ive ruined my shoulder

Last Thursday after a FULL day of knitting, i woke up in agony and some fear. I couldn't move my neck or my right shoulder without some amount of screaming. It took a very long time to manage to get out of bed after thinking i was paralysed.

It turns out i had twisted the muscle from my neck to my right shoulder from stress and repetitive straining or something. which makes sense because being a graphic illustrator who uses a mouse all day, and when im not doing that, im knitting.
Almost a week later and some physio , its still not fixed, im eating pain killers like they are lollies.

I cant sit down, lay down, sneeze, cough, or laugh without a mega amount of pain.

So i guess this is a warning to all the hard core knitters who dont do regular stretches and what not between a few rows etc. DO stretch! DO have rests!

My dogs been trying to look after me by licking my fingers. not helping!

I'm so bored. i cant do anything [especially knitting] right now apart from have a bit of a cry.


Thor's picture

That is HARD CORE! I am so sorry to hear of your pain... especially being so extreme. I, too, have been doing some marathon knitting under deadline for a birthday, an out of town guest and an upcoming wedding. I have been taking mini-breaks every three or four pattern sets but I have noticed that my neck and right shoulder are very stiff in the morning. I will definately be more diligent about stretching during my breaks. FEEL BETTER SOON! The yarn misses your caress... :-)

ffarff's picture

ahhh, definitely look after yourself. You dont want to be going through what i am at the moment.

crmartin's picture

Sorry to hear about your injury, hope it heals up quickly and you are back to normal soon.



MMario's picture

When the neck is involved it surely does hurt! And it's surprising how much your neck is invilved with stuff you don't even think it is!!!!!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

ffarff's picture

i never realised how many muscles are used when laughing. I didnt think shoulder and neck muscles were involved but every time i laugh its incredible pain.
good exercise anyway.

OKknitguy's picture

I had knitter's elbow a while back. I continental knit and it was my right elbow. I spoke with my trainer and he said my main problem was in my neck. He did two 30 min neck massages and hooked me up to a TENS, a neural muscle stimulator, and it fixed everything. Look around for a physical therapist or a physiatrist to do the same.

scottly's picture

I went through that through most of my 30's and I finally licked when I started going to the gym and lifting weights. I know - it sounds repulsive and at first it was but as I built up muscle around my neck, shoulders and back the times it would flare up diminished and now I can't remember the last time I had a problem. As as much as we hate to admit it knitting is sedantary. You need to work those muscles not just stretch them, though stretching is important. I quit lifting last year to swim instead and it seems to do the trick as well.

steve kadel's picture

and the muscles are looking good :)

we put birds on things

Crafty Andy's picture

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Some people have little pillows that go under your armpits, that way the pressure is relieved and no matter how hard you tense, the pillow forces you to keep an open angle between your arm and your body! Also take a one hour break between 2 hours of knitting is not a bad idea!

JDM511's picture

Hope you are back to normal or at least comfortable soon.

Tallguy's picture

This is a common injury, especially for someone new to it. We all tend to be so enthusiastic that we over-do it, and then have to suffer.

I had a big project to do once, and worked on it for about 7 hours a day sometimes. That is not good! After a time, I found that I was suffering a pain in my arms -- no matter how I held them, they hurt. Not a sharp severe pain, but a dull ache that just never went away. Sleep ing was not easy!

The only thing to do was stop all work! It took a very long time to recover. Now, I am a lot more careful. I take breaks frequently. I am always doing several things at once: making supper, spinning, knitting, surfing the net. I move from one to the other. Most require using different muscles and that is enough of a break to avoid repetitive stress injury. Because I am at a keyboard all day, I try not to do a lot of continuous knitting since it all seems to involve the same muscles and tendons.

So we all have suffered from our enjoyment. Just be sensible and take it slow and easy. Take frequent breaks, doing something different. And you will enjoy another day!

ffarff's picture

i wouldnt call knitting for ten years being 'new'.

MichaelJames's picture

Hmmm. I knit most every evening from 5 to 12:30-1 AM and I've never had any problems. I guess I'll count my blessings. I noticed that Scottly found lifting weights helped him. I have always worked out, so maybe that helped me to avoid the injuies you've described. Whatever is the case, I wish for you a speedy recovery. So sorry you're hurting.
Take good care,


ffarff's picture

Yeah, either have i, this is the first time ive had serious problem.
Im particularly lazy so im not surprised i did some damage to myself.
the working out would have definitely helped.

Kerry's picture

I know the winter is not the time to be thinking of cold packs, but a cold pack on that muscle for 10 minutes will help relieve the pain. It calms down the nerve endings which are firing off too quickly causing pain. Perhaps your physio has already suggested this. Get well soon.

ffarff's picture

he said the opposite - a hot pack.
on cold days like it is now its not repairing as fast as it should.

knit4brains's picture

I know that I'm jumping on this question late, but in any case, here's my two cents. I had this same problem years ago. And this is despite the fact that I have worked out with weights my entire life. It got so bad that I was waking up 20-30 times a night (every time I rolled over). Lucky for me, I mentioned it to my primary care physician, who incidentally was also a knitter, and he gave me a sheet with some stretches on it. I started doing them that day, and within two days it was completely gone. I have since done these stretches religiously every day (just before I start my workout), and I have never had the pain return. I would attempt to explain to you how to do these, but a demonstration would be necessary. I would advise you to talk to your doctor about it the next time you see him/her. Good luck with it!

ffarff's picture

ive been told to so excercises every 30 minutes or so for it.
its still not fixing up. now i get pins and needless in my arm!
but im sure it will all heal up soon.

Kerry's picture

Have you had a neck x-ray? Pins and needles in the arm can be coming from neck problems. I've had something similar for months and it was only after the physio ordered an x-ray that we found there was a problem at one of the neck joints.