Stretches for knitting/drop spindling?

So I've had a sore spot behind my left shoulder blade for a good week now. Ugh. I don't know what it's from, but I'm guessing it might be from over-extending my reach during spinning. Any suggestions?


YarnGuy716's picture

Here is a STRETCHING GUIDE that shows the basic upper body stretches. You might want to warm up and stretch before you start spinning. Also you body is telling you that you are over exerting. Take a break from spinning to give yourself a rest before continuing.

knit4brains's picture

I had a chronic problem like this years ago. It got so bad that I was waking up anywhere from 20-30 times a night (basically every time that I rolled over). I spoke to my doctor about it and he gave me a sheet with some stretches. I have religiously done them ever since, and the problem (which went away after 2 days of stretching), has never returned again. There are essentially two stretches. The first is similar to the first one on the guide that YarnGuy told you about. The only difference is that instead of bending your head to the side, what you do is to bend it down (as if you were trying to look at your nipple) at an angle. You do this movement first without using your hand to push down further and then with your hand. Each time you hold it for about 20 seconds. You have to do it to each side. The second movement is similar. You turn your head so that you are looking towards your shoulder. First without your hand to assist, and then with, for 20 seconds each, and to each side.

Good Luck!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I don't spin as much as I used to (or should) but I agree you should do a bit of warm up. The question I had come to mind is: Are you raising your arm over your head as you spin? I try to keep the limit of my upward reach to the level of my shoulder at the most. I've also adapted my style of spinning so that I spread my arms apart as I draft, rather than reaching upward. If you look at photos and videos of spinners from Peru, Tibet, Greece and so on, you notice that their motions are often the same. It saved a lot of wear and tear on my arms and shoulders. As the spindle reaches the floor, ground, whatever...I usually stop the spin, butterfly wind the yarn onto my finger and thumb, then wind onto the spindle. Have fun and explore what works best for you. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

WillyG's picture

Thanks! Today I surmised that I may also be adding stress while pushing/pulling wheelchairs all day. Hm... there are times being tall comes back to bite ya...even though it does make a longer reach for the spindle!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

True...I ran into that when I worked at a job that required pushing wheelchairs a lot. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

daveballarat's picture

What about changing the spinning all together... going to a spinning wheel. I used a spinning wheel many years ago, it's at my parents house waiting for when I eventually return to Australia for good... I don't think we have the spinning tradition of the spindle style... but using the wheel would certainly eliminate the shoulder and back wear and tear and you can continue the spinning but just in a different manner.

I explained to Joe that back strain from the computer, many hours in one session, like report writing weekends... can stuff up my back for months because my computer chair is just an ordinary chair... So if the spindle is causing your back and shoulder havoc, it could stuff you up physicall for a long period if you are not careful. Certainly extended periods of time can cause constant pain and even pain while you sleep. So the movement completely and let your body do it's magic and heal itself.

Istanbul, Turkey