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Thread: Handquilters.... what to do for thumb pain?

  1. #26
    Super Member Baloonatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klgreene
    I see a chiropractor. It's amazing what they can do. I very recently fell off my sewing chair. Dumb move! I thought I sprained my wrist, so just wrapped it. After almost two weeks the pain was still there so just went to my chiropractor. It was jammed, he sneeked up on me and unjammed it ( that was yesterday) today, I am going to do some sewing, which I haven't been able to do for almost two weeks. He adjusted my fingers as well. No pills, no doctor telling me it would take a while to get better....just and adjustment and I feel really good. Works on my shoulders too after sewing to long.
    So, you fell off your sewing chair...I hope you didn't spill any of the wine on your quilt project dearie!

    Without my Chiropractor I prolly wouldn't be able to move. I see him every 2 weeks, and it doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes! ROFL!! Oooops, now I can't get up!

  2. #27
    Junior Member bizzyquilter's Avatar
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    I don't get thumb pain but my whole hand falls asleep while hand quilting...so annoying because I have to stop quilting. Does anyone else have this problem and what do you do for it.

  3. #28
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    I don't have any thumb pain when I hand quilt. Do you know what causes it ? Maybe some Aleve if it's muscle pain.

  4. #29
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    Being a south paw, I have found that I can quilt with both hands. This really helps me when one hand is trying to
    "give out" on me. Also, I really like using Biofreeze. It's temporary, but allows me to finish a row or two. Good luck.

  5. #30
    Super Member Nolee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanna-up-north
    I've been handquilting 3-4 hours every day for the past couple of weeks. After a hour this morning, my thumb started hurting so I stopped to do some other things. Do any of you have that problem? What have you tried?
    I am an herbalist and with my clients who have any kind of joint pain, I use 6 yucca, 3 B6 and 6 B complex a day for a week, then lower it by 1 each week until you are maintaining for a month with 2 yucca, 1 B6 and 2 B complex a day until you no longer have pain. My Dad avoided carpal tunnel surgery with this formula from me and only takes it as he feels the pain start up again. This is all nerve inflammation related from overuse and B's are to help the health of the nerves. I told it to the owner of my LQS and she recommends it to everyone.

  6. #31
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    I am a hand quilter. Two days each week. I use Aspercreme (Odor Free). Rub into your skin as you would hand cream. I put on more than once each time and continue to massage until totally absorbed by my skin.......Do not put heat after using this creme.........I get good results........

    Healthy Quilting

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by klgreene
    I see a chiropractor. It's amazing what they can do. I very recently fell off my sewing chair. Dumb move! I thought I sprained my wrist, so just wrapped it. After almost two weeks the pain was still there so just went to my chiropractor. It was jammed, he sneeked up on me and unjammed it ( that was yesterday) today, I am going to do some sewing, which I haven't been able to do for almost two weeks. He adjusted my fingers as well. No pills, no doctor telling me it would take a while to get better....just and adjustment and I feel really good. Works on my shoulders too after sewing to long.

    This is a GOOD thing. I popped my knee rolling my sewing chair across the floor. It got worse and worse. Chiro fixed it. Took a while - but they work wonders.

  8. #33
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    I wear Magnetic bracelets. I know that they have been poo pooed but for me they work. And you always know where your needle and pins are if you lose them too. Comfrey salve also works. It may be mind over matter but I don't care, I can hand quilt with this stuff.

  9. #34
    Super Member klgreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanna-up-north
    WoW!! You all have a lot of wonderful suggestions. I rested it yesterday..... did dishes in hot water, massaged the hand and did flexing exercises. It feels some better this morning. The joint right next to my wrist is always tender and if I knit it will get so sore that I can hardly move it. So, something is going on in there. I probably will check with a chiropractor or my medical dr. Thanks you guys..... you all always have great suggestions for what to do.
    That is where I jammed it. So there is always the posibility yours is slightly jammed. I was also told to put ice, not heat on it. Ice reduces swelling, heat may loosen muscles but then makes it swell. You could do the 20 min. heat to loosen, then 20 min ice. and repeat that a couple times. I only do that if my back muscles are really bad. I usually just ice.

    Someone and I can't remember who said that their hand tingles. That's probably carpal tunnel, and the vitamins someone else posted work very well. As well as using a wrist splint. I actually slept with one for two years so that I didn't bend my wrist at night, and now I very seldom have the problem. I still do, but I"ll do anything to keep from getting another surgery. And taking any meds if I can get away with it.

