Hooked on Needles

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to make a Wrist Brace Cover - video tutorial

Do you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or other conditions that require wearing a wrist brace?

As a not-quite-so-young-anymore person who loves to knit, crochet, embroider, sew, quilt, craft, blog, and other various activities that require the use of my hands and fingers, I have had my share of issues with my wrists and hands. A few years ago, these issues were having such an impact on my ability to do what I love that I actually made an appointment with my doctor to see what was going on and what could be done about it. After describing my symptoms and admitting that they usually only happened when I spent time doing all those things I love doing, my doctor suggested that I simply stop doing those things. Can you believe that? Of course, that was not an option. Long story short, a specialist ran some very interesting tests utilizing electrodes on my hands and arms with some amount of voltage running through them and diagnosed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both wrists, my right worse than my left. He suggested curtailing my activities (Ha!) and wearing wrist braces at night. I opted to try the wrist braces and see if they helped before taking the other more drastic measure!

Lo and behold, after wearing them faithfully all night, every night for just a short time, I began to notice a marked improvement in my ability to do my handwork without losing feeling in my fingers and hands. But I was not too thrilled with how the braces felt on my skin and how the edges of the Velcro closures scratched me and caught on everything. Something had to be done about that if I were to continue using the braces. Here's the easy and inexpensive solution I came up with which has worked for me. Maybe it will work for you too!

How to make a Wrist Brace CoverSocks! It's true! One pair of soft cotton trouser socks, or socks made of a material that you find comfortable on your skin. That is all you need, along with a pair of sharp scissors and your wrist braces.

Here's a short video showing what to do with your socks to make a comfortable cover for your wrist braces:

And here's what you end up with:

How to make a Wrist Brace CoverAt the top of this picture is one covered wrist brace, the one I made in the video which ended up on my left hand. Also in the picture is the other sock with the holes cut in it and ready to be put onto my right hand along with the brace.

Once you have made your covers, there is no need to remove them in order to remove the brace. I have found that I can easily slide my hands out of the braces in the morning, then slide them back into the braces at night without ever having to undo the covers or the velcro. This saves wear and tear on the braces and makes putting them on and taking them off quick and easy.

These covers are wonderful in the warm weather because they breathe so much better than the braces by themselves. They can be removed and put through the wash with your other laundry, so you might want to have two pairs of socks made into covers so you'll always have one available.

Do you have any handy tips for dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or other wrist and hand issues that might keep you from enjoying your handwork? I'd love to hear about them, so leave a comment and share what you do to keep stitching.

Happy Stitching!

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  • I'll have to try this. Since Laura prefers her socks mismatched, there are plenty to choose from!

    By Blogger Karen M, At January 6, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

  • Brilliant! I have had a couple of relatively mild episodes with CTS, and haven't yet used braces. But my crafting is fewer and farther between than yours, I think. I found tremendous relief with ice and Naprosyn (Aleve), and avoiding crochet for a good week. And I gave up (for a while)the more strenuous crocheting of "plarn" into re-usable grocery shopping bags. (Which is what got me into trouble to begin with.) I also find that knitting doesn't bother me as much as crochet, and since I knit more than I crochet, I can always sprinkle my crochet projects in between knitting projects. I hope you are able to manage your CTS without any further flare-ups. :)

    By Blogger WendyBee, At January 6, 2010 at 10:58 AM  

  • Well that certainly looks better than the wrist brace... Will you be reinforcing your cuts with some stitching?

    By Blogger Myra, At January 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

  • No reinforcement stitching needed, Myra! The first pair I made years ago is still holding up just fine, but getting worn like any favorite sock would after being used over and over again!


    By Blogger Mary Grace McNamara, At January 6, 2010 at 3:29 PM  

  • I've recently begun wearing a wrist brace and found out it will be a forever thing as the cartilage is gone in my wrist and they can't do anything to fix it. So, up until now, I thought I was stuck wearing a big black ugly thing for the rest of my life. I thought of sewing something, but I have a hard time doing even that. This is so simple and inexpensive! I think I'll even try colored or striped socks to match outfits. Thanks so much for this great idea!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At January 28, 2011 at 1:15 AM  

  • Brilliant idea! I just thought today about creating a wrist brace cover because I have been damaging all my cloths and I have not seen anything to cover my braces at any local store. For this reason, I decided to research online to find out if something like this exists in the market To my surprise, I found a couple of companies who manufacture and sell them. A single cover costs $19.99 + shipping... OMG! I think that is ridiculously expensive. Your idea help to save lots of money to those who have to wear braces for both hands like me. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your idea with us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At June 13, 2014 at 9:46 PM  

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