Most crafts (and jobs for that matter) involve some repetitive motion that can take a toll on your body over time. If you take nothing else away from this post, please remember this: if it hurts, stop doing it.
Carpal tunnel is caused by inflammation in the wrists that pinches nerves. If you knit, crochet, spin, play a musical instrument, type or use a mouse, you are at risk for developing this crippling pain in your hands, or you already have experienced it.
Last year, my Mom and I were doing so much knitting during the holidays that we both had to start wearing wrist braces to help combat carpal tunnel. Wearing them while we worked and at night while we slept seems to help, because the braces force you to hold your wrists in a natural, neutral position. To prevent it from getting bad again, I’m mindful of the angle I hold my wrists at while I’m working. I try to keep my knuckles in line with my elbow as much as possible.
Sciatica is pain that starts in your lower back and radiates down the back of your leg to your knee. It’s caused by inflammation pinching the largest nerve in your body. The first time I experienced sciatica was an hour after the first time I spun on a wheel. Marathon programming sessions at work, long spinning sessions, and curling up on the couch all seem to make it worse.
I haven’t had as much success battling this one since I sit all day at work. Standing up often, stretching by trying to touch my toes, ice, anti-inflammatories, and whiskey all seem to help. My wheel is lower to the ground than most, so I think I need to modify my spinning chair to be shorter. I still seem to have episodes every now and then for no discernible reason. Like today.
So…long story short, take care of yourself people. It seems kind of obvious, but if it hurts, stop doing it. And if anyone has any ideas for sciatic pain, send them my way.