The Ultimate List of Proven Remedies for Carpal Tunnel Pain, Arthritis, and Joint Pain for Crocheters, from Crocheters Just Like You
In this article, you’ll find carpal tunnel remedies for crocheters that have been successful for my readers. I’ve collected a wealth of personal recommendations from crocheters (and a few bi-stitchual knitters!) who have suffered from carpal tunnel, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and more, and found relief from hand and joint pain caused by crocheting and knitting.
Why am I so excited about sharing medical treatments and home remedies for carpal tunnel? Here’s some quick backstory.
After my diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel and a possible shoulder injury, I was frustrated by not being able to crochet without pain. I felt like I was totally alone in my pain.To make matters worse, I couldn’t even turn to my usual calming hobbies!
So, I reached out for support from other crocheters in my Facebook Group, and through my email list. And you know what? We are NOT alone.
So many of you amazing crocheters have given me your best carpal tunnel remedies, advice for managing inflammation and pain, ideas for how to combat arthritis, and more. I was absolutely blown away by the amount of people who took time away from their crocheting to generously share their best advice to keep my hands healthy.
Of course, I couldn’t possibly keep this gold mine of information to myself! So I decided to publish this amazing article with SO many tips for managing carpal tunnel pain and arthritis for you.
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My hope is that you will find solutions here to help soothe your hand and joint pain from carpal tunnel or arthritis so that you can spend more time crocheting, and less time wishing you could be crocheting!
I know you and your crochet buddies will find some amazing, helpful tips in this article. So please, make sure you:
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and be sure to share it with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest if you know anyone who suffers from hand pain while crocheting, whether it’s from carpal tunnel, arthritis, ulnar nerve pain/tennis elbow, shoulder pain, or even fibromyalgia.
If you’re in pain: you’re not alone. There’s a solution out there for you! And we want to help you find relief from pain caused by crocheting or knitting.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and the information here does not constitute medical advice. It’s just helpful tips from people who have experienced pain from crocheting, just like you. First and foremost, I recommend you consult your doctor if you are experiencing pain from crocheting that doesn’t resolve itself in a day or two. That’s the first step I made before writing this post, and I think it’s the most important step you can take!
Table of Contents
This article is a huge, comprehensive guide, so here’s a quick Table of Contents to help you find the solutions you’ll need:
- Medical Interventions for Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis Pain
- Surgical Interventions for Nerve Pain in Crocheters
- Why Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are Important to Ease Hand Pain
- Braces and Wrist Supports to Relieve Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis Pain
- Nutrition and Supplements that Ease Joint Pain and Inflammation
- Hand Creams for Pain Relief from Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis Symptoms
- Ergonomic Crochet Hooks for Carpal Tunnel Relief
- Where to Shop for the Products Recommended
Medical Intervention for Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis Pain
Sometimes, knitters and crocheters won’t be able to completely solve their carpal tunnel pain, arthritis, or fibromyalgia issues related to crocheting without seeking medical help. But there are so many great ways to treat these conditions!
Physical Therapy for Carpal Tunnel and Tennis Elbow and Exercises to Relieve Hand Pain from Crocheting
My Physical Therapy Treatment Plan for Carpal Tunnel
My doctor recommended physical therapy to help me ease my carpal tunnel pain. I have not been to any appointments yet, but I will be sure to update you and let you know any helpful advice I learn from my Physical Therapist!
Stretching and Yoga for Carpal Tunnel Pain
There are so many great articles about stretces you can use to help carpal tunnel pain and tennis elbow from crocheting. My friend Lauren, who is a bit of a yogi, has showed me several stretches that can help ease tension in the wrists and hands and forearms. I’ll be sure to post and tell you more about them soon!
A crocheter named Bonnie recommends: I have had carpal tunnel problems resulting in surgery on one hand. I found that stretching my hands and forearms before and during crochet sessions really helped me out. I paid special attention to my forearms as that seemed to help the most. I also keep my wrists warm while I crochet.
Gigi from my facebook group shared a wonderful post about hand stretches that crocheters and knitters can use. You can read them here.
Crocheting Can Help Ease Hand and Wrist Discomfort!
Wow! Isn’t it such a relief to know that crocheting and knitting can be good for you? I know when I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel from crocheting too much, I was really afraid my Doctor would tell me to quit- for good!
Chiropractic Treatments and Adjustments for Crocheters
My friend Lex has also mentioned that she found a lot of relief from some past injuries through chiropractic adjustments. Contrary to popular belief, chiropractors do not just crack your back- there are a wide array of adjustments they can use to help your wrists, shoulders, elbows, neck, and yes, your spine.
One of my lovely readers, Cassie, also mentioned that she has had chiropractic adjustments that tremendously eased her pain. Another reader even had her wrists adjusted by a chiropractor, too!
