Crocheting Can Be a Pain in the Neck
Our official mascot, Pat the Pelvis, can get carried away, sometimes.
So, when my Mother-in-law was visiting one day, I asked her to teach me how to crochet. In an afternoon, we went over the basics, and within a few weeks, I had most of the techniques down (thanks to blogs and YouTube). I was hooked!
I can’t help it!
It’s really easy to get settled down in a position that causes your neck and body to slump forward. Your shoulders can also begin to roll forward. All of this can be bad news for your spine and pelvis.
This has been on my mind more so now than before because I’ve recently been teaching my son how to crochet (at his request). He is well on his way to making his first little coasters, but I have noticed him lifting his head and stretching more often. We’ve been learning some useful techniques to help with text-neck because children (and adults) spend so much of their day looking down. We look down at our desk. When look down to eat. We look down to text, scroll, read and play games on our phone. We look down to read. And for those of us knitters and crocheters we are constantly hunched forward. We are slowly turning into a society of quasi-modos.
My next crochet project.
- Take a break. I know, I know, one more round and you are nearly done that amigurumi bear or that special doily you are making as a gift. Seriously though, it’s important to give your neck and arms a break. The longer you bend forward and extend your arms, the more tension you are putting on your neck, back and shoulders . . . whether it is crochet, knitting, needlework, sewing, crafting, origami, reading, etc.
- Slowly rotate your head in circles (clockwise and then counterclockwise). Turn your head from side to side and up and down. Do this frequently.
- Exercise more. Put everything down and rotate your shoulders. Lift your arms above your head a few times. Also stretch them out and bend them in to get blood flowing and also to avoid your arms cramping up. Extend those finger digits too and rotate your wrists as well.
- Check your posture. I am the worst at this, but it’s important, so let’s work on this together. When you get settled into a project, the first thing that goes is posture. However, every half an hour or so, check your posture and sit up straight. Sit up straight. Shoulders up, back and down again. Don’t get settled in a slouching position for too long. Make sure your shoulders don’t keep rolling forward.
- Get up. Move around to avoid hours in the same slumped over position. Some people will think ‘taking a break’ doesn’t always involve getting up, so this one gets its own category. Getting up will break the sedentary position you are in and get blood flowing.
- Look up. It’s common and natural to hold your work low, but if you can adjust your position and hold your knitting or crochet higher, you won’t have to drop your head down as low. Obviously you don’t want to hold it too high either (eye level will add more tension to your arms and shoulders), so find middle ground. Perhaps put one or two pillows on your lap, so you can rest your work on it. If you are pillow-making crazy like me, you can even make your own pillows to use! Bonus!!
Not recommended for pillow fights.
If you have further tips that you use to keep your neck, back and shoulders from getting stiff, feel free to add them in the comments below.
And if you are up to it . . . feel free to show-off your crochet or craft work!
The little guy’s first coasters!