Dr. Tialys’s Research Into Remedies for Hand Pain ……..

………Possibly Due to Repetitive Strain Injury (mostly of the knitting/crochet/sewing kind) or Possibly Not.


Unfortunately I have still not found the diplomas, certificates and whatevers that qualify me as a medical doctor – but I’m sure I took the hippocratic oath some time in the past – or was it all a dream?

However, pressing on regardless – though only gently as I have had a hurty hand – I tried out some remedies to see if anything would help before I have to go and sit in a germ ridden waiting room at a Doctor’s surgery where actual certificates are displayed, money has to be handed over and tests are prescribed.

These are my findings – in order of testing, not effectiveness.

 1. The Potions

An anti-inflammatory taken at night when the pain first started which helped me get a bit of sleep.   Normally, a glass of wine would have done this job for me but, in a cruel twist of fate, I’m doing Dry January so this remedy was denied to me.


2.  The Lotions

Useless on this occasion.


3.  The Ice

This seemed to work although that might be because I froze my hand so effectively it was not capable of feeling anything anyway.  Also, I didn’t wrap the ice up well enough on one occasion and gave myself freezer burn thus making the cure worse than the ailment.  Use with caution.

4.  The Wrist Support

A useful aid to impress people at Zumba/Pilates classes where I don’t mention knitting but let people imagine me hurtling down the mountains on skis, falling off my carbon steel bike,  jogging on slippy ground, etc. (none of which I actually do)  – but  not that comfortable and too bulky to do anything much whilst wearing it.


5.  The Copper Magnetic Bracelet

Well, anything’s worth a try isn’t it?  It’s quite pretty too.


6.  The Cat  Hand Massage Ball

My zumba/pilates teacher recommended rolling a small ball (my one is a cat toy) between the palms of your hands for a couple of minutes every morning.  Apparently it ‘gets the fluid moving’.  You can also use it under your feet but I don’t recommend that first thing in the morning unless you are fully awake.  Ask me how I know.


7. The Handeze Glove

This was recommended by a fellow blogger and, despite looking slightly creepy, seems to be doing a good job.  It’s very comfortable and discreet and doesn’t impede you at all whilst sewing/knitting/crochet but, because of that, I keep forgetting I’ve got it on and start washing my hands or cleaning out the oven wearing it.  (well, o.k., not cleaning out the oven because I can’t remember the last time I did that and, anyway, it’s supposed to clean itself although I can’t say it does a very good job).

It’s probably worth wearing as a preventative measure in future and I might buy one for my other hand too.


8.  The Rest and Relaxation

Be like Leon

I can report that my hand is actually feeling a lot better.  I am getting the occasional twinge but not the constant discomfort I was having before.  Of course, having tried all the above remedies, I have no idea which one actually works but I would say the last one is probably the most important.  Don’t overdo things in the first place and don’t try to force yourself through a pain barrier – crafting is not aerobics.

So, I managed to get another octagon made for my Eastern Jewels blanket but, heeding my own advice, I took a few short sessions to do it rather than one long one.  Patience is not really one of my virtues though so we’ll see how long I can stick to this new and different cautious approach.


important note;  In case you are labouring under any illusion – which I doubt – I am, and never was, a real Doctor of any description.



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  1. #1 by claire93 on January 22, 2018 - 12:43

    I personally reckon it’s the HandEze mitten that’s helping because that’s the only one of your list I’ve ever tried myself and it works for me lol. It’s used by sewists, pianists and for people with Carpal syndrome.

    • #2 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 15:20

      Yes, thank you for the original suggestion Claire. I do think it’s helping and I might even treat my right hand to one – just to be on the safe side 🙂

  2. #3 by onecreativefamily on January 22, 2018 - 13:45

    Great ideas. Have used all but I find the Handeze the best for me.

    • #4 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 15:19

      Well, I have stopped the potions and lotions and wrist support now so I’m down to the bracelet, the ball, the handeze and pacing myself. Hopefully that will keep the pain in check.

  3. #6 by Fred the Needle on January 22, 2018 - 13:45

    Oh so sorry to hear you are in pain! poor thing, it is really awful when you can’t do things – especially those things that make you happy! I am glad to read that rest is doing you good, take care.

    • #7 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 15:12

      Thank you – it makes you appreciate your usual mobility when you are without it doesn’t it?

  4. #8 by The Snail of Happiness on January 22, 2018 - 13:46

    I hurt my hand a couple of years ago knitting cotton yarn on dpns at high tension for the charity Knitted Knockers; there was high demand and a very quick turn-around required. In the end I had to admit defeat and give up knitting for that particular charity (although I do occasionally knit a knocker or two for a friend). The only thing that worked for me was rest, although I did see mention of the mittens then, I think it was too late for me so I never tried using one. Once my hand was recovered, I paced myself and now if I start getting similar twinges, I pour myself a glass of wine and put the knitting or crochet to one side (no such thing as dry January here!).

    • #9 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 15:11

      You taunt me with your talk of wine.
      I had to Google Knitted Knockers – what a great idea. I’ve only used DPNs once to make some fingerless mittens and I appear to have wiped the experience from my mind although I see you can use the magic loop method which I prefer but might have been what crocked me this time. I can’t even countenance picking up those teeny circulars and socks again yet.

      • #10 by The Snail of Happiness on January 23, 2018 - 11:00

        I don’t get on well with the magic loop… I seem to end up with uneven stitches, so it’s dpns for me. I want to do some more Norwegian colourwork socks, but currently I’m plodding on with a jumper in aran yarn, that has lacy side panels that require some concentration, so I don’t work on for hours at a time!

  5. #11 by KerryCan on January 22, 2018 - 14:26

    Here’s the problem–crafting is a *lot* more fun than aerobics! And more satisfying, too. I think you’re right, though, that cutting back and “being Leon” is probably what’s helping. Glad it seems to be working!

    • #12 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 15:07

      It’s true, although I’m not sure my core muscles benefit as much. Although, I suppose I can always practise the pelvic floor lift in a sitting position 😮

  6. #13 by Lynda on January 22, 2018 - 15:11

    While I don’t have the same situation as you, I do know something about repetitive stress and pain in the hand and wrist. Your use of the hand ease is a great idea! You might also consider some breaks for hand and wrist stretches to help prevent the pain. I found these on Pinterest and they are very similar to what my hand surgeon recommended to me: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/36169603230665407/

    WARNING: Turn your volume to minimum as she has a very high pitched voice. 😉

    • #14 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 15:27

      Thanks Lynda – they are similar to some exercises I suggested to my Mum when she was getting pain from knitting (though she had rheumatoid arthritis so a different thing – at least I hope so!). These seem very intuitive and I will definitely add them to my repertoire which currently only consists of the ball rolling!

      • #15 by Lynda on January 23, 2018 - 21:13

        Regarding RA… I hope so too!

  7. #16 by zaynabsophiarose on January 22, 2018 - 15:47

    A mendala artist on instagram was in a lot of pain from the repetitive work she does on her large canvas’. She had tried many treatments to no avail, she finally tried wet cupping (a type of blood letting) and said she felt an instant relief, and a few days later was able to resume her work after weeks off. Maybe worth trying if you have a Chinese doctor nearby.

    • #17 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 19:56

      Ew, sounds a little scary. We have a Chinese vet just down the road – do you think he’d have a go?

      • #18 by zaynabsophiarose on January 22, 2018 - 20:29

        Not scary at all if you don’t have a blood phobia, very small superficial scratches are made and a cup placed over it to draw the ‘stagnant’ blood. The vet may if they practice cupping.

      • #19 by tialys on January 23, 2018 - 09:38

        Next time I’m there with one of my numerous pets I might broach the subject.

  8. #20 by brennacrocheter on January 22, 2018 - 16:58

    You are too funny 😂. I am a fan of the compression gloves, but have forgotten to take them off while cleaning the oven too 😉. Rest, I have always found, is the best remedy.

    • #21 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 19:55

      So frustrating though isn’t it?

  9. #22 by nanacathy2 on January 22, 2018 - 17:18

    Rest is the only way sadly, then prevention. on the Iboprofen front I was told to take for at least a fortnight to get it into my system, when I had a poorly foot.
    Poorly foot took ages to get better , in the end it was a pair of Clarks shoes that didi the trick.
    Hoping your poorly paw is better soon.
    Love the crochet.

    • #23 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 19:54

      I am imagining what style of Clarks shoe would look best on my left hand 🙂

  10. #24 by sparkscrochet on January 22, 2018 - 18:00

    So sorry you are still having pain! This eastern jewel block turned out beautifully!

    • #25 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 19:53

      Thank you – I can’t really call it pain any longer, just a bit of a twinge.

  11. #26 by Postcard from Gibraltar on January 22, 2018 - 18:11

    Oh dear, there’s nothing more frustrating than a craft impeding injury. I hope your recovery continues!

  12. #29 by katechiconi on January 22, 2018 - 19:06

    Personally, I’m a great fan of the Leon solution. Yes, it’s frustrating, when you want to gallop ahead and get things done, but it does work. I’m still a fan of my Aspirin & Arnica cream, although how much of the help is the cream and how much is the rubbing in I don’t know. I like the sound of the glove thingy, but in this climate I think I’d be ripping it off in 10 minutes due to the heat. I do thank you for your tireless medical research on our behalf, and I hope for an update once January is over and you’ve had an opportunity to do some extensive research into the internal application of grape-based ethyl alcohols…

    • #30 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 19:52

      If I find, in February, that my hand is 100% better after such an internal application, I will never sign up for Dry January again 😉

      • #31 by katechiconi on January 22, 2018 - 19:57

        It would be counter-productive, I feel. While your liver is lounging about on holiday, your hands are paying the price!

      • #32 by Born To Organize on January 23, 2018 - 00:43


  13. #33 by Kim on January 22, 2018 - 19:53

    Every time I see that blanket (or part of it) I’m tempted again. I’m glad your hand is a bit better – and not too long now til February 😂.

    • #34 by tialys on January 22, 2018 - 20:01

      Who knew January had so many days in it? 😦

  14. #35 by sew2pro on January 22, 2018 - 23:34

    Glad you’re on the mend. I had no idea such a glove existed but will recommend to a cake decorator at work who may benefit.

    Have you tried prolonged periods of cat-stroking? I reckon that might work and there’s a candidate for therapy provision right there!

    That’s the most beautiful crochet I’ve ever seen, by the way. Somehow I had not imagined crochet could be so detailed and sophisticated.

    • #36 by tialys on January 23, 2018 - 09:37

      With six cats I am forced to stroke – sometimes for a whole evening – maybe there’s the cause of my RSI right there 😉
      I am discovering some beautiful crochet projects on Pinterest – most of which are beyond my talents at the moment.
      How are you getting on with the knitting?

      • #37 by sew2pro on January 26, 2018 - 00:48

        I need to get back into it: I gave up with a Christmas present project I was trying to finish but couldn’t because I couldn’t work out how to ‘delete’, ie undo my mistakes. Now I’ve got addicted to the French series Engrenages (do you know it?) so I wonder if I can watch previous series while knitting something quite simple.

      • #38 by tialys on January 26, 2018 - 12:05

        Knitting is a bit of a pain to ‘delete’ – I’m finding it’s much easier, or at least quicker, to ‘delete’ crochet when you go wrong.
        I watched the first couple of series of Engrenages but Mr. Tialys doesn’t like watching series – he prefers to have a beginning and end of a story in one evening or at least over a weekend (which is when he’s home) so I didn’t carry on with it. It gives you a different view of Paris to the usual touristy version doesn’t it? I might start with it again once I’ve finished the second season of The Crown – a very guilty pleasure.
        Do you speak French? We watched a couple of French series on Netflix over the last two weekends (they were short so could be binge watched) but I had to look up occasionally at the subtitles because I wanted to make sure I’d caught all the nuances rather than just the general gist :/ Therefore, crocheting was out – probably a good thing as my hand got rested.

  15. #39 by Born To Organize on January 23, 2018 - 00:46

    I’m really sorry about the pain you’ve been in, but clearly your sense of humor remains intact. I love this list of possible remedies. I’ve never heard of the handeze. What a great idea. I’ve had similar experiences with ice: it helps in the moment, but not long term. Leon, now there is a wise fellow. Cat’s have rest down to a science. I’m often my own worst enemy with this sort of thing, especially when I’m working with an organizing client. I push through, and that’s not always a good thing, especially at this age.

    Cheer up: January will soon be over!

    • #40 by tialys on January 23, 2018 - 09:34

      Thanks Alys – in the scheme of things, I’m not going to get too depressed over a bit of hand pain – although if it were permanent I might sulk a lot.
      Another 10 evenings to go 🙂 It would be 9 but I’m going back to my ‘only drinking Friday/Saturday/Sunday’ and February 1st falls on a Thursday.

      • #41 by Born To Organize on January 27, 2018 - 22:35

        You’re so disciplined! So, one week from today. You go girl!

