretches sound relaxing.

  6. O. Jolly
    Jan 03 - 8:32 am

    The stretches have now become an important part of my knitting “regimen”. I’m mostly a machine knitter, so I’m holding handles and working with small tools. Feels great! I’m doing the stretches with my hand knitting, too. Thanks, Liat and Kate!

  7. […] […]

  8. Laura
    Jan 09 - 12:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips. They also work great to relieve arm and wrist pain after a full day of typing!

    I’ve got another tip to relieve shoulder and neck pain. I’ve read it in knitting related context, but I cannot remember where. If your neck is stressed out and tensed do the following: turn your head to the left as far as it goes comfortably. Then push your lower jaw forward and hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. You’ll feel your neck muscles and tendons stretching. Switch to the other side and repeat. Two to three “sessions” usually help me a lot if I’ve been sitting in the wrong knitting or working position for too long.

    I hope this helps!

    • Joyce
      Aug 05 - 10:21 am

      I use to have lots of neck pain and headaches. I did end up with carpel tunnel in right hand and was so painful, had surgery for that. An unexpected benefit
      I got from carpel tunnel surgery was that all of my arm, and shoulder and neck aches went away and have never come back. You might just check and
      see if you are on the verge of carpel tunnel problems. Have nerves tested for
      it. Just a suggestion. Anyway, I am a believer!!! Also, these hand stretches
      felt wonderful and I printed out and will continue with them. Felt immediate

  9. Bonnie Lau
    Jan 10 - 9:11 pm

    good for me!

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  12. Stepahnie B.
    Jan 14 - 5:17 am

    I crochet like a fiend and I bet these will work for me too! Thank you!

  13. Pat
    Jan 14 - 5:56 am

    I really needed these this morning…thanks:-)

  14. Sheila
    Jan 14 - 7:34 am

    Saw this post on CraftGossip. I have been experiencing pain in my thumb from too much hand sewing. I am definitely going to give these stretches a try.

  15. Sheila
    Jan 14 - 7:36 am

    I saw this post on CraftGossip. Thanks for sharing. I have pain in my hands/thumb from too much hand sewing. Going to give these a try for sure.

    • liatmgat
      Jan 23 - 2:27 pm

      Hi Sheila, thanks for commenting! How do your hands feel after the stretches?

  16. pgf
    Jan 18 - 10:45 pm

    kate , do you have a photo of this stretch? I do not understand how to rotate, and is my arm straight out to the side of my body? confusing instructions to me.

    • liatmgat
      Jan 23 - 2:26 pm

      Hi there, which stretch are you confused about?

      Hold your arm straight in front of you – this will be the easiest. Kate had to hold her arm to the side for the photos.

      Try this: grab your right arm with your left hand, thumb on bottom. Push your grip down towards your right wrist (don’t let your grip slide). As you do this you can rotate your right arm in slightly, but it’s optional.

      How does that feel?

  17. […] Stretching exercises to help with knitting pain and stiffness. […]

  18. zahra
    Jan 26 - 11:04 pm

    excellent stretches. thank you for guiding.

  19. iwfama
    Mar 18 - 9:37 am

    These are great stretches. I imagine they would be great for anyone who does alot of computer work, or even a student that has to do alot of writing. I am certainly going to try them. Even someone with arthritis. I just think they’re great.

  20. Vicky
    Mar 18 - 5:04 pm

    Thank you, I’m currently having trouble with my elbow, shoulder and fingers. I’m sure these will help! My fingers are swollen.

  21. Anne Ross
    Mar 20 - 3:32 pm

    A good resource. The stretches do feel good.

    • Liat Gat
      Mar 22 - 10:59 am

      Anne, I’m glad you gave the stretches a try. They are great for your hands.

  22. Melissa Eelman
    Mar 20 - 5:10 pm

    I sent this to my daughter, a college flute player who experiences some overuse pain (practicing 3+ hours a day will do that, I guess!) She tried them just today, and loves them. Thanks, Liat!

  23. Melissa Kahn
    Mar 21 - 8:29 am

    Wow – they are fab! I love the explanation that went with the exercises – it really made me understand my body better! Thanks you soooooo much!!! I’ve passed the info on to two people already and I’ve only just read about it!

    • Liat Gat
      Mar 22 - 10:32 am

      Melissa, thank you! Aren’t they good?! I’m so grateful to my sister for teaching them to me so that I could share them with you. Thanks for sharing the page, too – that means a lot to me. Happy pain-free knitting!

  24. Charla
    Mar 27 - 7:08 pm

    I emailed these stretches to my daughter. Her Dr. made her stop knitting completely for 2 weeks because of the pain in her wrist from knitting so much. She’s excited about these exercises!

    • Liat Gat
      Mar 30 - 2:26 pm

      Charla wouldn’t that be great if these helped her?! Please let me know if they do!

  25. Thelma
    May 07 - 5:21 pm

    These are marvelous! I’ve arthritic hands… thumb joint, right wrist, and right hand’s pinky finger. I felt immediate relief. In fact, it seem to help my shoulder and neck … even my lats… where my ribs are.

    Thank you soooo much for giving us these exercises. Now… what have you got for our knees? LOL

    Also… I’m a member of an online knit forum… would it be okay with you if I copied your link to this page and share it with my fellow-knitters. I know that many experience finger and/or hand/wrist discomfort/pain. It’s a “topic” at times; asking for advice/suggestions for pain/discomfort relief.

