Dealing with carpel Tunnel Sydrome

I was wondering if any one else is dealing with this.
For the last few months I have been struggling with pain in my right hand and wrist. My doctor thinks it is Carpel Tunnel and has me in wrist supports overnight and on NSAIDS It is getting better and I can comfortably knit for about 5 minutes a day now but does anyone have any tricks or tips both to knit longer as my mood has taken a nose dive or any advise on how to change my knitting style to minimize the wrist movement ? Has anyone used those compression gloves and did you find them helpful?

Hi @debc2000 I can only share my experience. I knit combination style and with ADDI circulars, that way wrist flick for purls is minimal and the weight of knitted piece is on my lap, not on the needles. I do hope you will get to enjoy knitting again, more than five minutes a day.

@debc2000 My best advice is rest and do not knit through the pain. When it hurts at all, stop knitting. Definitely try out different knitting styles. It will take practice and trial-and-error to find out what works for you to minimize that movement. I find that flicking instead of throwing does help a lot even though my throwing action is very minimal anyway. But, please take it from someone who has RSI’s and tendinitis that rest is really really important if you want to continue to knit.

Oh! I have used compression gloves. I tried various different sorts and I found they caused me more pain. YMMV. I think you may be better off trying a band to stabilize your wrist rather than compression gloves.

As a medical transcriptionist who lives to spin and knit, I can relate! I sometimes find myself waking up at night with an arm that is tingling so badly that I can’t sleep! But wearing a wrist brace at night seemed to really help the situation. Like @5xhappy , I use Addi circulars for almost all of my knitting, so that does place the bulk of my knitting on my lap, especially for larger projects like baby blankets or sweaters. I suppose any circular needle would do the same, although I think metal ones allow the stitches to slide a bit more easily, in my opinion. Also, I have always knit continental style, so I think it’s less stressful on my right hand. If you’re on the computer a lot, wear a brace or stop and take frequent breaks. Same way with knitting, you might need to stop and take breaks. I have never tried compression sleeves or wrist bands, but I have looked at them occasionally. For now, I just have a reversible brace that can wear at nighttime or when I’m typing. But I agree–don’t try to push through the pain. I think it could make it worse.

Thanks. I normally use circular needles but have been knitting dishcloths this summer and using straight. I am enjoying my short time knitting and am stopping at the first tinge. I am a thrower and think I need to work on picking when things improve.

Thanks, Something bothered me about the gloves, I am sorry they didn’t work for you and think I will not try them.

@debc2000 I found the gloves felt great for a few minutes, but the longer I wore them, the more my hands cramped. I tried different sizes and styles, but it just wasn’t working for me. You might have a different experience. I play volleyball and had a wrist brace (just a band that velcros around the wrist and can be adjusted for tightness) and that seems to work better.

I have had carpal tunnel release surgery 3 times on my left (dominant) hand and once on my right. They also removed bones in my wrists where the thumbs and wrists come together.

The best advice I can give is to wear braces while you sleep and any time you can throughout the day. Ice down your hand/wrist following any activity that seems particularly stressful. These are the best braces I ever found.

I have had the same experience. My daughter trained as an aromatherapist and made me some wonderful anti-inflammatory oil in a roll on bottle, which helped me much more than ibuprofen gel. You might be able to find someone to do this for you?

Having dealt with non-CTS wrist pain, I can confirm that that brace is great!

I have occasional issues with wrist pain. I have to limit my knitting time when I’m working on something heavy, where I have to apply a (relative) lot of force just to form my stitches. Projects where I wind up having a death grip on my needles are also troublesome, such as too-fiddly lacework done on too-small needles. Conversely, low-force projects with minimal movements let me knit longer. I can knit for hours on a plain stockinette fingering-weight sock, between the springy yarn and minimal movements. I also recommend combination knitting, because I’m certain I’d have far more issues with my wrists if I had to purl the standard way.

I haven’t had CTS, but a different RSI and I can relate to the “mood nose dive” as you put it. I had to take an extended break from knitting which made me sad, but I knew that’s what was right for me. Anyway, when I started up again I tried out Portuguese-Style knitting. I found that it stressed my wrist/hands out less than my usual throwing style. I learned off of youtube videos – I think the tutorial I used was by Very Pink Knits. I was (and am) still pretty careful to stop if pain started in, used a brace at night, and ice. I hope you find what works for you.

@debc2000 I had extreme carpal tunnel on both wrists twenty years ago. Two doctors advised me against surgery. They suggested I try losing fifteen pounds first to see if that relieved the swelling. And it actually did! I never did have the surgery. I do have to keep that fifteen pounds off. I wasn’t overweight much. Bonus.

Yes, I wore the gloves for a long while. I stopped knitting. Today I can knit again as long as I don’t push it more than two hours at a time.

Good luck whatever you decide.