Many people live with chronic pain. How people live and cope with their pain is, of course, a personal decision affected by an array of factors. Some endeavor to stay as active as is possible for them; others sink into depression. Some give up their pursuit of fiber arts and crafts; others start knitting.
Are you familiar with the London, England-based group Stitchlinks? According to its website, it “is a Community Interest Company which is a non-profit organisation” with three arms:
- A FREE support network for anyone who enjoys, or wishes to enjoy, the therapeutic benefits of crafts, in particular knitting. These would include those who are fit and healthy wishing to take a preventative approach to health; to maintain and improve wellbeing by managing stress, for example; or those who wish to use the benefits to actively manage longterm illness.
- A research arm which is leading, and actively involved in, scientific research into the therapeutic benefits of knitting and social activity groups.
- An arm which provides information for clinicians, teachers, group leaders, the craft trade and other professionals who wish to use knitting therapeutically.
Betsan Corkhill (Stitchlinks) and Carol Davidson (Pain Management, Royal United Hospital, Bath, England), conducted a two-level case study: First, a qualitative analysis of narratives from a self-selected sample of individuals with chronic pain who knit. the second level  Face-to-face knitting group. Second, ethnographic observations of group discussions, interactions and outputs from a weekly knitting group at a pain management unit.
Their findings are captured in their one-page poster, “Exploring the Effects of Knitting on the Experience of Chronic Pain – a Qualitative Study.” (Don’t strain your eyes trying to read this jpg. Download the poster from the website.)
Even if we’re lucky enough to not have to cope with chronic pain currently, it is inevitable that as we age, we will start experiencing new pains and aches.
If you know anyone who might benefit from this group, you may want to point her/him to Stitchlinks. Additionally, as Stitchlinks has identified knitting as a model craft, you might want to bring an extra ball of yarn and set of needles on your next visit. 🙂