Elbow Tendonitis From Knitting, hurts to grip and straighten arm

by Jill

Found you on the knitting website Ravelry; thank you!

I'm a pretty healthy 54 and developed tendonitis in my right (preferred) elbow last summer from hauling some concrete blocks...stupid, I know.

It slowly got better (primarily the standard icing regime), but flared dramatically just before Christmas from a weeklong knitting marathon (ditto on the stupidity!)

Original injury was primarily the pain associated with grasping. Current injury is most painful when straightening my arm.

I'm starting your ice dip/ice massage/hammering regime today, but have several questions.

1. I teach a strength training class (curriculum for women over 50 from Tufts Univ. called Strong Women) 3 times/week using free weights. I've continued on with this throughout my tendonitis bout, just reduced weight on that arm from 12# to 5#. I feel it, but not especially painful. Should I continue with that?

2. I'd like to stretch, but after searching, haven't been able to find specific stretches that might work other than arm straight out in front and using the other hand, gently pulling the wrist both down and up for a 20 count. Will that help, and/or are there other appropriate stretches?

3. I sometimes go months without knitting, but winter is my big project time and have several in the works. Do I need to stop completely until it feels better? :(
-or can I do so for short periods of time (20 min. several times a day?)

I'd greatly appreciate any comments you can make.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Jill.

Say hi to Ravelry.com for me!

Nothing stupid about hours of knitting! It's just time to counter the last long period of time that you've knitted, and the compensations that your body has gone through.

I'll answer your questions, and then ask some of my own.

1. Yes, keep teaching your
class. You aren't damaging your self, even if it hurts (though you may irritate it). Now that you're ice dipping and such, you shouldn't get an increase in pain.

Pay attention, don't let it get too irritated, ice dip to counter any.

2. There's a billion stretches. For right now, do anything that lengthens the structures without causing any sensation of pain.

3. Short periods of knitting is fine. Long periods is fine too, depending. It's a matter of how much are you irritating the Pain Causing Dynamic and how much is muscle tightening up and more chemical is being released from the Process of Inflammation?

My Questions:

1. Is the pain when gripping/straightening the arm on the palm side of the forearm, or the back of the hand side of the forearm?

2. When straightening the arm, where is the pain? (I'm looking to see if bicep muscle/tendon is at play).

3. Where exactly does it knit when knitting too long? Where when straightneing your arm?

4. Sounds like this has been going on a long time?

5. Have you read the Magnesium for Tendonitis page?

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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