Friday, November 13, 2009

Weavers Elbow

No worries. I don't have weavers elbow - which is the same injury, but with a different cause, as tennis elbow.

The weaver who sold me my Toika loom was plagued by weavers elbow.

Her doctor's advice was to change her grip on the beater, so her husband attached this handle to the top bar of the beater.

This handle allowed her to beat with a side grip, which was somewhat easier on her injured elbow.

The handle was probably a round piece of railing for a stairway.

It was attached with screws. It did wiggle loose, so if you're thinking of making something similar, consider other ways to attach the handle. It gets a lot of stress!

Macomber sells these handles to attach to your beater. (Photo taken at Sarah Haskell's studio. Sarah is also a Macomber sales rep - so she could help you buy one of these handles - or anything else from Macomber!)

Most people grip this handle with their knuckles toward the ceiling.

But you could beat with your palm to the ceiling - which is the position that the doctor really recommended to combat weaver's elbow. That position puts the least stress on an injured elbow. (I did find it pretty awkward though!)


For me, this post is a photographic blast from the past! I'd forgotten how difficult it was for me to get pictures in focus, let alone without tons of clutter in the background when I first started taking pictures for my blog. I took these photographs last winter.


Theresa said...

The Louet looms have handles, much like the Macomber ad on. I love having it and I'll be sure to
try to beat in the palm up position. I never would have known it was easier on the elbow. Thank you for the tip!
Scarf woes eh? Well bring it on Sue, we'll collectively put our heads together.

Life Looms Large said...

I'll be interested to see what you think of weaving palm up. When I tried it, it felt pretty unnatural and uncomfortable - like it might do back things to my shoulder. But maybe I didn't have the loom set up ergonomically when I did it.

I try really hard to avoid tendon problems...because the one time I had an injury like that it took forever for it to heal!!


Delighted Hands said...

So are you leaving the handle on in case you might want it or is it going to be put away for now?

Life Looms Large said...

The handle was super wiggly and already detached at the previous owner's house.

During refinishing, Jim removed that base piece with the screw sticking up and I sanded the beater to make the top smooth and nice to grab again.

Hopefully I won't have weaver's elbow issues!


Anonymous said...

that is very interesting about the angle of one's grip on the beater. I have weaver's elbow very badly, the main advice being to stop weaving! But I have also been working on my upper arm and shoulder muscles using weights and trying to remember to use muscles and not rely on tendons in my wrists and elbows. It is helping, and is a very subtle change that I have to concentrate on. Leclerc looms also have a handle available, but a similar one can be easily adapted with parts from the hardward store. Evelyn

Life Looms Large said...


Sorry to hear that you have weaver's elbow. Glad that the exercises are starting to help. (In my healing experience, it took a long long time for the exercises to correct some imbalances. Stick with it!!)

The previous owner of my loom told her doctor that she wouldn't stop weaving. After telling her to stop, then he told her that she should limit her time weaving - taking breaks every hour and making sure to stretch after each weaving session.

He also wanted her to modify her loom so she'd have an underhand grip, possibly with special attention being paid to the angles of her elbows and how high her arms were over the loom (or something). She told him the underhand grip wouldn't work, so then he came up with the side grip - thus her modification to the loom. This is also on a loom with a heavy beater - she had less trouble with some of her smaller looms.

I realize this is no substitute for a medical opinion - but wanted to add that to the conversation.

Hope you heal up quickly and well!!


desiree said...

Great tip! I have, what I think is, a knitters elbow. To getting weavers elbow scares me sometimes.