NSAID Anti Inflammatory Medications
Since I was in so much pain from carpal tunnel that I was losing my grip strength and not able to carry on with my daily activities, my doctor recommended that I take a daily NSAID anti-inflammatory prescription.
These medicines can be hard on your stomach, so please consult a Dr. for prolonged use. My medicine label says that you should not take over the counter medicines for more than 7 days before you need to get in touch with a doctor.
My primary care doctor said that most often, Ibuprofen is prescribed, but because Motrin upsets my stomach, she recommended a different prescription for me to avoid a possible ulcer after a few months of daily use.
Steroid Joint Injections
Kathleen, another fabulous reader, told me that her doctor has recommended she take steroid joint injections. If you want further information, I found an article that went into more detail about joint injections for carpal tunnel here.
My doctor has also mentioned this as a possible treatment option that I could pursue if physical therapy doesn’t get me results after at minimum 4 weeks of treatment. If you’ve found that none of the other remedies shared here are helping you but you want to avoid surgery, schedule an appointment to ask your doctor about this.
Surgeries That Can Help Relieve Nerve Pain in Crocheters
Carpal Tunnel Surgery
Several of my readers and facebook group members have mentioned that carpal tunnel surgery has finally given them relief. Of course, this is treated as a last resort after different treatments have failed, but overwhelmingly, people are SO relieved to finally be pain free.
I was very shocked when my doctor mentioned surgery as a possibility, but my friend Ginny from crochet club told me that the procedure is a simple outpatient surgery. She was back to work after a long weekend to rest.
A member of my group, Kathy, wrote: I tried splints for a while. Eventually had surgery. Don’t wait so long that you lose sensitivity in your fingers and thumb. I did, and I still have a loss of sensation in fingers. Surgery definitely resolved the pain though!
Lisa wrote: Surgery! It’s the only way to save the nerve. Best thing I ever did. It does not always go away on its own- see a specialist! Many doctors like to explore other options like therapy and wrist braces first, depending on how severe your pain is But if you ignore it too long, your pain can become unbearable.
Linda also chimed in with her experience: I had surgery also. I have a little scar that look like a cross on the bottom of my palm, and that’s it. Best thing you can do in some circumstances!
Ulnar Nerve Transposition
Another of my readers mentioned she has had an ulnar nerve transposition surgery. This helped to relieve her loss of sensation in her pinky and ring fingers, as well as the pain in her elbow. Again, this is a huge relief for people suffering from pain related to crochet.
There is also a different surgery to treat ulnar nerve compression called an ulnar nerve release surgery. This procedure is called a cubital tunnel release surgery.
Avoiding Surgery for Carpal Tunnel or Cubital Tunnel
Personally, I hope to avoid having surgery for carpal tunnel unless I have tried all other treatment avenues. Even though it’s a fairly common procedure, I know that the recovery period would be difficult!
But don’t worry- just because your doctor recommends surgery doesn’t mean you have to have the procedure. If you read on, there are lots of other options you can pursue before making that big decision. (But remember to keep your doctor involved in that decision! They are there to help you.)
Why Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are Important for Relieving Hand Pain in Crocheters
You Must Rest While Taking NSAIDs to Recover from Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis Pain
One of my readers, Jillian, is a PA-C (physician’s assistant, I believe), and she seconded the recommendation to try some NSAID pain relievers for carpal tunnel. She also mentioned that since these medications really do work to relieve the pain, you MUST remember to rest!
If you continue crocheting while taking NSAIDs, your hands will feel better, but they haven’t actually had time to heal. Make sure to give your body time to recuperate (I know, it’s hard!) before you continue crocheting.
Another reader, Ann, recommends the same: Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory, and some gentle stretching. Typing, texting, holding a phone or tablet may also add to the pain.
Beth, another Crochet Circle group member, shared this fantastic tip! I get tennis elbow and mild carpal tunnel. I stave it off by limiting my crochet time (gasp!). I take a day off in between, or just do a short amount. I try to do other stuff in between, like attaching pompoms, or sewing in ends, and organizing my stash and projects.
Thank you for sharing, Beth! What a wonderful way to connect with your yarn without causing quite so much hand strain.
Ice or Cold Packs Applied to Nerve
Another recommendation I found online was to apply a cold pack to your wrists when you are experiencing carpal tunnel pain.
Cecelia says her family doctor recommended freezing a non-carbonated drink in a can, and roll the can across the affected wrists 2 or 3 times a day. This helped her mother tremendously, and she never ended up needing a surgery.
