Preventing Knitting Pain
Knitting is such a passive hobby we aren't necessarily focused on preventing injury. We can sustain injury and pain from our beloved passion.
Discomfort you are probably blaming on arthritis, a pulled muscle or 'old age' could very well be caused by knitting.
If your lighting is too dim you may be contorting your body in an odd position to try and get your hands under the best light. Personally, I did this for too long. I tried using a regular pole lamp for years and realized it just wasn't giving me the light I needed….so I took that away and started using a table lamp on the end table next to the chair I knit in. A few days later my lower shoulder started aching and I realized I had been twisting my torso toward the lamp. I finally bought one of the new 'day spectrum' lamps and life has so much improved for me. I'm not saying you need to go to the expense of purchasing one of these lamps. I'm just suggesting you think about your lighting and if it's sufficient.
We also tend to rest our arms on the arm rest of our chairs as we knit. This might be lifting your shoulders up toward your ears too much and could cause neck and back pain. Your knitting position is habit. Try keeping your hands closer to your lap and see if it might not feel better. If you are working against an old habit, it may take a while for this to feel 'normal'.
I've read many times we should take frequent breaks from knitting to stand and shake out our hands and arms and stretch our necks and back. I do that now and I can knit for longer periods without pain.
I've tried warming my hands under hot water before grasping those knitting needles. This helps me….you might try it.
There is talk about different needles weighing less than others. It's my opinion it's not the weight of the needles that cause the problem, but rather the weight of the project we might be holding up as we knit. I try to use circular needles almost exclusively as I find I can knit closer to my lap and I don't have to carry the weight of the garment as I do with straights. Again, just a personal observation.
I encourage you to take some time and think about your knitting routine and how you can improve your posture and tools to make knitting more of a pleasure than you already think it is.