TIPS TO ENJOY HEALTHY KNITTING
Many of us turn to knitting to pass the time and can be a great exercise for those with hand pain. However, knitting is a repetitive motion and can lead to a variety of injuries, much like typing, sewing and other repetitive tasks. Knitting can cause strain not only on the hands and wrists, but also on the neck and upper back due to the extended length of time knitters are looking down at their work in a sitting position. Knitting can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome related to improper wrist positioning and grip technique in serious cases.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association has compiled a few tips and techniques to help knitters enjoy their hobby free of pain and discomfort:
- The single most important thing a knitter can do to prevent injury is take frequent, regular breaks. Change the position of your body and look up often from your work and into the distance.
- Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and try not to hunch. Try to engage your abdomen when adjusting your posture.
- Stretch your fingers by clenching your hands and then spreading your fingers as far as you can. Stretch and strengthen your wrists with simple curls. Lay your forearm on a flat surface with your wrist at the edge. While holding a small hand weight, let your wrist fall over the edge and then lift the weight up towards you only bending your wrist. The rest of your arm should remain flat on the table.
- Switch it up! Learning to switch easily between English and Continental knitting styles will allow you to keep on stitching while reducing the risk of repetitive strain.
- Sit in a comfortable but supportive chair and consider placing a small cushion, rolled up towel or sweater between your chair and the curve in the small of your low back.
- The tools you use matter. Consider smooth, lightweight needles. Circular needles are best for large projects. When crocheting, use ergonomic hooks.
- Make small, efficient movements. Practice how small you can make your movements. Keep the working yarn close to the tip of the needles.
- Grasp your yarn gently. A consistently relaxed grip will help you keep a constant gauge while reducing unnecessary strain on your neck, shoulders and forearms.
- Hold your projects away from you. This will help you relax and avoid muscle and eye strain.
- Plan your knitting projects in advance and try to space them out over time.
Any pain or stiffness resulting from knitting should not be ignored. Knitting should be a fun, relaxing hobby. Make sure that knitting is contributing to your wellbeing and health, not more injuries.
More information on back health, including how to protect your back during snow shovelling, can be found online at www.chiropractic.on.ca/health-tips.
For more great chiropractic care and pain prevention tips from our Vaughan, Ontario based Fit for Life Wellness and Rehab Center please visit our blog:
BUILDING YOUR CORE
Build your core so your back is not sore. You often hear about the importance of strengthening your core. This is true and important, but it is recommended for many reasons over and over just achieving your dream body.
Many people have back pain and this can sometimes be caused by weak abdominal muscles. In fact, developing strong abdominal muscles may actually help prevent back pain by enabling proper spinal alignment, making you less prone to back injuries. Your abs anchor your frontal core, and if they are weak, the other structures supporting your spine, such as back muscles, will have to work harder. By developing stronger core muscles, you’ll be less likely to injure or strain your back muscles.
Below are three exercises that help build your core, so your back’s not sore.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and feet turned out, toes pointed. Contract your core muscles and roll your shoulders forward creating a curve in your back. Lift and move arms in succession as if you were climbing a rope, twisting your core slightly with each reach. Repeat 20 times.
Start in a plank position with abs tight. Pull right knee in and circle it clockwise, then counterclockwise. Keep the rest of your body stationary. Repeat five times and then switch legs.
Sit with knees bent and feet on floor. (A) Straighten right leg. Roll spine into a C-curve. Place left hand behind head and extend right arm. (B) Twist body to the left, roll back a bit more (and hold for one count), then come up. Do five reps and then switch sides.
Try these exercises to help tone your core, three to four times per week for about 15 minutes. Your back will thank you.
Provided by Dr. Luciano Di Loreto, HBSc., D.C. & Associates
Dr. Luciano Di Loreto graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (2010) as a Doctor of Chiropractic and obtained a certificate in Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University (2010). At his practice located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto combines evidence-based chiropractic care with a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to health care. He is an approachable, passionate, and diligent practitioner with a focus on delivering exceptional acute, preventative, rehabilitative and supportive care for a variety conditions relating to the muscle, nerve, and bone. During his spare time, Dr. Luciano Di Loreto takes pleasure in spending time with his family and friends. He enjoys fishing and playing sports.
Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre is a health clinic located in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Major Mackenzie on Weston Road (Located in the Vellore Medical Centre & Walk In Clinic at 10395 Weston Road, Unit A., Woodbridge Ontario L4H 3T4). If you have questions for Dr. Luciano Di Loreto & Associates, please comment or email us and we will get right back to you promptly with information on your conditions/concerns.