It is very common for people who knit to experience discomfort or pain in their hands and wrists. This is because knitting involves repetitive movements that can lead to various conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and trigger thumb. 

These issues bring discomfort and pain and may impair your hand or wrist. If left unaddressed, your capability to knit and do other tasks may be affected. It is best to consult with a hand therapist as soon as you experience prolonged pain in your hands or wrists. 

Additionally, here are practical tips you can use to stay away from pain due to knitting. 

Keep Your Hands Warm

Having cold and tense hand muscles may be the reason behind the pain you feel while knitting. This is why as much as possible, you should work in a cozy environment and keep your hands warm. 

As with any strenuous activity, doing a warm-up for your knitting is vital, too, so stretch your hands and fingers to increase blood flow before working on your project. 

Listen to Your Body

Being aware of any discomfort or pain you are experiencing is essential in protecting your hands and wrists. If they start aching, stop and rest for a while. In the event that you feel chronic symptoms including impaired function, numbness, or shooting pain, do not resume knitting until you have consulted with a hand therapist. 

Observe Proper Posture

Poor posture can significantly increase the risk of experiencing pain while knitting. You must try to avoid awkward positions for your arms, back, and neck, as these will compress your nerves and result in discomfort and pain. At all times, keep a straight back and relaxed shoulders to avoid slouching down. Take note that resting your arms on a chair or table can also compress your nerves. 

Take Breaks

You may find yourself completely engrossed in knitting that you go for hours without any breaks. This is more likely to happen when you work on a complicated project or within a deadline. 

Keep in mind that not taking breaks can contribute to the development of pain in any part of your body that engages in physical activity. This is why if you can be strict with working hard, you must also practice taking the necessary breaks to rest your hands and stretch your arms, back, neck, and shoulders. Doing these will help manage the stress that knitting causes on your body. 

Watch Your Technique

Adjusting your technique can aid in managing discomfort and pain from knitting. Given this, the continental knitting technique is easy on the hands and prevents pain. There are various techniques that are fit for relieving the stress caused by knitting, so feel free to switch styles when you start feeling that your hand muscles are getting too strained.  


If you experience severe hand pain after knitting, speak with a hand therapist for the proper advice and treatment. They may also provide you with the following information:

  • Appropriate knitting activity modifications
  • Graded strengthening exercises (only when necessary)
  • Median nerve gliding exercises for reducing nerve irritability
  • Movement exercises for uninvolved joints

If you need to consult with a hand specialist, turn to North Florida Hand and Wrist. Led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, we are expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons committed to providing patients with the absolute best care possible. Contact us today!