Just Call me Ruby writes about RSI conditions that can affect knitters:
The truth is, that as knitters, we spend hours repeating a small number of motions, so therefore are at risk of RSI; as is anyone who sews, crochets, plays a musical instrument or works on a computer.
RSI develops over time and its symptoms often come on gradually. Once you become aware of the symptoms there is another catch. Diagnosing RSI is difficult. Therefore we needs defensive tactics whether already a sufferer or just a concerned knitter. You can do many things to keep your symptoms in check or to prevent RSI:
- Take frequent breaks. Put down your needles and flex your hands, fingers, wrists, shoulders.
- Avoid marathon knitting sessions.
- Warm up! Stretch your hands before you knit.
Knitters can be at risk the moment they sit down. Many of us slouch, shoulders drooping and head bowed. Manipulating the needles forces the hands and elbows into an unnatural fixed position for long periods of time. The wrists are flexed up, stretching the tendons. The fingers and thumb exert pressure to hold needles and yarn. Passing the yarn over the needle involves repeated finger movements and the weight of the work in progress also drags on the wrists. Over time the rhythmic sequence of knitting and purling can pinch nerves and other soft tissues.
Basically, the RSI advice for knitters is the same advice computer users receive, since both activities have a lot in common.