    • Liat Gat
      May 09 - 9:12 pm

      Hi Thelma –

      You are wonderful! Of course you can share the link to this page with your fellow-knitters. It’s always great to have more members in our amazing knitting community. :)

      I’m really glad that the stretches are working for you as well… I’ll see what I can do about the knees!

  26. Shavie
    May 15 - 4:01 am

    OMG! Thank you bunches! I’m on a knitting marathon (for gifts) and my hands were hurting so much LOL! I tried the excercise and omg, what great relief! My poor hands were smoken’ from trying to finish! Again, thanks soooo so so much! And you’re right, great for waiting for tea LOL

    • Liat Gat
      May 20 - 12:17 pm

      Hi Shavie –

      It’s so sweet that you’re working so hard on making gifts. I’m glad that we could help give you some relief! Keep up the great work. I’m sure the gifts are going to be well-loved.

  27. Kepanie
    May 21 - 2:02 pm

    Someone pinned this on Pinterest. I found this post to be an interesting read and am working on doing these stretches every day before I knit or hook. Mahalo plenty for sharing about these.

    • Liat Gat
      May 21 - 3:20 pm

      Hi Kepanie –

      How awesome that someone pinned this on Pinterest! I’m glad that it led you here and that you are working on the stretches. :)

      Thank you so much for visiting. Happy Knitting!

  28. […] The dark side is that I have knitted so much the past couple of days that I am getting that nasty pain in my arm that rears its ugly head.  Knitters will know of what I speak.  I call it “Holiday Knitters Syndrome” although it doesn’t just choose the holidays to appear.  So I found this post full of exercises for knitters to help keep all those muscles stretched out and in good working order.  The prospect of having to take a “few days off” is not at all appealing to me right now […]

  29. […] The dark side is that I have knitted so much the past couple of days that I am getting that nasty pain in my arm that rears its ugly head.  Knitters will know of what I speak.  I call it “Holiday Knitters Syndrome” although it doesn’t just choose the holidays to appear.  So I found this post full of exercises for knitters to help keep all those muscles stretched out and in good working order.  The prospect of having to take a “few days off” is not at all appealing to me right now […]

  30. Terry
    Aug 08 - 1:13 pm

    Hi…so thankful that you posted these exercises…I am a continental knitter and have to knit socks on zeros to get the right gauge. My left hand fingers have been sore for several weeks and I thought I might have to give up knitting altogether!! The exercises are helping :)/ question…when the directions say to push your hand towards your elbow-would that mean “up toward your elbow” or pushing your hand in towards your chest, resulting in bending your elbow. Please clarify, when you have a minute. Thanks so much!
    Have a great day!

    • Liat Gat
      Aug 09 - 6:40 pm

      Terry, that’s wonderful! I’m really glad the stretches are helping. It’s incredible that they actually work, but they do.

      When I said “towards your elbow” I meant “up towards your elbow” – the skin of your arm (and the fascia underneath, if you’ve got a nice, tight grip) should be stretched away from the wrist and towards the elbow. Your elbow will probably be bent so that you can easily grasp your forearm with the opposite hand, but the “pushing towards your elbow” action will not cause your elbow to bend more. I hope this helps!

  31. Jenn
    Aug 28 - 12:54 pm

    This is very helpful. I have a mild wrist pain from knitting too much over the weekend. Just used these technique now and I’m feeling much better.

    • Liat Gat
      Aug 31 - 11:22 pm

      Hi Jenn, I’m so glad that this is helpful for you! I know knitting is so addicting that it’s hard to put down – even when the wrists and fingers start to ache. :)

      I’m so glad you’re feeling better.

  32. Imree
    Sep 10 - 11:55 pm

    Someone linked to this page on Tumblr… I had to come look. This is exactly what I needed! I’ve been marathon knitting a baby blanket and my wrists have been killing me. Just taking a five minute break for these stretches (and making a cup of tea) really helped a lot. My partner does a lot of hand-sewing but has bad joints in their hands/wrists- I’m definitely going to show them your stretches. Thank you so much for posting this! :)

    • Liat Gat
      Sep 11 - 3:13 pm

      Yay! I’m so happy these helped you! You can actually do these stretches for your partner – just grab his or her arm and pull! It’s a wonderful gift to give to someone else- instant hand relief.

  33. Susan
    Sep 16 - 10:19 pm

    I had Carpal tunnel surgery on one hand about 7 years ago and struggle with not overdoing things with both hands. Hoping these stretches help! How is that thumb stretch? I don’t see how to do it with the tops of my arms facing each other???

    • Liat Gat
      Sep 18 - 11:37 pm

      If you have carpal tunnel the most important stretch to do is stretch #1 – stretching the fascia of the forearm. For the thumb stretch, the position of your arms doesn’t matter- just push your thumb back like in the picture in a way that is comfortable for you.

  34. Tanya
    Sep 17 - 8:56 am

    Love the stretches and I can feel a new Liat video coming on… Definitely sharing this post

  35. tanya
    Sep 27 - 9:25 am

    Nice stretches. Amazing how we forget so many parts of our bodies, even the ones we use constantly.

