I know what you are all probably thinking, “Healthy crochet? I just put a hook in my hand and start working, what can be unhealthy about that?” Well, some of you may already know this, but crochet can lead to carpal tunnel, back pain, neck pain, head aches, and sometimes even eye strain. It is the same as writing, typing, working with hand tools, or anything else that uses repetitive motion of the fine motor muscles. I know I know, I don’t want to be the Debby Downer that rains on your parade, but there are some simple steps you can take to help keep yourself pain-free and healthy while working on your crochet.
1. Make sure you are sitting in a position that doesn’t strain your back. Crocheting in bed can be very relaxing, I’m guilty of this, and you tend to want to lounge around and get in a good comfy spot to start working while you watch T.V. That’s ok, as long as you keep good posture and don’t have to look down constantly, which brings me to my next point.
2. Don’t look down constantly. Try to keep your work at a level that you can easily look at without moving your head downward. It’s the same as reading, if you keep your head down for a long period of time you can eventually start to get tension headaches from the constant strain on those muscles.
3. Don’t move your wrist too much. It may take some practice, but teach yourself to crochet with as little movement as possible. Beginners may have a hard time with this, but you don’t want to have to work too hard to move your hook or keep your yarn coming, that can contribute to carpal tunnel.
4. Keep the lighting at a good level. Remember when your mother used to tell you not to read in the dark because it would strain your eyes? Well, turns out that there is some truth to that, and when you are working on a pattern that takes some focus and concentration you need to make sure you keep the lighting bright enough that you can see without straining your eyes.
5. Take breaks. I can sit down to work on a project and end up crocheting for hours without even realizing it. Time flies when you’re having fun! So, make sure you give yourself regular breaks. If you feel your hands or wrists start to get tired, put down your hook and yarn and walk away from it for a couple of hours, your body will thank you.