Trying to craft can cause strains and tensions if you are not paying attention to your body. Here are some pain-free crafting tips so you can crochet, knit and do other crafts painlessly until your heart is content.
Pay attention to how you are sitting or standing
Simple suggestions for maintaining healthy sitting posture include using a chair that allows you to keep your feet flat on and thighs parallel to the floor and removing any objects (cell phone, wallet) from your back pocket to reduce pressure on your low back. Adjust your seat so your neck isn’t craned in any direction for long periods of time. Be sure your feet are comfortably placed. Also, be sure your project is located directly in front of you.
Here’s a simple way to locate a good position for your project: Sit comfortably in your chair, and close your eyes. Adjust your body until you feel comfortable. Open your eyes and you should be looking at your project. If you have to look in any direction, then your project should be relocated so you are more comfortable.
If you stand while crafting, consider resting one foot on a stool for a short time to reduce the stress and strain on your spinal tissues. Holding your project at eye level can reduce stress on your cervical spine and help improve your posture. Ask your Dr. Caratozzolo, a certified chiropractic extremity practitioner (CCEP), about effective postural exercises you can perform while standing or sitting at work.
As a rule of thumb, be consistent, be patient and build up slowly. Start by working up to 20 to 30 minutes a day. Try using a sliding scale according to half your age. So for example: start with 20 minutes for 10 days then try 30 minutes for 15 days; work up to 50 minutes for 25 days, then 70 minutes for 35 days, etc. (cited: Knitting for Charity Pain Free)
Rather than pop an over the counter pain medication, why not take some time to relax, stretch and see your chiropractor. Did you know CCEP chiropractor’s can re-align your wrists, elbows and shoulders? Taking time to stretch will allow you to relax for a few seconds without interrupting your focus.
Use the right tools
Using a table with an adjustable height can be beneficial for your project. Using an adjustable chair can also protect you from neck and back pains while working. Tools with ergonomic handles are designed to promote neutral joint postures, thus less strain. Have you tried paper trimmers in place of scissors? The right tools can significantly reduce strain, tension and muscle imbalances that cause problems over time. Ask your chiropractor about other strategies to preserve your spine health while crafting.
Sitting — especially for a long period of time — is a tremendous stress on your spinal discs. Discs require motion for proper nutrition, so consider taking frequent breaks.
Paying attention to your aches & pains
Remember that it is not a good idea to continue to work through discomfort. Find out what’s causing your pain and how you might help to alleviate it. Listen to your body. Check with your chiropractor sooner than later if you have symptoms such as pain, weakness, tingling or numbness.