    Without getting detailed, also remember the neck and shoulders and upper arms. Even the back needs stretching, especially from too much sitting.

  36. […] Stop every 40-50 minutes, get up and stretch your arms, shoulders and back. Liat Gat has a great list of knitter’s stretches. […]

  37. andreajayros
    Dec 07 - 1:38 am

    thank you soooo much for these. I’m a fiber artist and I’ve been in just about constant pain for a year. these stretches are awesome, like Yin Yoga for the hands. magic! <3

    • Liat Gat
      Dec 10 - 5:03 pm

      I hate to hear that you were in pain for so long, but I am very happy that the stretches have been helpful for you. :)

  38. Bev Crevar
    Dec 13 - 11:11 am

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I guess I knit too furiously this year. Just HAD TO finish this project and then the next! Then one evening, I was knitting along and “Twang”! I believe it was one of the nerves between the thumb and index finger on the left hand. For about a month now I’ve been feeling a constant “buzzing” in the thumb and sensitivity on top of the hand as well. I had no idea that others are suffering the same symptoms! THANK you so much for these exercises. Can’t wait to get started.

    • Liat Gat
      Dec 16 - 11:50 am

      Oh no! I’m so glad you found this post and I look forward to hearing that you’ve gotten some relief by using the stretches.

  39. Danni
    Jan 17 - 10:38 am

    These stretches are AMAZING! My hands felt better instantly. Pinned this immediately! Thank you for posting this.

    • Liat Gat
      Jan 17 - 9:27 pm

      Danni, that’s awesome! I’m so glad that the stretches worked for you.

  40. Melanie
    Jan 26 - 1:10 pm

    These are so great!! I’m glad that this was the first article that popped up when I googled “knitting hand soreness”, because it was EXACTLY what I needed.

    My brother will be so happy when his scarf is completed tomorrow rather than next week, so thank you from both of us (and my newly freshened fascia)!

    • Liat Gat
      Jan 26 - 11:08 pm

      Hi Melanie, I’m so glad that you were able to finish up the scarf for your brother – just in time for the toughest part of winter!

  41. Laura
    Feb 19 - 12:16 am

    Amazing thank you so much- had chronic thumb pain for a fortnight but the stretches just relieved it! Magic

  42. Janey
    Mar 06 - 10:07 pm

    Thank you for these.

    I shall print them off for my mother – she is the one who gets muscle aches and pains from knitting. (I spend too much time on the computer – surfing knitting sites.) Anyway, I am sure we will both do them.

    • Liat Gat
      Mar 07 - 3:25 pm

      That’s wonderful. I really hope you both feel the benefits from the stretches. :)

  43. Kathleen junker
    Mar 25 - 4:37 pm

    Dear Liat, I’m so glad you are helping knitters with these stretches.Do you know of any that help with shoulder pain? I was knitting a lot and not taking breaks and started getting bad shoulder pain. I guess it would be ” rotator cuff” pain? I read that the only way to help is to stop knitting until the pain goes away or you will do more damage. That was two weeks ago and it’s not much better and I miss knitting soooo much! Are there any exercises I could do to help ? And once it’s gone, any that I could do to prevent this happening again? Thanks so much for your help.

    • Liat Gat
      Mar 25 - 6:57 pm

      Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear this! I actually don’t know much about shoulder pain due to knitting, although I’m sure a good massage therapist could help figure out why you’re having pain. That’s how I learned about the finger stretches.

    • Donna McQueen
      Apr 20 - 5:07 pm

      Kathleen, please read my comment below. I also had neck and shoulder issues and used the same technique. This stuff really works wonders for me! Hope it helps you … and it’s affordable!!!

  44. Aimee's Knits
    Mar 31 - 7:34 pm

    These stretches are excellent. Only just started selling knitwear and have been knitting non-stop with an unprecedented amount of custom orders for friends and my poor little hands are as stiff as pokers. I suffer from bouts of tendonitis when my hands are very busy (im also a music student and play clarinet and piano for a number of hours every day) but even the twinge in my wrist is after easing from only doing 20 seconds on each stretch. Thank you for sharing!

  45. Margaret
    Apr 04 - 6:49 am

    Great post! For anyone who also practices the martial arts, gently going through wrist locks is also a great way to stretch the hand, wrist and arm muscles. (If you’re not practiced with these do not attempt as they can cause damage if improperly done.)

    Stretch #2 is basically accomplishing the same thing as one of the wrist locks. But whenever I get sore from knitting, I start going through the locks myself and it helps. Stretching is the best way to keep muscles fit and working properly.

  46. Debbie Ryder
    Apr 04 - 8:05 am

    Thanks so much for these stretches. I’ve been having a lot of pain in my index finger as I knit. In fact, it had gotten so sore that it hurt all the time, whether I was knitting or not. I was afraid that I had gotten a stress fracture. However, I just did your stretches and as promised, instant relief. The pain is gone. Guess there was no fracture, just taught fasciae! Bless you! I won’t have to give up knitting after all!!!

