This modification to my instrument was inspired by some health problems I was having. You can read all about it here.
Neither the author nor concertina.net are giving medical advice. See a medical professional if you are having problems. Every case is different. The purpose here is to give one case study and show that how it was solved. Your problem, and solution, will likely vary.
Foam pads for Anglo handles
I got the idea to try this from the review by Chris Timson of his new Dipper baritone Anglo concertina, with raised padded handles "higher and more comfortable than the usual design." After seeing how much raised, padded handles helped me, I added this feature to my Dipper order!
Before I could do this I had to install new straps that would adjust far enough out for the foam and my small hand (equals a large man's hand if you remove the foam!). I had to repair the wood handle to take a wood screw for a new strap. You can read about that repair separately.
Here is how I got into trouble. I had just begun playing this old
Lachenal. Note the multiply-patched 8-fold bellows that are too bulky to
close up completely. I had loosened the straps so I could reach all the
buttons (my fingers are not long). To keep control of the bellows, my
wrists are flexed (bent back). This is no problem for many people, but
for me it caused inflammation in the wrist that pressed on the carpal
Here is my solution. This is insulation for domestic water pipes. The
inside diameter is about 15 mm. A piece two meters long cost 89 cents
U.S. at my neighborhood hardware store. Here I have cut off pieces long
enough to cover the handles snugly and cut out about one quarter of the
circumference with a sharp knife.
I have shaved a little extra off one end of the pad so it is lower toward
the bottom of the handle.
Compare this with the first view. My wrists are now straight and I am
comfortable while playing. The foam pads are just held by friction from
being slightly longer than the handle; I didn't try to attach them.
Another benefit is that I can just pull them out to let someone with
large hands try my instrument, or leave them in if the person has small
hands. Sometimes the pads fall out, but if I ever lose one they are
Maybe I should patent the foam pad design, but I doubt it would make me rich, so as inventor I hereby dedicate the design to the public domain. Squeeze on!