How to Heal Crochet Elbow Pain: Step by Step Solution!

Crochet elbow pain is more common than you’d think but it doesn’t have to be. Beginners to advanced crocheters aren’t immune from getting tendonitis or elbow pain from crocheting. So should you switch to knitting? No, knitters can also get knitters elbow and tennis elbow from knitting. Both yarn arts can cause elbow paint but if you know how it is caused and how to heal crochet elbow pain then you’ll be in a better position to avoid it!

We’ll explore how crochet elbow pain is caused, how to avoid it and hopefully fix elbow pain from crocheting if you are getting it. If you are getting elbow pain from crochet then you found the right spot for a solution.

Elbow pain from crocheting. Photo Credit: Marco Verch Professional Photographer (Flickr CC)

What Causes Crochet Elbow Pain?

Crochet elbow pain can come from a number of reasons when crocheting but the root cause is generally the repeated motion and flexing the elbow when crocheting. This can be common when yarning over.

Tennis elbow or tendonitis is the technical term compared to the general saying of, “I’m getting pain in my elbow from crochet!” The pain may feel tender on the outside of your elbow and extend down into your forearm or the back of your hand.

So How Much Crocheting Does it Take to Get Elbow Pain?

It varies by person and if you don’t stretch then it can be more common. You might have been under the impression previously that you don’t need to stretch before crocheting but warming up your arms and fingers is one of the best things you can do.

If you are making projects non stop and make a living from crochet then it can be more common to get elbow pain from crochet but if you are just crocheting on the weekends or evenings for a few hours then it is a lot less likely.

If you are approaching a 6-8 hour day of crochet, day after day then crocheting elbow paint could be a concern but for most people it isn’t.

So with all these issues like elbow pain from crocheting and carpal tunnel up in the wrist, should you even still crochet? Yes! Don’t let it scare you. It isn’t too common to get the pain and if you do, it isn’t hard to treat elbow pain from crochet.

Let’s look at treating the pain and making it more manageable!

How do I Stop my Elbow from Hurting When I Crochet?

Crochet blanket in process. Photo Credit: Maren Lie Malmo (Flickr CC)

The first thing to do is to look how you are crocheting. Are you sitting in a way that could be causing the elbow pain? Are you using bad technique and form when crocheting? All these things can be easily fixed.

Some of the solutions to get rid of crochet elbow pain include

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Motrin
  • Heating Pads
  • Compression
  • Cortisone
  • Acupuncture
  • Strengthening

First, you should start with the least invasive and see if you can treat your elbow pain. Take a few days off and ice your elbow. See if there is any improvement. If not, you might need to grab a heating pad and put that into your routine.

Try to icing for 30 minutes on the outside of the elbow while using a towel to protect the skin from the bag of ice. Later, apply the heating pad for 30 minutes.

Do this twice a day for 3-5 days. To reduce the inflammation along with the ice, you can use a Motrin to help.

The final less invasive treatment is to wear a compression sleeve. You can wear this when crocheting or when resting in the evening.

If the elbow pain from crocheting still exists after at home treatment then it may be time to seek help.

Heading To a Doctor for Crochet Elbow Pain

The doctor is often going to recommend a shot of cortisone for immediate relief if you have had strong enough pain to make it all the way to his office from crochet. They will probably even tell you to put the hooks down for awhile but you heard it here first to take a break from crocheting and rest!

The other alternative is the doctor can order acupuncture in the elbow area. It is one of the best ways to relieve pain from tennis elbow. You be scared of all the little needles but once you feel the results, you’ll “get it”.

After either of the above, the specialist may recommend physical therapy. You might feel crazy going to PT for elbow pain from crochet but they see tennis elbow all the time as that is what it is at the end of the day.

You can even try these stretches and exercises ever before you ever see a PT. If it fixes the pain then it could save you time and a visit. More time you could be using to crochet some projects.

Fixing How You Sit When Crocheting

Close up of crochet. Photo Credit: Brad Heird (Flickr CC)

A lot of beginners start crocheting but never learn the best way to sit. If you are slouching or not in the proper posture when crocheting then it can lead to problems in the back, neck and elbow to just mention a few spots.

Always choose a comfortable chair and with in an upright posture. Slouching on a sofa will only lead to strain over the long run. Hold your project a little out in front so your neck is always staring directly down. Focus on using your wrist more when crocheting and try to get away from using your full elbow in motion.

So What is the Most Comfortable Chair to Crochet in?

It depends how much you plan to crochet and what you have at home. The best chairs for crochet are going to be office chairs that are rated for sitting in for 8 hours like a Herman Miller Aeron.

The catch is most people don’t plan to crochet for 4-6 hours at a time and have an extra $800 to spend on a chair to crochet.

Most people are going to just sit in bed or a recliner while they crochet but just be aware that crocheting while sitting up in bed isn’t the best for the lower back. Find a good seat in the house with proper shoulder and back support. Crocheting is always more fun when you are comfortable. At least that is what we have found!

Just those few adjustments can make a world of difference when doing a long crochet session. By far, a good chair will go a long way in feeling good when crocheting.

What to Do If the Pain Doesn’t Get Better in the Elbow?

If you have went through all the above steps and are still facing pain in your elbow when crocheting then you’ll have to plan another visit back to a doctor or specialist.

Most people can mitigate the pain before having to go back a second time. The two best ways to avoid having to go back is to rest and strengthen.

As much as you may not want to put down your crochet hooks, it could be good for you. While you take a few days off, you can still stay busy checking out new patterns and picking some new yarn before starting a new project. Once the pain has subsided or is manageable then you can get right back to it!

Final Thoughts on Crochet Elbow Pain

Not everyone is going to get elbow pain from crocheting but it can be debilitating if you get it. Knowing up from how to avoid it and treat it out you in a good spot to hopefully fix anything that comes your way.

Over the long run, if it’s not the elbow then it might be the wrist. Unfortunately, if you crochet a lot, something will eventually get a little sore. Prioritize breaks and stretch to reduce any pain when crocheting!

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