If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times; crocheting is good for your health! I can’t recommend this craft enough as a way to improve your mental health and well-being.
However, there’s an opposite end to that spectrum – sometimes crochet can hurt us! I was surprised to find out recently (thanks to posts on Crochet Spot and Craft Gossip) that there’s actually a medical code that is used by health professionals to note when an injury has been caused by crocheting.
How often can that possibly happen, you ask? Well, the answer is tricky. Unfortunately, there are some repetitive motion injuries that are fairly common for dedicated crocheters.
I’ve also found some not-so-common crochet injuries that are just plain shocking! Check out these ways that your favorite crafting hobby can hurt you, from the common to the extreme.
Bursitis may be an unfamiliar term, but it describes a common ailment. The space between your bones and your muscles, skin, and tendons is cushioned by small, fluid-filled sacs called bursa. Think of it like bubble wrap for the inside of your body!
When these bursae (the plural of bursa) are placed under too much pressure or stressed by repetitive movements, they can become painful and inflamed- that’s called bursitis.
Crocheters perform tons of repetitive movements and are especially vulnerable to bursitis of the elbow. To avoid this, try to adjust your position frequently while crocheting to avoid ongoing pressure on your elbows.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the arm, and the median nerve, a major nerve in the hand, runs through it.
If the tissues surrounding this nerve swell, they can cause tingling, numbness, pain, and weakness in the hand and fingers. Unfortunately, repetitive activities like crochet can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, this is avoidable! Use ergonomic crochet hooks and listen to your body; take breaks when you feel the strain. While we may be quick to write off a bit of pain from crochet sessions, it’s wise to be more careful and pay close attention to what your aches and pains are telling you.
Hunching over your crochet work and crafting with poor posture can leave you with ongoing aches and pains.
There are a few ways to alleviate this. First of all, be sure that you’re crocheting with good posture, and bring the work to you, rather than slumping down to bring your eyes downward to your crochet project. A good light source can help with this, allowing you to work without having your project right next to your eyes.
Be sure to take breaks from crocheting to stand and stretch, too. We all understand that a crochet addiction might keep us working for hours and hours, but it’s not great for the body to sit for that long.
It’s possible to get paper cut-like injuries from crocheting, especially while using wire or thin thread.
The friction of the wire against your hook is enough to sometimes cause damage to the hook, so imagine what it can do to your fingers if you aren’t careful! The same goes for working with twine or other rough materials.
It seems silly, but many crocheters report paper cuts from the paper around a yarn skein, too. Sure, that’s a minor injury, but it does hurt!
Arm Pain and Permanent Bone Damage
Jennifer from A Crocheted Simplicity shared the story of a permanent injury she sustained from crochet.
She explains that after experiencing lots of “normal” aches and pains that she attributed to poor posture and hours of crochet, she decided the visit a chiropractor, who did some x-rays before getting to work.
These x-rays revealed that her humerus bone had been deformed by the constant pressure of bending her arm to crochet and not taking proper breaks to allow the muscle to relax.
There are some ways to avoid arm pain while crocheting to keep a similar injury from happening to you!
Be sure to take breaks and allow your muscles to relax. Stretch. You can also consider propping your arm up with a small pillow so that your deltoid muscles aren’t doing all of the work of holding up your arm during crocheting.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive Strain Injuries, or RSIs, can occur due to the repeated use of any body part and the movement of the hands and fingers when crocheting more than fits the bill.
Pain, swelling, tingling, or stiffness of the fingers and hands can result from the need to crochet just one more row! In order to take care of your most important crochet tool, your own hands, be sure to take frequent breaks. Try out ergonomic hooks, and vary the size of your hooks.
TRIGGER WARNING: Attempted Suicide By Crochet Hook
Any crocheter can suffer from the injuries listed above; they’re quite common, especially if your crochet habit leads to hours and hours of repeated movements. However, I’ve also uncovered a few crochet injuries that are just plain wild.
Be forewarned: this particular injury may be difficult to read about!
In 1934, a woman attempted suicide by thrusting a crochet hook through her head, starting at the right temple and driving it all the way through both orbits. Miraculously, the woman recovered and emerged with no loss of vision.
Crochet Hook in the Roof of the Mouth
In this video, a child arrives at the hospital with a crochet hook lodged in the roof of her mouth.
No one witnessed the injury, but the child’s mother found her crying in the sewing room. We can assume that the child was probably running with the crochet hook either in her hand or in her mouth and fell.
This is, of course, a rare injury, but it’s an important reminder to treat your crochet hooks like you would any other sharp object. Don’t run with them, and don’t allow children to use them unsupervised.
Accidental Crochet Hook Stabbing
If watching the video above wasn’t reason enough to keep your crochet hooks away from your children, we’ve found another accidental injury that might convince you.
This case report shares the story of a four-year-old child who fell onto a crochet hook, which stabbed into her chest. The child removed the hook herself, and the hooked end of the tool caused a tear in the tissue of the heart.
The child underwent emergency surgery and recovered, but this is still a frightening and unusual crochet injury!
Crochet Hook Stuck Where?
Ok, readers. Our list won’t be complete without this particular injury, but let’s be clear; it’s a little disturbing!
This man claims to have woken up with a crochet hook stuck… in a body part where there shouldn’t be a crochet hook. (We’ll let you click the link and see for yourself).
The man claims that he went to sleep with his ex-girlfriend and awoke to find the hook totally embedded.
He says that he has no idea how the hook got there and suggested that maybe the ex-girlfriend used Rohypnol to drug him, but another blog claims that a video of the man inserting the hook on purpose surfaced on an adult site later on. The hook was removed at the emergency department.