“How to beat aches and pains if you love to basket-weave”



by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit


Basket-weaving is a relaxing and enjoyable hobby.

And when you’re done, you have an object that can bring joy to you… or to a friend whom you might grace with a gift. Like many forms of craftwork, basket weaving is increasing in popularity. While a wonderful pastime, basket-weaving can also bring you PAIN!

Elbow problems can develop. Sometimes patients will develop tendonitis involving the outside part of the elbow. This is sometimes referred to as “tennis elbow.” It’s very painful. Specific stretching exercise, arm bands, physical therapy, and sometimes injections are needed to treat this disorder.The treatment of choice is ultrasound guided injection of platelet-rich plasma to help heal the tendon. Cortisone injections, the old school treatment, has been shown to damage tendon tissue.

People who weave baskets are at risk for developing pain and stiffness in the wrists and fingers. In particular, carpal tunnel syndrome can be a real nuisance. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a problem that comes on as a result of pinching of the median nerve as it enters the hand. This pinching occurs most often as a result of repetitive motion. Carpal tunnel symptoms present as numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand… especially the first three fingers. The pain often is worse at night so that a patient will shake the hands or drape them over the side of the bed to get relief.

Treatment involves making the right diagnosis. Splinting, injection of steroids, and physical therapy often helps. For severe cases, surgery is required. A new type of ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release using a small needle can often obviate the need for a surgical solution.

Arthritis in the fingers can often be made worse by basket weaving… however, at the same time it’s been shown that this activity is good for maintaining flexibility in the hands for people with finger arthritis. Weaving simple baskets first, … then warming up to harder patterns might help you if finger dexterity is a problem.

Gently stretching the fingers after a long session of weaving can help. Other treatment options include topical creams like Blue Relief (see our store) or soothing paraffin baths.

The base of the thumb may also hurt since this is a common area for arthritis to develop and the thumb is important in the basket weaving process.

Sitting for long periods of time is a problem for weavers. This sitting can lead to low back pain. Basket weavers should take frequent breaks, use a lumbar roll for back support, and also consider using a moist heating pad to help ease the muscle tension afterwards.

Stretching exercises both before and after weaving are also recommended. In the old days, when weavers would sit on the floor, they would often develop bursitis in the buttocks. This affliction was referred to as “weaver’s bottom.”

Finally since the eyes of the weaver often go from the pattern to the TV, then down towards the item being weaved in a continuous cycle, the neck occasionally stiffens up.

Stretching the neck before and after weaving is advised. Moist heat and Blue Relief may also help this problem.



Get more information about arthritis basketweaving as well as...


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• And much more...


Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit









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