Neck and Upper Back Pain From Knitting


Knitting has been used for relaxation, passing time while waiting, helping with stress management and practical for families all describe this past time. The popularity of knitting has been increasing. Those who are serious about knitting are well aware of the “community” of knitters. Knitting circles and clubs are like coffee shops, knitting while socializing and meeting new friends.


Though knitting is a great past time there are some drawbacks form prolonged activity. Knitting for long periods of time may have the same affect on the neck and upper back as sitting at a computer or driving for a couple of hours.


This article discusses problems and solutions for knitters to make their time more comfortable and productive.


Neck and Upper Back Pain


In addition knitting with poor body mechanics may contribute to neck and upper back pain.
  • Holding the Head in Flexion – Looking down for more that 15-20 minutes may contribute to neck pain and stiffness. If this cycle isn’t broken or managed correctly, this can result in the onset of chronic neck pain that will continue to bother while knitting.

  • Sitting Posture – Sitting for long periods of time in a poor chair or a sofa that does not support the back will contribute to poor posture. This posture will strain the neck and upper back.


Knitters Self Care for Neck and Upper Back Discomfort


Sitting in a good chair that hold the back straight and not slumping is recommended. Yes it’s true, a good rocking chair can be helpful! Here are some other suggestions:
  • Take a Break – Set a time that you will be working and then take a 10 minute break every 60-90 minutes. Look away to give your eyes a rest and get up and walk around to change muscle tone and improve circulation. Here is a chance to check out some new patterns at websites such as CyberSeams. This activity is a change and your neck and upper back will appreciate the break.

  • Isometric and Range-of-Motion Exercises – Changes muscle tone and strengthens the neck to minimize future problems. The neck and upper back or the upper extremity exercises take very little time and are easy to perform.




  • Ice or Heat – Ask your doctor about ice application methods and the proper times and settings for a heating pad.
If you knit frequently and more than likely will plan to continue well into the future, these simple recommendations may significantly improve your enjoyment and minimize neck and upper back complaints.


The doctors at Coon Rapids Chiropractic Office have experience in caring for neck an back complaints. Call today for an appointment. 763-755-4300


The International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine