Elbow Pain From Crocheting: Causes and Solutions

Crocheting is a lot of fun that gives you joy especially if you are a creative person; as you get a special feeling, satisfaction, and appraisal from creating something loved by all.

However, the joy might be cut short by one of the common challenges in crocheting and that is Elbow Pain which is often called Tennis Elbow or  Tendonitis and medically referred to as Lateral Epicondylitis.

According to orthopedicnj.com, Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the forearm muscles to the elbow. This issue is caused by one common thing which will be discussed in this blog post with the related solutions.

Why Am I Having Crochet Elbow Pain?

At times, it might be hard to connect elbow pain with crocheting but when you look at it closely, you tend to see the connection.

Crochet Elbow pain is mainly caused by the repetitive use of the elbow in the same direction; this is common when you are used to making your projects with one method of stitching.

In other words, it is often caused by overuse of the elbow. It  can  also  be caused by;

  • The improper placing of the arms when crocheting; thereby causing your elbow to hang in the air.
  • Crocheting for hours without a break.
  • Improper use of the wrist.
  • Use of a stretch less yarn such as cotton.
  • Bad sitting position  when  crocheting  
  • Not taking time to stretch while crocheting.
  • Using a traditional crochet hook.

What Are The Symptoms Of Tendonitis(Elbow Pain)?

Elbow pain does not have to come from the elbow alone. There are other pains that depict that the elbow muscle is being pressurized. Such  signs include,

  • Elbow stiffness.
  • Pain in the wrist.
  • Pain in the upper arm and lower arm.
  • Difficulty in shaking hands.
  • Difficulty in lifting objects or handling objects in a projected platform.

What Are The Possible Solutions To Stop Elbow  Pain From  Crocheting?

Elbow pains from crocheting can be stopped by following several strategies; thereby trying out another option if one does not work for you.

The first person to visit when you start experiencing elbow pain is an  Orthopedician and might also be the last person to visit if the strategies below help to relieve the pain.

1. Take A Short Break

A 30-minute break at intervals during a crochet project can relieve you of the elbow pain as it helps the tendon to relax before getting back to work. However, this is only applicable when the pain is mild.

2. Take A Long Break

Take a break from crocheting for a few weeks or a month, if the pain becomes unbearable to the extent that you can not pick an item from the top of your wardrobe.

However, do not involve in a strenuous activity if you are off crocheting as the main purpose of the break is to help your tendons relax and your elbow heal up.

3. Do A Mini Exercise

The perfect mini exercise to do during your break is to stretch the muscles of your arms, wrists, fingers, shoulders, back, and chest, as this will help the tendons of the elbow to relax.

Therefore, you must take it as an everyday business to stretch at least 10 minutes every 2 hours of crocheting. Ensure not to overstretch as this will cause other pains but make sure all these parts are stretched enough to help calm your nerves.

4. Support Your Arms

Hanging your arms while crocheting will result in serious elbow pain as pressure is easily applied to the elbow, so, look for things to help support your arms while crocheting.

You can place your arms on a chair arm, a table, or pillows as this will relieve the arm and shoulder of pressure; thereby relaxing the muscles in the elbow.

5. Get A Right Sitting Posture

Leaning on your chair without support while crocheting will help develop elbow pain. The best sitting posture for crochet is to sit upright with pillows supporting your back, a throw pillow placed on your lap, and feet placed on the floor with relaxed shoulders and elbows.

You can also sit upright with your feet placed on a mini footrest, with relaxed shoulders and elbows either on the chair’s arm or on a pillow. 

6. Make Use Of Ice

Another important thing to use to reduce the pain but mostly overlooked is Ice Pack. Place ice on the elbow especially the most pained part during a break or after a crochet project.

To make it easy and comfortable, you can make use of an ice pack with a strap as this will help you to relax and save you the stress of holding the ice pack with your other hand. You can also wrap your ice in a towel and place it there.

7. Avoid Working With Excess Stretchless Yarn

A Non-stretch yarn such as cotton will put more pressure on the elbow, so you need to identify the yarn that puts more pressure on your elbow and avoid crocheting with it for a long period.

8. Use Ergonomic Tools

Ergonomic hooks can help reduce elbow pain as the way you hold an ergonomic tool is easier than the way you hold a traditional hook.

9. Identify What Triggers The Pain

Apart from crocheting, there are other things you do daily that might trigger the elbow pain when you start crocheting, so, look carefully into your daily activities and note what causes the strain on your elbow.

Once you identify these things, note the proper way to handle them to help prevent elbow pains. For example, carrying groceries.

10. Use Ointments

Some ointments are specifically made for athletes to help reduce elbow pain; this can also be used by you. However, you must take all the necessary precautions such as taking short breaks and having the right sitting posture, otherwise, it will be a waste of resources.

11. Dry Needling

Dry needling is making use of thin soft needles to help puncture the muscle knots called trigger points. The needles are placed at strategic trigger points to help stimulate the tissues and help to speed up the healing process.

12. Avoid Doing The Same Project  For Days

Crocheting the same pattern for 5 days will increase pressure on the elbow as the arm moves in the same direction for more than 48 hours.

There is a need to switch the crochet pattern with another, as this will help decrease the chances of injury or further damage to the elbow. 

How Best Do I Stretch While Crocheting?

When it comes to stretching your elbow, you need to stretch your back, shoulder, hand, and wrist as all of these connect together to give perfect relief to your elbow.

Do the following when stretching, but do not overdo it.

  • Starting from the neck, tilt your head to each side, then to the back and to the front, this will relieve your neck, and shoulder of pain as the muscles there are connected to the arm and elbow.
  • Rotate your neck for 10 seconds.
  • Slowly, put your hands up into the air and bend down, repeat this for a few minutes as it will help the muscles in your shoulders and back to stretch.
  • Clasp your hand together and stretch it to the front far away from you, do the same by stretching your clasped hand to the back of your neck.
  • Bend your wrist forward and backward carefully for 10 seconds.
  • Using your right hand, pick each finger in your left hand and move it backward and forward to stretch it.
  • Do the same with your right hand, using your left hand to stretch each finger in your right hand by bending it backward and forward slightly.
  • Take both your thumb and press them towards your palm, the muscles in your thumb should stretch and make a “lock” noise if done properly.
  • Spread the whole of your fingers out and fold them back into a fist for 10 seconds.
  • Make a clockwise and anticlockwise circle with your fisted hands.
  • Throw your arms forward as if you want to punch an object, this will help the muscles around your elbows and your shoulders to stretch.
  • By the time you are through with this, the muscles in the elbow, shoulders, back, neck, and wrist should have stretched enough to relieve you of the pain or avoid elbow pain.


When getting rid of elbow pain, do not be in a rush as healing takes time especially when it comes to your elbow as the arm is being made use of every day. Take note of all the ways discussed above to help heal your strained elbows as they also double as ways to prevent elbow pain when crocheting.

When stretching, avoid overdoing the mini exercise as overdoing it might cause further injury to the elbow.