  47. Samantha
    Apr 06 - 4:53 pm

    Hi Liat! These are amazing!! Thank you so much for posting these stretches!!!
    I’m teaching a meditative knitting class this week (yep – using knitting as a form of mindfulness meditation) and part of my class is about how to look after our knitting hands… these were by far the best stretches I found in my hunt and I’ve credited you and your website wholeheartedly. Thanks again!! :)

  48. Brooke Browning
    Apr 10 - 7:42 am

    hi, I was so glad to see these stretches featured in my craft zine newsletter.I have a myofascial disorder and routinely need stretches to help myself function.I also note understand how important it is for everyone believe everyone! great tute on beneficial stretches and description of the facia. I actually will use to help my violin playing also. Thanks!!!!

  49. Ruth
    Apr 10 - 11:27 am

    I live with pain….may I suggest something? If you find the pain challenging you even after stretches…… pack, then heat and alternate. Ice hurts more at first but seems to take the inflamation away the best. Warmth seems to relax muscles and nerve pain better. Just my 2cents…..

    • Kate
      Apr 10 - 6:33 pm

      Ruth, I totally agree!! I think in general we over-ice, but I love it in conjunction with heat. If you are in severe pain, fill a bucket with ice water, and another with very hot water. By ice water I mean fill a bucket with ice and add water. The hot water should be as hot as you can stand it without scalding yourself.

      Dunk your hands and/or arms – whatever hurts – into the ice water first, immersing the body part past the last joint involved. (If the pain goes into your elbow, put your arm in to your bicep.) After about 90 seconds, switch to the hot water. Go back and forth about 10 times. The trick is to keep the hot water hot and the cold water cold.

      This action vaso-dilates and constricts the blood vessels, pumping blood (which carries the nutrients your muscles need to repair) vigorously through the body. Your arm will get all blotchy for a bit- that’s okay.

      Bonus points: put Epsom salts in the hot water. Epsom salts have magnesium, one of the main ingredients needed for muscle tissue repair. Soaking your skin in water with Epsom salts is the fastest way we know to deliver magnesium to the blood stream. Happy healing!

  50. Fil
    Apr 11 - 11:43 am

    Hi Liat – thank you so much to you and Kate for these stretches – wonderful. I play guitar and also accompany singers on piano – and between those and knitting I’m always aching somewhere LOL Lovely to have specific exercises. Fil

  51. GrrannyH
    Apr 11 - 1:33 pm

    Here’s another exercise my chiropractor told me to do for elbow pain: place a roll of quarters or some cylindrical object in the inner bend of your elbow. Grab the wrist of that arm and pull it back towards your shoulder. Increase the size of the cylinder until you can feel a stretch. I have some arm muscles, so I use a spice jar. Also, ice the elbow when it starts to hurt.

  52. […] 5 stretches to ease the stiffness and pain from knitting a lot. (via CRAFT) […]

  53. […] Top 5 Stretches For Knitting Pain And Stiffness – Just in case you do get the occasional side-effect, here are some stretches to help keep your fingers nimble. […]

  54. Elaine argus
    Apr 12 - 8:36 am

    Liat, I just had a hand specialist diagnose certain issues with my hands, and got comfort cool thumb and hand braces. But these exercises feel So Good.
    Just found them now, as link was passed on. As usual, you provide such a wealth of knowledge to us. Thank you. Elaine

  55. […] A true sign that you have been knitting too much is having some arm/finger pains. Here is a nifty article about stretching to keep the needles clicking: […]

  56. Stela
    Apr 12 - 2:30 pm

    Very Helpful!
    Thank you.

  57. Emarie
    Apr 16 - 5:29 am

    Ahh, these exercises provide much relief to my arthritic hands! Thanks!

  58. JoKaren
    Apr 17 - 6:47 am

    I suffer from chronic tendonitis in both wrists – these stretches are just what the doctor ordered to keep me knitting, crocheting and typing. THANK YOU!

  59. […] Top 5 Stretches For Knitting Pain And Stiffness | KNITFreedom. […]

  60. Nancy Lebovitz
    Apr 20 - 12:46 pm

    Thank you very much for posting this– I don’t knit, but I tried the exercises anyway, and my hands and lower arms feel a lot better.

    I’m passing the link along to– a blog that specializes in experimentation to find methods of healing, and a bit of snark about simple things that work which the doctor didn’t think of.

  61. Joyce Dowling
    Apr 20 - 1:08 pm

    Thank you for hand stretches my hands feel so much better. I have to wear carpal tunnel splints and the rest of my muscles were so tight from lack of use. I did not think to look up stretches.

  62. Donna McQueen
    Apr 20 - 4:54 pm

    Thank you for the stretches. They work great on tired hands! I have crocheted and knitted for many years, but about 10 years ago (when I retired) I began doing lots of needlework. Thats when my wrists and hands ( and sometimes arms) began hurting badly. Some one told me about using something that caused me to laugh, until I realized what she was saying. Use castor oil. NO, don’t swallow it! Rub it on your aching parts and then apply heat to it. So at night when I’m going to be, I will rub castor oil on my hands, then heat a rice bag in the microwave for 2 min. and keep it on my hands. Best to wrap it in a hand towel so as not to get the oil on the rice bag, or it could scorch it or start fire in the microwave the next time you heat it. I do this for 2 or 3 nights, and usually don’t have pain for several months. I don’t know how it works, it just does.
    Also, an elderly lady told me many years ago to take your thumb and forefinger and message each joint on every finger and thumb by grabbing the joint on the sides of the finger or thumb and roll it back and forth about 5 times for each joint. Do this once a day and she said you will never get calcium deposits in your joints.
    Just a few tidbits I’ve learned. Hope they work for you.

