Doctor prescribes knitting as physical therapy

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Knitting is well known for its relaxation benefits, however it was the physical exercise of clicking the needles together which one doctor saw promise in.

McCal Roberts, from Bermuda, told The Royal Gazette that he suffered an injury to his hand while in a restaurant kitchen, when an industrial-sized box of foil fell on his hand, slicing it open with the serrated edge.

This required several stitches, however he soon discovered after the cuts healed that one of his fingers would not move.

His doctor then recommended, much to his surprise, that Mr Roberts should try taking up knitting.

"When the doctor suggested I try knitting and crocheting, I said, 'well that isn't too masculine'. I said jokingly, 'can I lift some bricks or something instead?'" Mr Roberts told the newspaper.

However, the doctor insisted that he must move his finger around 5,000 times a day in order to get the full range of motion back. This is why knitting and crocheting proved a useful solution.

Mr Roberts was then taught to do both in a month of hard training by a local woman.

"It took me 31 days to learn. She was just doing it so fast. She and other ladies who knitted with her said, 'you are not going to get it now, just take your time," he explained.

Then after trying his new skills out at home on his own, and making many mistakes, he finally got it and started making hats, scarves and mittens.

As well as getting the movement back in his fingers after several weeks of knitting, Mr Roberts has also fallen in love with the craft.

"It is very relaxing. It is also time-consuming, but at least you have something to show for your time," he added.

Mr Roberts is now considering creating a DVD to teach others to knit, as well as donating some of his knitted garments to charity.

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