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Old 11-07-2019, 10:28 AM   #11
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Default Re: Wrist trouble and positioning

Originally Posted by Dan Bell View Post
Pay attention to where your arm contacts the bag, too. Having your wrist pressing against the bag can be a source of tension/compression.
I've had this issue with my borderpipes, before changing the bag to one that doesn't have a hard ridge for the seam. The wrist will almost invariably end up resting on the bag, so if there's a hard seam there, that can cause problems .. both temporary discomfort, and also major issues down the line.

Nate Banton's newer bags purposefully address this issue, and are made so that the seam is flat on the outside. Good makers make good stuff for good reason .. etc etc.

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Old 11-08-2019, 11:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wrist trouble and positioning

With so many variable and points of contact with our pipes, I guess it's no wonder issues can arise. I did play for a gig on my SSPs this past Saturday and, with changing arm positions occasionally, it went reasonably well. After about 20 minutes my left hand started to tingle so I called it quits. Fortunately it was an informal gig and I needed time to change to highland gear anyway. I think I will make an appointment for my pipes and me to go see the chiropractor...
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wrist trouble and positioning

Check this out https://images.app.goo.gl/3KAEjYJxak6xVJH26

Your radial nerve, the one that runs through the ulnar tunnel (ie. the space between your radius and ulnar bones on the bottom of your elbow (your funny bone) is quite superficial along the lower inside part of your forearm. If the fit of your bag means you are applying a lot of pressure with that part of your arm, it can irritate the nerve. Are you getting tingling in all of your fingers or just some? Carpal tunnel syndrome is fairly common and involves inflammation of the nerves in your wrist. Cubital (or Ulnar) tunnel syndrome is similar but involves inflammation in your elbow (funny bone area). Either one can lead to pain and tingling. I would suggest taking your pipes along to the doctor and asking about some of these potential issues.

Disclaimer, I am not a medical professional but have suffered from similar symptoms to those you describe.

Best of luck getting it sorted out,
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wrist trouble and positioning

If you, or anyone, are squeezing the bag with your forearm, that's the problem. The instrument requires freedom of the fingers. That means that you must squeeze the bag with the bone on the inside of your elbow or as close as is practical. All of the musculature that runs your fingers is in your forearm, smashing those muscles and tendons will cause untold problems that you will have to unlearn when you finally get a proper bag. Getting your pipe properly set up means that you should be sitting in an armless chair with your spine and head erect, your upper arm aligned with your side, and the chanter in a position that does not cause your wrists to be bent. Your wrists should be straight or nearly so, and you should not have to attain any awkward position with the bellows or any part of the pipe. You should then change whatever has to be changed to make the pipe work for you in that position. Generally, adjustment of the neck length, and possibly tieing the stock into the bag at a slight angle is all that will be required.
The older I get, the more certain I am, that everything should be made from blackwood, beeswax, reeds, shellac and bits of string...
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wrist trouble and positioning

Great information, all!! I've had my pipes since 2002 and haven't had a problem until a couple of years ago. Perhaps I've developed some bad habits. I think it's good for all of us to examine our biodynamics at times to be sure we are doing things correctly. Thanks, again, and blessings to all.
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