  63. Jo
    Apr 23 - 4:42 am

    I struggle with tendonitis. Will these stretches help with that? I’m tired if gong months without being able to do much of anything.

  64. […] your hands and fingers to aid knitters due to the repetitive motion and holding the needles.  This article will be good as it gets closer to the […]

  65. […] Stretch set one […]

  66. Antoinette Swett
    May 11 - 5:15 am

    I have had serve hamd pain for the last two years du tons MS condition. I just tried these, could feel a difference already. I have same issues with my legs and feet. I slowly and with little push did similar on them. Felt a difference here also. I am going to crochet today see how it goes. Thank you for you insite.

  67. […] Top 5 Stretches For Knitting Pain And Stiffness from  KNITFreedom. […]

  68. Mary Z
    May 25 - 5:25 am

    I broke two fingers and did some tendon damage on my right hand two years ago. Knitting actually has helped to reduce pain, however I have not had full return of my grip since. My ring finger has not been able to totally straighten out in the two years. With doing these stretches the past three days my finger is extending more and more in line with the rest of the fingers on my hand. My middle finger didn’t have a break but did have some tendon issues. The pain is really reduced and have more flexibility now. I still am unable to make a full fist I can bring my fingers closer to my palm (without having to use my left hand pressing on the bent figers) than I have been able to since the fall that resulted in the fractures.

  69. Nancy
    Jun 06 - 10:52 am

    I add my thanks for the whole stretch ideas. My left thumb aches from croc/knitting voraciously. Also my right hand middle finger. In desperation I searched for ‘aching hand/fingers relief and Priase God” I found your site. Immediate relief!! Now it will become a daily routine for me. Now I can continue my lifelong love of Knitting/Crocheting. You’re a blessing.

  70. GnAnS
    Jun 06 - 9:38 pm

    Wow,what a relief !!!
    Thanks Liat !!!…cheers :)

  71. inge rodolf
    Jun 18 - 5:31 am

    too much crochet, my elbow, lowerarm and upperarm hurt a lot, so have to keep off the needle and yarn for a couple of days. but the pain will return after a few days of work. i just did the stretches, and feel allready relief! thanks so much, will send your instructions to some friends !

  72. Barbra Maw
    Jun 29 - 10:38 am

    Muscle pain is most frequently related to tension, overuse, or muscle injury from exercise or physically-demanding work. In these situations, the pain tends to involve specific muscles and starts during or just after the activity. It is usually obvious which activity is causing the pain….”

    Our favorite blog site

  73. Denisse Galliher
    Jun 30 - 6:52 pm

    Medicine treats injury and pathology to support and speed healing; and treats distressing symptoms such as pain to relieve suffering during treatment and healing. When a painful injury or pathology is resistant to treatment and persists, when pain persists after the injury or pathology has healed, and when medical science cannot identify the cause of pain, the task of medicine is to relieve suffering. .';^

    Have a good day <

  74. Mitchell Garneau
    Jul 03 - 9:28 am

    Shoulder pain may be localized or may be deferred to areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Disease within the body (such as gallbladder, liver, or heart disease, or disease of the cervical spine of the neck) also may generate pain that the brain may interpret as arising from the shoulder.”`.:

    Have fun

  75. Gretchen Wallett
    Jul 04 - 7:08 am

    Wow! Thank you. I just started work as a seamstress. Eight hours a day of sewing. My hands have been like rocks. These exercises gave me immediate relief.

  76. Debra
    Jul 08 - 3:53 pm

    A couple years ago, I had completely lost my grip in my left hand and massage therapy worked wonders for me. I was looking at nerve testing but after my massage therapist sister worked on knots in my shoulder and neck I regained all use of my hands. Not only do I knit and crochet, I work 48 to 60 hour weeks in production lab. Busy busy hands.
    I knitted all day Saturday, and I’ve been feeling the strain. All I have to say is that these fascial massage and stretch techniques are great, I’m going to share them with my co workers! And of course my knitting buddies. Thanks for the great tips!

  77. Kristina
    Jul 31 - 6:52 am

    Thank you so much for posting these stretches. I’ve been knitting even more than usual lately, and for the last few days I’ve had a debilitating pain in a few of my fingers on my left hand. It was to the point where I couldn’t type or grasp things at all. Your post came up on a google search and I felt immediate relief after the first stretch. I wish I had known about them sooner!

  78. Judie Schmig
    Aug 12 - 2:19 am

    Various mousepads, typing pads, split keyboards, and wrist splints (braces) are designed to relieve wrist pain. Some people find these devices help their symptoms. You may wish to try a few different kinds to see if any help.;*,*

    Please do browse our favorite web blog

  79. Pepperknitpatty
    Aug 13 - 10:52 pm

    Many thank you’s for this wonderful article!

    What is the maximum time one should knit before taking a stretch break? Especially for those of us who need to just knit a few more rows, even though they are starting to feel pain


  80. christina
    Aug 14 - 12:57 am

    Hello, I have stiffness and pain above my left elbow (in the area where the doc would inject) and I’m unable to put my up very far up my back. Is there an exercise to relieve this pain or do you think it could be due to something else other than knitting? Thank you.