  10. #35
    Super Member mommafank's Avatar
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    Streching exercises and some anti-inflammatories should help some.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Happy Treadler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanna-up-north
    I've been handquilting 3-4 hours every day for the past couple of weeks. After a hour this morning, my thumb started hurting so I stopped to do some other things. Do any of you have that problem? What have you tried?
    I'm curious what technique you use to hand quilt. I use my thumb nail to push my needle, and I have the same problem. Been really trying to change the way I quilt, but to no avail. I'd think advil/motrin would alleviate some of the pain, and I don't think you should just try to work through it without taking a break.

  12. #37
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisalovesquilting
    Quote Originally Posted by chamby
    While on this subject ladies. What finger cot do you recommend for your thumb while hand quilting? I have been using the fingers out of platex gloves but I seem to continue to stick my thumb.
    I use the rubber cots that are use at the post office or in offices for sorting papers. You can get them at Office Depot or stores like that.
    Wow, I did not think about that. I will be making a trip to Staples. What a great idea.

  13. #38
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    There are many wonderful suggestions listed. Just be sure to REST your thumb. I pushed thru pain for way too long and had to have MAJOR surgery. Take Care!!

  14. #39
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I had to quit most hand work because of my thumbs. I don't have arthritis in the rest of my hands. So I'm grateful for that. I had to give up knitting, crocheting, hand applique. But, let me tell you, the sewing machine can do wonders. I became very proficient at FMQ on my domestic. Then I bought a longarm, a Tin Lizzie, and now quilt up a storm on that. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

    Cynthia

  15. #40
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    Rest is the the answer, but I also use a hand support that I bought at Wal-Mart. It just fits very tightly on my hand and makes it feel better. - Cynthia

  16. #41
    Senior Member patimint's Avatar
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    This works for my feet (neropothy & arthritis). Rub a small amount of vicks, yes vicks, or generic and cover with white cotten gloves just before going to bed. I use cotten socks on my feet of course. It may take a couple or three days of doing this, but it does work. I do it on my feet for 2 weeks and then don't have to do it for a couple of weeks. Or quit quilting, okay, okay, I didn't mean it. I was just seeing if anyone read this.

  17. #42
    Senior Member Katiequiltsalot's Avatar
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    I worked in a sewing factory for 20 years,there are flexing exercises you can do to keep your hands and fingers loose.Helps keep them flexible.I'm sure if you google it you'll find them.

  18. #43

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    I do a lot with my hands, have some arthritis since I was forty yo, the best I have found is to soak hands in Epsom salts, and use a product called BLUE GOO. The Blue Goo gel has EMU oil in it, I have used that for all the strained back and muscles pain. My accupuncturist advises 2 cups of the Epsom salt in a bath of hot water for muscle spasms, then I rub with the blue goo. Hope this helps, as I know it is frustrating not to be able to do what we want. CAUTION- do not get the Blue Goo in your eyes. I also start with the ibruphophen, that's not spelled rght, but anyhow if you can take those over the counter pain relievers, they help the inflamation. Good luck pinkcarn

  19. #44
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Put rubbing achohol on your fingers and thumb especiall y before you go to bed. It will pull the soreness right out of them.

  20. #45
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I have to clarify first that I come from a nursing background.
    I also have arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
    I strongly recommend listening to your body before taking drugs to cover up pain.
    If a repetitive motion - like quilting, knitting, typing etc is causing pain - your body is telling you that something is WRONG.
    You have to stop, and rest that area, sometimes use ice to keep the inflammation down at first, then later on use warm heat - whether dishwater, wax, hot tub, or what ever to loosen up the sore areas and get them moving.
    If you do not rest the area when repetitive motions cause pain, you risk repetitive strain injury, tendonitis or worsening a chronic condition such as arthritis.
    I know we all want to keep working on our passionate hobbies, but in the long run, if you don't care for your self, you won't be able to do your hobby in the future.

  21. #46
    Junior Member firecrackerpam's Avatar
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    Have had the same issue but mine came from the pressure from the rotary cutter. It took months for it to go away. I had to stop cutting fabric. NSAIDS and not using my Thumb or putting pressure on my right hand. Serious nerve pain.

  22. #47
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    I went and had an injection put into my thumb. It took several days but now no pain.

  23. #48
    Senior Member OraLee's Avatar
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    Rub your hands is hand loation, put them in a plastic bag and if you have a heating pad lay them on it (Not to Hot) and put a towel over them. Leave them there for about 20 minutes. It will not only help yout thumb but it will also make your hands feel really good. Have been doing this for about 10 years and it helps every time my thumb starts to hurt. Hope it works for you also.

  24. #49
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Try soaking sore parts in Epsom salts. I use 'mole skin' to prevent soreness in my fingertips when I hand sew.

  25. #50
    Super Member biscuitqueen's Avatar
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    someone posted a gagit that pulled the needle through the fabric. It was really cool and a must have for hand quilting. I haven't been to the shop to find it yet, but I will be looking next time I do.

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