Heat Therapy for Carpal Tunnel or Arthritis
Mae, a fabulous reader who is also an esthetician, reccomended this: hot water soaks or Paraffin wax for heat can be very soothing as well. The heat penetrates much deeper into the hands and soothes. This is especially effective for arthritis pain.
Compression and Support Braces for Wrist Pain and Carpal Tunnel
Another really popular tip was to purchase a wrist support brace or a hand compression sleeve for carpal tunnel relief. There are a TON of different options, so you should shop around to see which one provides the level of support you need.
Sharon and Lois both highly recommended the Lion Brand Stress Relief Gloves. They bought hers from JoAnn Fabric and Crafts in store, but I was able to find a handy Amazon link for you all to comparison shop.
These sorts of gloves offer light support and are easy to wear. And, as you can see in the packaging, you can use them while you knit! I may try a pair in addition to my heavy duty wrist braces.
I was very fortunate that my doctor prescribed a very heavy duty wrist brace. These are the standard recommendation for carpal tunnel patients. Lucky for me, my insurance even covered it!
My doctor told me to wear it as often as I could tolerate, but especially at night, because many people often compress their carpal tunnel nerves while they sleep. I am absolutely guilty of doing that! I tuck my hands underneath me like bunny paws when I’m sleeping, and that has likely contributed to my pain a great deal.
Unfortunately, this brace does NOT allow me to type or crochet while using it- but it has helped me a lot while sleeping. I used to wake up several times a night with sore tingly hands, but not anymore.
My good online crochet buddy, Mitzi, also seconded the recommendation for wearing a full hand brace like this. She writes: I have been a hairstylist for 30 years now. The pain was bad when I was full time. Now I’m down to one day a week, but I love my crochet too! I wore the brace to bed and it helps a lot. When you bend your hand under you when you sleep, it allows the blood to flow better. Light wrist braces while working help give extra support. I now have little to no pain, and never had to undergo surgery.
Kim from my Facebook Group shared her best tips: wrist brace for sleep… I tend to curl my wrist when sleeping, which makes it worse. Ibuprofen, ice rest. There is surgery to release the compression of the median nerve but I’d recommend trying these tips first as there are risks involved.
There are several brands available, so shop around to get the best deal for you! Kimberly in my group recommended a brand called Tommie Copper. She also writes: I never did well with the other support braces, but I really like copper. I actually have wrist ones too that I put on top of my gloves when my pain gets worst. I have knee braces and foot braces from Tommie Copper, too.
Elevating Your Crochet Project to Alleviate Pain
Another reader, Sue, says: Elevating your crochet project on a pillow like this can help release pressure to your carpal tunnel / wrist and ulnar/elbow nerves.
Nursing mamas, you’ll probably have one of them around! I’m sure a regular old pillow would do the trick as well. However, I have heard from several friends with shoulder injuries that using an arm chair to crochet in can actually put extra strain on your neck, so a smaller pillow would be a better choice.
Nutrition and Supplements that Ease Joint Pain and Inflammation
Kim emailed me to share that her change to the diet recommended in this book really changed her life! She mentioned that she really does have much less pain now, and that when she “cheats” and eats foods that cause inflammation more than about once a month, she can notice a difference.
Vitamins and Supplements to Ease Carpal Tunnel Pain
Rebecca was SO incredibly resourceful! She really went above and beyond to offer me all her best advice for getting relief for carpal tunnel pain from crocheting.
She says: My doctor had me on a B-Vitamin pill or he also said I could take B-vitamin drops. Omega-3 fatty acids helped, I ate tuna, mackerel, salmon, or if you can handle it anchovies. Leafy dark greens, vegetables help as well.
Using Turmeric helps swelling. You can use it in Indian food or just add about 1/4 tsp to soups. Fresh Pineapple has bromelain which helps relieve swelling. Fresh ginger root also is for swelling.
Another reader named Linda agrees: I have arthritis in my left hand (just starting in my right). I take Turmeric tablets every day as they are a natural anti inflammatory and seem to work very well for me.
One more natural supplement suggestion comes from Patricia, who writes: I do take ibuprofen on occasion but also use concentrated tart cherry extract in my cran-raspberry juice as well as an evening glass of red wine. (Quick aside- Wine? Sold!)
Hand Creams for Pain Relief for Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis
One sweet reader named Judy says-Do not baby your hands. Use them! Don’t abuse them, but flex them a goodly amount of the time.
Now at the age of 72, my thumbs are hurting again from crocheting. I have found a great cream to put on them when they get real bad, it’s called Theraworx.
Marcia suggests: I have pain in my right thumb and sometimes my right shoulder. I have taken Tylenol and used other creams that did not relive all the pain. I started using BIOFREEZE and was surprised at the relief I got. After a month of daily use, I was able to use it less often. I highly recommend it.