  81. Linda
    Aug 14 - 1:57 am

    Thanks for these, Liat. I am pretty good about stretching my arms/hands every day after knitting and when I wake up, but you’ve just given me some new ones to add to the the rota!

  82. Julie
    Aug 14 - 7:24 am

    Thank you for giving me something new to try after an afternoon of crochet (or even painting)!

    I’m wondering if I should be doing anything differently since I’ve had surgery for both carpal and cubital tunnel, which I didn’t even know existed until I was dealing with it myself.

    The short explanation is that I’ve had carpal tunnel surgery, and I don’t have a funny bone on that arm anymore. The nerve has been moved to the inside of my elbow instead. Any chance there’s something I should be careful of while I’m doing these stretches?

  83. Diane Abendroth
    Aug 14 - 8:11 am

    How do you relieve numbness in the finger tips?

  84. Amy Roy
    Aug 14 - 11:19 am

    I can’t wait to try these stretches for my knitting pain, though it is much better since I started doing some weight training. My son also has pain from computer keyboard and guitar playing, so I’m sending the link to him as well.
    One question — On the first and most important arm stretch, are we pulling down towards the wrist while working down the arm, or going both ways as shown in the first instructions?

    Thank you!

  85. Carol L
    Aug 17 - 4:19 am

    The best way I have found from getting arm and hand pain is to give yourself time; start early. If you are the person that gives homemade gifts plan out a schedule and work alittle when ever you have free time. For example if you know you are going to give homemade gifts; start immediately after new years or even Christmas for next year’s gifts. That way you are not stuck knitting or crocheting like a maniac a week before Christmas. I have MS and Osteo-Arthritis and have had to learn the fine art of pacing and this has helped even with my crocheting. Crochet for 30 mins, do the washing up for 20 mins, have a cup of tea, crochet for 30 mins, start dinner, crochet while waiting for the potatoes in the oven, and so on. Waiting for a friend for a coffee date, get there 10-15 minutes early to give you some “Me” time and knit or crochet.
    I hope this helps some of you not only with your knitting or crocheting but to realize it is ok to take some time for yourself.

  86. Angela Jones
    Aug 22 - 9:16 pm

    fantastic stretches, but my question is should I do these. I am a double mastectomy and I have had one flare up of lymphedema in the left arm. I have been told not to have blood pressures or blood draws from either arm. will I cause problems with the lymphedema if I do these stretches. it is amazing the relief I felt with the joints of that left arm. but am afraid I will do further damage and end up with reoccurrence of lymphedema. this has also helped with the tightness of the area of my left arm pit and ribs on my left side..

  87. […] are some interesting ones from Knitting Freedom. I think we all know that our over-used knitting muscles cause us pain but we seldom think about […]

  88. […] Good stretches for handcrafters can be found here […]

  89. vikki
    Aug 26 - 4:24 pm

    I have pain in my left hand at the base of my thumb, towards my wrist. Does any one have any suggestions on how to releave? I can only knit for about 10mins a day without pain. Thanks

  90. […] Top 5 Stretches For Knitting Pain And Stiffness – Just in case you do get the occasional side-effect, here are some stretches to help keep your fingers nimble. […]

  91. […] KnitFreedom […]

  92. Kat
    Sep 09 - 10:31 pm

    I tried the stretches tonight and even my wrists feel better. One of my three (*sigh*) jobs is as a transcriptionist for a neuro-ophthalmologist, so I type. A lot. I also knit and crochet like a fiend when I get home (it’s my relaxation). I think these stretches will help not only my hands when knitting or crocheting but also help my fingers stop cramping when I type. I’m definitely going to do them before starting work. Thank you for the tips!

  93. Elaine M.
    Sep 10 - 1:54 am

    Thank you Sooooooooooooo much.

  94. Sandy
    Sep 10 - 8:20 am

    I went to a Chiropractor and he showed me how to do these stretches! Thank you for posting…ppl pay a lot of money to have unnecessary surgeries when they could relieve some pain themselves.

  95. B.A. Ray
    Sep 10 - 11:23 am

    These are fantastic, thank you so much for posting! I have had a hard time tracking down this information.

  96. Cristina
    Sep 15 - 3:46 pm

    These exercises are very helpful. As somewhat of a knitter and a reflexologist my hands are stressed all the time. These are just the type of exercises that help me get through the day.
    Thank you

  97. Patricia Mortrud
    Sep 19 - 8:29 am

    Thank you for sharing this info! I was needing this…

  98. fran bowman
    Sep 19 - 11:36 am

    I have very painful joints due to crocheting for long periods of time, i just came across this by accident and i am so pleased i did already they are feeling less sore thank you

  99. Debra Perli
    Sep 21 - 5:51 pm

    Thank you for these stretches, I’ve had a sore left hand since a dogbite and this really helps. I recently fell and fractured my right radius, using my left hand to keep the right healing overworked the left. Thank you and your sister.