      • #42 by tialys on January 29, 2018 - 13:26


  16. #43 by Emma on January 23, 2018 - 03:27

    😞 I really feel your pain, I have had an elbow tendinitis on my right arm since I was 17 and it comes back when I craft a lot (especially with crochet). I used to do infrared sessions at the hospital to help with the inflammation when I first got it, but nowadays I just need to rest, there is nothing else that works as well. Have you tried the Voltarene cream though? I used that and it did relieve the pain a bit. Hopefully it doesn’t get worse 😘

    • #44 by tialys on January 23, 2018 - 09:30

      Ouch! I had elbow tendonitis last year which lasted a couple of weeks. I couldn’t pin down the culprit but I know flinging the ball out of a ball launcher for the dogs didn’t help. If the pain flares up again I might give Voltarene a try – thanks for the tip.

  17. #45 by Jo on January 23, 2018 - 11:55

    Awww, Leon is so cute. Cats (and dogs) just don’t seem to have any problem relaxing, do they? Glad to hear that you’re on the mend, I think the main thing is rest in these situations, it can’t be rushed, unfortunately. Such a pretty octagon for your Eastern Jewels Blanket.

    • #46 by tialys on January 23, 2018 - 23:49

      Rest is hard though isn’t it? I call ‘rest’ being snuggled up on the sofa with a cup (or glass) of something nice to drink, a furbaby somewhere near enough to stroke occasionally, maybe a good film on the T.V. and, oh yes, a knitting or crochet project in my lap :/

  18. #47 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 24, 2018 - 14:54

    So glad you’re improving. To add to your list, I know some knitters/crocheters recommend regular breaks to rest and to stretch your hand and fingers and stop these things happening in the first place. I don’t practice it myself, but I drink so much tea, I probably stop often enough anyway to make a cuppa.

    • #48 by tialys on January 24, 2018 - 23:34

      I have been doing that but only since it started hurting so it might be too little too late. Once I am back to normal, I will definitely remember to do hand exercises between rows.

      • #49 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 25, 2018 - 13:16

        I think it probably was 😦 I always find it difficult to remember these things once it stops hurting 😦

  19. #50 by JaneyB on January 24, 2018 - 15:23

    Just a thought – do you use a computer mouse a lot? If you do and don’t already have a vertical mouse I can really recommend them. Something like this one, although there are loads on the market. I had so many problems with my hand which pretty much disappeared after I got mine. I also have a weird shaped keyboard but they do take some getting used to. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ergonomic-Jelly-Comb-Adjustable-Specially-WGSB-009-Wireless-Right-Handed/dp/B0739Y2NX2/ref=sr_1_17/257-8612764-5626854?ie=UTF8&qid=1516800052&sr=8-17&keywords=vertical+mouse

    • #51 by tialys on January 24, 2018 - 23:37

      I do spend too much quite a bit of time on the computer but I’m right handed and it’s my left hand that hurts. I do have a vertical mouse which I quite like – my husband hates it – so I’m not blaming my computer use on this occasion.

  20. #52 by Missy on January 26, 2018 - 23:05

    You’re still blogging! Go you, mrs! I had a nostalgic moment and was looking at my old blog and laughing at all the comments (and all the old toot I used to buy…and still have stored in two garages,) and remembered how much your posts and comments used to make me laugh. Glad you’re still at it. I’ll have to go back and see what you’ve been up to.
    Love that crochet and I wonder if that’s the cause of your hand problem. I still do it a bit but no longer see it as an extreme sport and have found that crochet-related ailments are all but gone. (Candy Crush neck, however, different story.)

    • #53 by tialys on January 27, 2018 - 09:43

      Hello you blast from the past you! I think I last ‘saw’ you in 2013. What have you been up to? Not blogging I assume 😦
      Yes, I’m still blogging and haven’t moved over to Instagram properly – I like writing more than photography – so I hope I can still make you laugh from time to time. x

  21. #54 by sewchet on January 29, 2018 - 17:25

    A comprehensive and interesting list of possible remedies, indeed. I have decided to go with prevention rather than cure and try out the Handeze thingamy, particularly as some of the comments also recommend it. Although the cat toy ball thing came a close second, especially the image that sprang to mind of you trying it out on your feet…..

    • #55 by tialys on January 30, 2018 - 09:31

      I think I’m going to buy one for my right hand too as it does seem to be helping.

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