Cecile sent me a very interesting note! She writes: I use Salonpas on both wrists. I used to work in a squid factory and had to use both hands filling box after box! The smell of the pads helped mask the smell of that squid! Really they helped. Even now I use them if my wrists ache.
A quick note – PLEASE make sure you discuss this supplement with your doctor and pharmacist before adding them to your routine, especially if you are on any sort of prescription medications.
While generally regarded as safe, this particular supplement has a LONG list of drug interactions. You should be absolutely certain there are no interactions that will negatively affect you before starting it.
Last, but not least, Michelle says: I use DMSO Drops like these on my hands for pain and inflammation, it helps more than anything but you have to do a ton of research on it. There are only particular types I use. I use 70% strength Dr Jacobs.
It’s controversial but since I am allergic to all NSAIDs (including asprin) and cannot take acetaminophen for another condition I have, the DMSO is a life saver for me.
Ergonomic Crochet Hooks For Carpal Tunnel Relief
The number one most common recommendation from my fellow crocheters was to invest in ergonomic crochet hooks. So many of you kindly suggested the crochet hooks that you find most comfortable.
There were a number of brands mentioned, and I have tried a few, and hope to try even more soon in some ergonomic crochet hook reviews for you all.
I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions about which brand would be the best recommendation, so I will let these raving reviews speak for themselves!
I do crochet with Furls Hooks. I do notice a huge difference in my wrist pain, and overall hand pain as I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have the Red Odyssey Hooks as the wood ones were not in my budget. I would never trade them for anything.
Another brand I’ve seen many people recommend in my crochet Facebook group is the Clover Soft Touch. My mom left me one last year after her visit, and I like it a lot, too! They’re very comfortable, and glide quite nicely through the yarn. It’s my favorite H hook, currently.
I saw you asked about using Furls Crochet hooks and I won’t use anything else now. I have arthritis in both hands and ulnar nerve pinching in both elbows. Originally I was worried about investing so much money in hooks. But now? I have an Alpha Series hook in each size from F-N!
Another reader named Illistine says: I do not crochet every day. I use Furls Crochet hooks 96% of the time and Tulip Etimo Rose hooks 4%.
I’ve put the Tulip Etimo hook on my list of ergonomic crochet hooks to try and review for you all. It seems like they might be a fantastic option for people looking to spend a bit less on ergonomic hooks.
I started having issues with my hands and wrist also, I purchased a Furls hook. I loved it so much I bought more!! I have been using Furls everyday for over a year now. No surgery and my symptoms are gone!!
Rebecca had a number of fantastic suggestions that are listed below. Her hook recommendation was this amazing handle attachment. You can use this one to make any of your favorite crochet hooks an ergonomic, hand friendly hook!
Maria, One of my crochet friends from my Happy Stitchers Club at the YMCA, also uses a similar wooden tool that her carpenter friend handmade for her. She says the really wide base is SO helpful in managing her carpal tunnel and arthritis pain from crocheting.
The Furls Streamline hooks are a great way to dip your toes into the Furls brand hooks without breaking the bank. These hooks are really affordable, and super light!
I personally found that they slowed my crocheting speed down for a week as I had to retrain my hand to hold the hook more correctly. But, that has really helped my pain levels- the temporary delay is well worth saving my hands so much strain!
Patricia says: I use Clover Amour hooks and they are wonderful.
Thank you, Patricia! I have put one on my list to test drive soon. I follow several crochet designers who swear by Clover hooks- one of whom has a great post about her crochet health problems, too.
Michelle kindly recommended this awesome DIY crochet hook grip tutorial. This looks like a really economical way to make a more comfortable crochet hook!
Shop the Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis Pain Solutions Mentioned in This Article
If you are looking for relief from your crochet related pain issues, here’s where you can shop for all the supplies I mentioned in this article:
- Shop Hand Health Items in My Amazon Influencer Store
- See the Ergonomic Crochet Hooks and Tools I Recommend
- Click to check out Furls Ergonomic Crochet Hooks
Thank you SO much to everyone who emailed me well wishes, helpful tips and recommendations, or just commiserated with me. I truly appreciate all the support you’ve shown me- and we are going to make it easy for every crocheter suffering from wrist pain to find relief!
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Have YOU Found Any Carpal Tunnel Remedies to Share?
If you have used any of these remedies, or if you’ve found another great way to soothe hand pain from crocheting, please let me know! I encourage you to share your experience in the comments, or by emailing me.
You could give a tip that helps allow someone to crochet again! You might also be able to better connect with crocheters like you who have suffered from pain related to crocheting.
Want to keep updated? I’m going to be writing a ton more about crochet health issues, in the future. I’d love to be able to connect with you in your email inbox to share that with you!