Most people probably consider knitting, crocheting, and spinning as a fairly safe activity.  As you can see here, knitting needles could be dangerous if careless.  I don’t want to say that I am injury prone, but I have had a lot of aches and pains over the years.  As an adult I’ve learned most of this was because of Fibromyalgia, which by definition is a chronic pain condition with no known causes.  My knees have hurt since I have been a baby, and I have had many injuries with no apparent swelling or bruising.  However last fall my wrist started to hurt and I was pretty sure it wasn’t part of my chronic conditions.

In October of 2013 I participated in an event called Spinzilla, in which I participated as a rogue spinner (meaning I did not have a team) in spinning the most yarn by yardage that I could possibly do in one week.  By the third day my wrist was pretty sore, but I thought to myself that’s just how things are, not much I can do about it.  But as the weeks went by, and I resting some (spinning, crocheting, knitting is how I get paid, so I can’t completely rest) it didn’t get any better.  By January it was hard to hold on to things with my left hand.  I finally relented and made an appointment with my amazing general practitioner.  

blackspinningThis is where things vary from the norm in my experience. I explained to my doctor my symptoms, there was some swelling, and enough pain that activities like dressing myself we becoming difficult.  Instead of getting the normal, non-committed answer of now reason or diagnosis, she immediately has an answer.  She said it’s called De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, and is actually the tendons in my thumb and not actually in my wrist.

I’m elated! As a person with chronic pain, to have a name for something is pretty awesome.  Basically it all comes down to inflammation in the sheath that covers the tendons in my thumb.  A shot of steroids is required, which caused some irritation for a few days, and a spica splint.  I officially rested for about a week, wore my splint, and iced.  Soon things were feeling back to normal.  How simple!

I sleep in my splint, and wear it when I’m not spinning, or doing other activities that use the similar pinching motions that I do with my left hand when drafting my fibers.  The pain level has not returned to the level that it was at before the steroid shot, but I suspect that marathons of spinning will have to be carefully monitored in the future.

Many people have told me since that they have had the same condition, some are from crochet, others are those who have had the experience from taking care of babies, there is something about the picking up of a baby and all the activities involved of baby care that irritates these tendons as well.  All in all a fairly easy problem to solve, for which I’m grateful for.

Have you ever had an injury from something that seems safe and easy?