Quilting and Tendonitis Don’t Mix

I want to hand quilt OH so much!  Hand quilting helps me relax, and I need that right now.  I started a new job, Christmas is coming, lots to do, and I want to sit and stitch my evenings away.


tennis.elbowI have tendonitis in my left arm. They call it “Tennis Elbow,” but I call it “Quilter’s Elbow.”  It’s the arm that goes underneath my hoop (left) while my right hand does the stitching.  It hurts like the dickens!



I’m putting Biofreeze on it, taking Tylenol, got a splint at the drug store that I’m wearing, but nothing is helping enough.


13 thoughts on “Quilting and Tendonitis Don’t Mix

  1. I use Olba’s Oil. I get it at the health food store. It absorbs faster than BioFreez. Plus the smell goes away very quickly. I use it on sore muscles, knees (bone-on-bone) & am able to move & stand or walk w/out pain. Good luck.


    • I suffered the same problem but it’s actually an inflammation of that sheath around the elbow area as the tendon moves back and forth. What helped me the most was making sure that I kept my arm as straight as possible when I slept to let it relax and wore the brace. found some simple exercises online that helped too. good luck and hope it heals quickly !!


  2. Try wearing a wrist brace. I had this earlier this year. Tried the arm band and it didn’t work. Physical therapist told me to get a stabilizing wrist band and wear it to bed. It was too long before my arm was feeling better again.


  3. I feel your pain…it is a pain I get frequently from quilting, also. Resting the elbow is really the most helpful for me and the number one recommendation by my doctor. So…….maybe reading some of those long-delayed books for a week or so, then short periods of hand work. Maybe creative notes to the ones you love with a promise that their gift will be done…..soon….for Christmas will work this year? I have found I have to be very strict with myself about the amount of handwork I can do in any given day so I can stay elbow healthy. I also go to tai chi/qigong, which has really helped me heal up my elbows.
    ~ Billie Farley


  4. That’s the worst! Ugh! I think you should go to the doctor. You prob need a prescription anti-inflammatory and/or other professional intervention. I don’t think it will go away too soon by itself. Just MHO, but I’ve had the experience myself and know lots of my friends who’ve had repetitive motion issues. Hope you feel better soon!
    Annapolis, MD


  5. Oh I know your pain, I had this early in the summer and it takes a long time to heal. You will want to consult with a doctor but I also did exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles. You can google the exercises … they involve lifting a can of soup while your arm rests and using your wrist. I did the exercises three times a day. Following an exercise routine and trying to avoid the movement that irritates the area is a start. Good luck!


  6. Sorry to hear about your quilter’s elbow. I’ve suffered from it, too, along with wrist aches. If you can tolerate it, switch to ibuprofen. Also, I can’t speak highly enough of finding a good physical therapist. They can be a godsend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is a great deal of good recommendations among the above comments. I don’t know if it is the same, but when my left elbow was extremely tender for an extended period of time I noticed that it improved greatly when I stopped eating wheat/gluten (because of an allergy). Odd. But I think it is important to mention in case it works for someone else.


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