Recently I struggled with shoulder and wrist discomfort and I wanted to share my experience with you. When we have discomfort in our body and don’t know the reason, it makes us pause. You might wonder, ‘why did this happen?’ I found myself asking the same question and instead of wondering why I asked ‘how can my body feel better and stronger?’ My goal is for you to move without pain! Continue reading to find out how I relieved my pain and replaced it with strength.
One day while working on crochet animals for a friend of mine, I began feeling a sharp tingling sensation in my right shoulder blade down to my fingertips. I would find myself becoming absorbed, literally and figuratively in this project.
When I began to feel the discomfort in my right arm and hand, which is the one that holds the crochet hook, I was frustrated. I love to crochet and knit therefore I didn’t want to stop doing it. It was one of my ways to relieve stress and as with this project, it was a project I committed to for a friend.
So, out of my frustration, I decided to take action.
I identified three ways to help relieve the shoulder tension and get back on track.
- Rest: I took a break from crochet. I began to set a timer for how long I worked on the project to make sure I wasn’t sitting for too long.
- Environment: I changed my setup. I made sure to sit in a supportive chair and purchased an ergonomic crochet hook which meant the handle was wider providing a better grip.
- Movement: I began doing these castanet exercises after crocheting. Also, I stood and did these movement exercises after sitting and working. Lastly, I practiced Pilates more than ever! These shoulder strengthening exercises were a huge benefit.
You might ask, what do knitting/crocheting and Pilates have in common?
When starting something new, you experience a rollercoaster of emotions. At first, you are scared and maybe intimidated. The question “will I like it?” and “Will I be good at it?” comes to mind. As you start learning there are screams of excitement, gruntled facial expressions, and finally a time to stop and pause until next time. After the first session, you ask yourself if it’s worth it to go through that again.
Am I talking about Pilates or knitting/crocheting?
Well, both! Both require precision and practice. They don’t need to be perfect, you just need to do your best.
As I was knitting a shawl for my mom the other day I realized how smooth and fluid my knitting has become. When I learned to knit in college my stitches were uneven and the movement of my hands with the needles was awkward.
When I joined a knitting group in Illinois I remember seeing some women knit so fast the yarn flew off the needles and I was mesmerized! To this day there are times when my face scrunches up in concentration and I get nervous while making a new stitch. Then I place my arms on my lap and take a deep breath. I did it. Now I need to that 100 times more.
When trying something new it’s hard to stick with it.
The idea of something new is exciting! How much work and energy can you dedicate to it? I’ve always wanted to make a sweater. I love the intricate pattern of a yoke with the change of colors and snowflake design or feathering. It looks cozy and comfy, the perfect sweater for a cold winter day.
This past year I made the decision to make a sweater. It’s top-down which means starting at the neck. Previously I had asked the women in my yarn group, “What’s the hardest part about making a sweater?” And they said knowing the right size. This was not the answer I expected! So I’m not surprised that they are right, my sweater is too small and I need to start over, therefore it’s going in time out.
Other reasons we stop doing something can be due to tension or lack of motivation. It’s ok, we’re human and there are ways to change that!
If you’ve tried Pilates, you have experienced similar emotions.
I remember the first Pilates class I took. There were many people, I wanted to look like I knew what I was doing and I didn’t. When doing certain exercises I felt frustrated that I couldn’t do them. And I had no clue if I was doing it correctly! After that first class, I decided to keep doing Pilates. I knew it would be good for me and I hoped I would begin to feel more like a novice and less like a beginner. It took about 10 classes before I began working one on one with an instructor.
Private sessions are different and tailored to the individual’s needs. I listen to your concerns and gave you a path to follow. Instead of putting Pilates in time out like my sweater, you’ll never stop! Each Pilates session is a different experience.
The same is true for my knitting, I’ll try a different sweater pattern when I bring it back from time out!
Take action to strengthen your shoulder to keep moving and having fun!
In the end, let me ask this question: why not try something new and scary? Schedule your consultation to work with me on a plan for shoulder and wrist relief!
Instead of asking “Will I like it” or “Will I be good at it?”, ask yourself “What if I love it?” I believe you will!