How I Keep Stitching on Painful Days

Exercises to relieve hand pain

Let me just say, right away, if you are in a lot of pain put down the yarn/needles/hooks. I trust you to know that. Sharp lances of pain are bad. Throbbing aches that get worse and worse are bad. You shouldn’t try to tough that out. If you think you should stop, stop. Go read a book or play with your bad cats or vacuum take a long bath.

I’m talking about days where you wake up with stiff hands and creaky joints and swollen fingers. I have students who took up knitting and crocheting precisely because they have too many of those days. Crafting can help you work through minor hand pain. But before you start, try some hand exercises and some acupressure. They may help you keep stitching on painful days.

I’m a big believer in acupressure and use it for at-home pain relief all the time. I have a regular “hot spot” under my right armpit that when pressed relieves a tense shoulder. I’m not going to show that on camera though. I also have a spot in the side of my butt that when pressed relieves sciatic pain all the way down my leg. I’m really not going to show that on camera. But I will share the pressure points, aka trigger points, aka reflex points, that I monitor in my hands.

One final note: I rushed through the exercises for this video. (Even so it came out to nine minutes). If you try acupressure and you find a “hot spot”, don’t move on quite as fast as I do in the video below. Apply steady pressure, breathe, and wait for full relief. Then move on.


This particular week two big storms moved into Texas, dropping temperatures by 20 degrees and dumping rain all over. My hands were stiff and sore for days before the storms actually hit. These exercises really helped me this week. I hope they help you when you need it too.

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"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

12 Comments on "How I Keep Stitching on Painful Days"

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My part of Texas did not get all the rain you did but I’m in for much colder weather. Damp too. All my bones are talking to me. Feel free to come by with your magic fingers. I promise not to make a peep when you press out all the tension in all my pressure points.
Thanks, see ya soon, I hope.

Been watching your weather, glad you’re OK. We’re getting it today. Last year I was having problems waking up with my hands painfully locked in a fist. My foc called it Trigger Finger. He showed me the exercise you demonstrated and gave me an Accupressure ball. Hard rubber with rubber nobs all over. Place it on a hard surface and roll your open hand and fingers on it. The nobs hit all those pressure points. Really helped my problem. He said a lot of his knitters use them. I believe they are sold on the internet as foot massagers.

TYPO ALERT the word “foc” should be “doc” as in doctor.


I tend to experience more pain if I work on the same project for too long. Great excuse to have so many WIPs, lol. Jokes aside, thanks for these tips. I know I stitch for too long, and I’ve been feeling it.

I’m glad you didn’t float away; that was one scary looking storm!


Thanks for the tips. Just the bending of the fingers helps a lot.