  100. […] you should make sure to treat yourself right all week! We found a useful post on Liat Gat’s Knit Freedom blog, and though it’s about stretches for knitting, we think it applies to spinning […]

  101. Crystal Purcell
    Oct 11 - 7:10 am

    I am 72 years old and do not knit. At my physical exam last week I told the doctor that my fingers on my left hand were locking In a closed position more frequently but did not stay locked. It is painful but once unlocked they are okay. She asked if I wanted to have injections or surgery, if it had reached that stage. I told her no. This morning the middle finger on my left hand was locked in a closed position and would not extend. I just could not open it. As I was debating go to same day care I googled my situation and your site came up! I did stretch the muscles on my arm first fingers and thumb, leaving the one that had locked for last. As I was stretching it there was a loud pop and it straightened! Thank you, thank you. I intend to use these stretches regularly. My doctor told me it happens when people have arthritis. It even feels better than it has for months. I read some of the other posts and was reminded that several years ago my husband had a customer in his photography store who was a surgeon specializing in hand surgery. He used to bring surgery pictures in to be developed. He told my husband not to ever let anyone do surgery on his hands and that he would not recommend it and that it generally created more problems than it solved! Again thank you!

  102. Pam Fitros
    Oct 24 - 7:04 am

    I crochet for Warm Up America. Our leader sent these exercises on to everyone in the group. I am also an author and spend a lot of time on the keyboard working on my website ( or preparing for articles/speaches. I must tell you how much these exercises are helping with sore hands and stiff fingers and arm muscles. Thank you so much for sharing the exercises. I’ll be passing them on to my writing buddies!

  103. Alice Wright
    Oct 25 - 9:36 am

    Thanks so much for these stretches, I just did stretch one, and it felt goooood! Especially on my left arm.

    I also do stretches that the chiropractor taught me for easing around my collarbones and they have reduced so much pain in my shoulders, neck and head. I was getting daily headaches before that and my neck totally ceased up! She taught me to stand by the doorframe, put my arm in an L shape, with the lower part of the L being between my shoulder and elbow in line with the shoulder, having your elbow and upper arm against the door frame, and then take a step through the door for 30 seconds, then step back, slide your arm up so the elbow is in line with your ear, and take a step through the door for 30 seconds. They are so good, and have saved me so much pain! I get relief from any headache that is brewing within seconds of doing those stretches.

    Hope that might help some too.

    I’m going to try the rest of these stretches on my hands now!

  104. Lynne Poulson
    Oct 29 - 2:21 am

    Thank you so much for these stretches. I am a knitter with fibromyalgia, and I always have pain down the outer side of my hand to my little finger. I just tried these, and it’s gone! Between knitting and computer/tablet use, my hands get a rough ride, as I can’t do much else, but this is amazing. I just wish I could find the same thing for my feet (Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis), and my back etc. I get a band of pain round my ribs, from my back and round the sides that nothing seems to shift. I wish I could go to Kate’s practice, but I am in the UK.

    Thank you anyway for this, which I found on Pinterest, as it will help loads. I’ve repinned it, so it will help other knitters too :-)

    • Liat Gat
      Feb 05 - 12:05 pm

      Hi Lynne,

      I’m just delighted that these stretches have helped you! I used them just the other day again for myself because playing guitar so much had made my left hand sore. They worked like a charm!

      I wanted to tell you that if you are looking for someone to work on you like this, on your feed and hands and ribs that are hurting you, I would look for “Rolfing” near where you live. It has a funny name (named after inventor Ida Rolf) but it is exactly this: myofascial work. And it feels wonderful! I have done a series of 10 sessions and I highly recommend it.

  105. Zoe
    Nov 09 - 8:30 pm

    this helped so much. When im knitting i curl my pinky around the working yarn. this helps me get rid of my pinky aches.

  106. […] out and push them back towards your wrists lightly. Squeeze your elbows down to your wrist. (Here are some great stretches to keep your fingers limber. Thanks for passing those along, […]

  107. […] massage therapist suggested some stretches in this post from Top 5 Stretches For Knitting Pain And Stiffness.  Surely a massage therapist counts as an informed guide!  My personal favorite is the thumb […]

  108. […] Click to see the article on KNITFreedom with photographs showing the different stretches to relieve knitting pain. A personal note: I’ve been using these stretches all week, and I love them! Leave a note in […]

  109. elizaduckie
    Jan 31 - 11:36 am

    There is a little known DVD called “Yoga for Knitters and Sitters” that is well worth finding. Good for those unfamiliar with yoga , incorporating and demonstrating other simple stretches that are very helpful for shoulders, neck, low back, etc.

  110. Beth Brown-Reinsel
    Feb 05 - 10:43 am

    Thanks Liat for the great photos and explanations! I will put in a link in my newsletter so my readers can visit your blog!


  111. Jeanne
    Feb 05 - 4:44 pm

    Thank you so much! After the first day, my hand feels so much better!

  112. Raven
    Feb 07 - 9:17 am

    I was feeling so distressed with the pain, and this worked so well it makes me cry. I felt better right after the first stretch. Thank you a million!

    • Liat Gat
      Feb 07 - 11:33 am

      Raven you’re so welcome! I know what you mean about crying from finally feeling some relief from pain. I’m so glad you found this post and tried these stretches!

  113. […] shares tips from her massage therapist sister, on how to stretch muscle fascia and why that’s […]

  114. Knitting Injuries
    Mar 13 - 7:19 pm

    […] stretches! Every day! Knit Freedom has a great post on fascia stretches which help give your muscles room to move! I love love love […]

  115. […] Exercises and Physiology […]

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  117. Tracey
    Apr 30 - 3:52 pm

    Just tried these stretches and they worked and I felt immediate relief in my elbow/wrists and fingers. Haven’t actually knitted for a while due to pain from arthritis and will give these exercises a go for a while before I pick up the needles again.

  118. Jocelia
    May 16 - 8:13 am

    Very, very obigada! Nearly two years in pain and now I’m fine! No need to stop with my work … That everything good come to you!

    • Liat Gat
      Aug 27 - 12:15 pm


      Que bom que voce encontrou o meu blog e estes tips! Obrigada por fazer um comentário. Espero que voce continue lendo e desfrutando.

  119. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning
    this post plus the rest of the site is extremely good.

  120. […] Just like Alex Schweikart’s Alexercises! Liat has a great set of stretches for knitters here, which concentrate on the muscle fascias, while Vera has produced a relaxing video here that you […]

  121. karen
    Aug 17 - 9:55 am

    I just started crocheting 7 months ago, got addicted and havent stopped but recently started getting bad pain where my pinky meets my hand between my ring finger so the pinky stretch was immediate relief. i think i have slight arthritis in my thumb joint so that stretch almost made me wet myself with pain haha. The forearm stretch just made it itchy for some reason but the pinky was really bothering me so that stretch really did the trick thanks so much!! have any ideas for lower back pain?

    • Liat Gat
      Aug 27 - 12:18 pm

      Hi Karen,

      Yes! I’ll be coming out with a “Tips For Knitters With Back Pain” post in the next few months, with a guest video by my back pain guru, Esther Gokhale.

      For now, check out her site and book.

  122. Debi
    Aug 26 - 6:19 pm

    Oh my goodness!! Worked on left arm first (non-dominant hand) first stretch was amazed at how tight the fascia felt (always thought it was muscle ache) so much relief. Did them all and have decided this is first step before not only knitting/crocheting but I also do wood working. Have had carpal tunnel and “trigger” finger surgery and was ready to schedule on the left wrist/arm but think this may be the non-surgical relief I needed. THANK YOU for sharing as I cannot afford massage therapy nor a chiropractor and my insurance does not cover either.

    • Liat Gat
      Aug 27 - 12:13 pm

      Hi Debi,

      Thank you for sharing this with me! I am delighted that you found so much relief and amazed that this may even help you prevent surgery.

      I will be coming out with a blog post in a few months that will address any back pain you may have, as well.

  123. Heather
    Aug 28 - 8:44 am

    Is there a video I can watch to see how these are done? I find it difficult to understand the instructions.

    • Liat Gat
      Sep 16 - 7:07 pm

      Hi Heather,

      I’m sorry but I don’t have a video on how to do the stretches. I will put it on my list to make one, however. It’s a great idea!


  124. Kathy Spitznagel
    Sep 04 - 3:24 pm

    Hi Liat. Does your sister have any stretches for the shoulders?

    • Liat Gat
      Sep 05 - 9:43 am

      Hi Kathy,

      Great question! I will ask her. Before I do, will you be more specific as to what your are trying to relieve with shoulder stretches? That will help me when I ask her.

      In the meantime, one amazing pain-relief tool that I have been recommending a lot lately is Esther Gokhale’s (pronounced Go-Clay) book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. I’ve personally benefitted from it a LOT.

      I am actually going to be recording a video with her on Monday about Back Pain Relief for Knitters which I will be posting on the blog within the next couple months. I’ll see if I can get you an early copy before the blog post comes out.

  125. Linda
    Oct 05 - 5:18 pm

    Just came across this post today while searching for wrist relief. Thank you for the detailed and well described exercises. Hoping these help as I begin gearing up for another round of Christmas knitting. Love all of your posts and videos.

    Thank You!

  126. Mcooks
    Oct 21 - 4:14 pm

    Thank you for these! My hands and arms feel better already. I will work to incorporate these stretches in my daily routine. :-)

  127. SheilaM
    Nov 03 - 7:01 am

    You have just saved my life! My arm has been sore for days, but when it gets to the point that you can’t comfortably lift the coffee cup, something must be done! Dr. Google brought me here – instant relief, hooray! I will incorporate these into my life starting now.

  128. genie
    Nov 05 - 11:13 pm

    Thank you…I feel less pain now..:)

  129. Elvira Jakovac
    Dec 12 - 7:12 pm

    Thank you very much ! I felt immediate relief .My hands were sore from too much knitting :)

  130. Amethyst
    Jan 03 - 4:02 am

    Is this also okay to do if the pain is more around your elbow? (I have tight muscles there). How many times a day is it okay to do it?

    • El Edwards - Customer Happiness
      Jan 05 - 7:13 am

      Good question Amethyst. These are aimed more at giving relief to sore hands but one of our readers experienced relief in their elbow too so it sounds like it might help.

      As for how many times a day, if you’re new to stretching I’d recommend you start slow and gentle and see how you go from there.

  131. tariq
    Jan 31 - 11:38 pm

    its really work and now i feel much better thank you

  132. Tahlia
    Mar 20 - 5:33 pm

    Wow; almost instantaneous relief in hand/wrist discomfort. Thanks!

  133. Charlie
    Apr 25 - 7:49 am

    These stretches help tremendously. I have recommended them to many friends. Thanks so much for posting this!

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