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A Study Is Aimed At Establishing How Knitting Really Helps Those With Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that affects especially older people. For years, it has been said that keeping your hands mobile helps alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, pain and stiffness in particular.
Knitting is often praised for being able to keep the knitter’s fingers nimble. It could therefore be a good natural option for patients with arthritis. Now, it is time for a study to examine closely the impact knitting has and if knitting really helps these patients.
A group of seniors from Billings Bridge is willing to take part in this study. They have been knitting blankets for more than 23 years for the Children’s Hospital located in Eastern Ontario.
Lucie Brosseau is the head of research. She is a professor and researcher at the University of Ottawa’s School of Rehabilitation Sciences.
Brosseau has asked all the seniors from the knitting group to keep a log. In the log they keep details of their knitting sessions, They also detail the level of pain and stiffness they experience.
(My arthritis) pain is worse in the morning,” said 82-year-old participant Elena Dinu, who has suffered with arthritis for more than 10 years. She says that knitting has definitely helped with her pain.
“If you do things, (your hands) get a little more mobile,” she said.
The pilot study will be carried over a duration of six weeks. The researcher says that the first conclusive data is expected to appear after the first three weeks.
Included in the study are people who have been knitting for decades, as well as some who have not knitted in years.
However, they do know one thing, without any research to back them up, at least so far. It is that the pain they usually endure from arthritis lessens after they knit for several hours.
The best part for the seniors included in the research is not helping science, though. All the items they knit go to the little ones at the Children’s Hospital. This is what helps making them feel better.
“I’m willing to try (knitting),” she said despite being a little self-conscious that learning to knit again might be difficult at her age.
Nerves aside, these women are not just knitting for the sake of science; they, along with a bigger group of non-arthritis sufferers, donate all their knitted blankets to the sick kids at CHEO.
“It makes you feel so good when you’re thinking of the little ones,” said Dinu.
Lucie Brosseau was inspired to carry out her study by a friend of her mother who used knitting to get rid of arthritic pains. She hopes the study will be a success and that she will be able to recreate it at a larger scale.