HomePrevious Website Chatproblem with numb hands
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2/22/2010 6:20:00 AM
patw
patw
Posts 2826
When I was snowed in I of course knit like crazy. I finished two sweaters and started a third. I mostly knit with straight needles but the last project had me pick up stitches around the armhole and knit down on circulars. I don`t know if that is the difference but I have been wakin up at night with both hands numb. That has never happened to me before. I Googled the symptom and found nerve damage as one cause. The problem is getting better and I have tried my best to stop knitting for awhile to see if it helps.

Does anyone here have any advice for me? Has this happened to anyone here? Are there any exercises I can do to help my hands?
PatQOC
2/22/2010 8:30:43 AM
Guest
Guest
This sounds like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It is a swelling of the sheath (I think) that surrounds the bundle of nerves through the wrist and into the hands. The swelling occurs after excessive repetitive use of the hand(s) such as with knitting. I have been diagnosed with this and with the first sign of tingling I back off a bit and take frequent rests from my knitting. My doctor calls it "crocheter`s ailment".

Hopefully some one else can give you some helpful advice on what else you can do to alleviate the symptoms. Good luck.
2/22/2010 10:06:38 AM
CatBookMom
CatBookMom
Posts 6264
Overdoing the knitting, that`s the problem, plus sweaters on straights means you`ve got a fair bit of weight pulling on your wrists. You might also try to notice if you sleep with weight on your hands or with them curled up. If so, that adds to the misuse. Back off on the length of time knitting, with breaks to do other things. Berroco`s website has some good exercises, http://berroco.com/hg_workout.html

Changing off to a project with a different gauge helps sometimes, as from worsted to sport or fingering. And you might try something like the Handeze gloves, for instance. They will keep your wrists, thumbs and the base of your hand warmer, which improves circulation. http://tinyurl.com/y8cjmk3
2/22/2010 1:19:05 PM
patw
patw
Posts 2826
Thank you both for your good suggestions. I have had other issues in the past with marathon knitting like with my neck and shoulders, but I have never had this issue with my hands going numb while sleeping. I have eased off the knitting and now that I am back at work I don`t have the time. I will check out the exercises.
PatQOC
2/22/2010 2:34:43 PM
bets
bets
Posts 18978
Change your gauges, too, Pat. You do a lot of colorwork, don`t you? That will help break it up, so you aren`t just Miss Speedfreak, knitting knitting at the same pace all day. Do a little lace, or something in a different gauge, just to break up the motions a little.
2/22/2010 2:54:06 PM
CatBookMom
CatBookMom
Posts 6264
If you`re finding numbness when you wake up, you`re probably sleeping on your hands or curling them up too tight. If you can remember when you first wake up, check how your hands are positioned. If the nighttime numbness continues, you may want to try wearing a splint at night - check the drugstores.
2/23/2010 7:07:56 AM
patw
patw
Posts 2826
Thanks everyone for your good suggestions. I bought hand gloves a long time ago and may give them a try. I am finding that the problem is easing off and not as bad as time goes on. I have temporarily eased off the knitting and that alone may help. I guess this is a case of too much of a good thing.
PatQOC
2/23/2010 7:50:50 AM
Jamie
Jamie
Posts 3462
Keep your hands down when you`re sleeping. Wearing a wrist splint can be very helpful too. I have trouble if I hold my hands up (from the elbow) for long, even awake. I`ve found that working with lighter weight yarns has really helped me to keep knitting. I`ve suffered from CTS for years and had one surgery (Carpel Tunnel Release) in about 1985. All the best to you. Jamie
2/23/2010 6:43:06 PM
ScullyKnits
ScullyKnits
Posts 2451
splints at night definitely help me. I also switched my computer to use the mouse with my left hand rather than right.
2/25/2010 5:56:36 PM
benne
benne
Posts 19258
Pat, good advice in this thread and I can echo about the sleeping positions, hand positions and splints at night. Please let your hands rest for a bit and take care. You are a fabulous knitter and we want you to be able to knit on.

Benne
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