Cello Brace and Bow for Individual with Hypermobile Joints

I received the following request for a device and was wondering if anyone has worked on a similar project.

Description of the hurdle: I used to love playing the cello, but as I started playing more advanced pieces for longer periods of time, my hypermobile joints started to cause moderate to severe pain. I haven’t been able to enjoy playing for the last 5 years and I really want to be able to play in an orchestra in college. I’ve tried commercial wrist and finger braces/splints, but they limit my motion too much or vibrate against the strings making it either more painful or unrealistic to use. It would be life changing to have a wrist/hand/finger brace for my left hand that allowed full regular motion of my joints while preventing any hyperextension that makes playing painful as well as an adaptive bow grip for my right hand. Playing the cello is my passion and I’d love to be able to do so again without experiencing pain.

Device use frequency? Almost daily! Without pain, my ideal practice sessions would be 5-6 days a week.

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As a hyper mobile person with EDS myself, I can definitely relate! I will add this request to our community newsletter going out tomorrow.

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Thanks for the help @MMC_Zee. Are there any particularly good information sources about hyper mobile joints and EDS?

Hi Brent, I’m an Occupational Therapist and OT prof at the University of Ottawa. I’d love to help you with this. Please feel free to contact me

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Thank you @MMC_Zee and @cguptill for the help. When faced with a challenge our team was not sure how to solve, the MMC forum seemed like an obvious place to turn. Thanks to the kindness of @cguptill the cellist who requested assistance will have the best possible outcome.

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Please make sure to document / share the solution so that others can benefit too!


@cguptill just checking in? How is this project coming along? Do you have any updates? If you are stuck please feel free to post here and we can brainstorm with other makers to help!

Hi Zee,

I’m not very good about the forum yet, so please feel free to copy Brent! I’m not sure if the musician and I are having technical issues? I’ve not heard from her personally yet. Brent asked me the same question a week or so ago. I sent emails to both of them, as I’d like to connect with her personally before launching into design phase. No rush on my part, but the next week will be crazy for me in the final stages of prep for September course.

Thanks for checking in!



I chatted with Brent and he will check in. Sometimes we have excited requesters that don’t reply! Either way we are happy to have you involved!

@brentcourson does this project still need help?
@zhangcu2 might have summer interns who can assist?
Seems the user wasn’t replying? @cguptill ?

@MMC_Zee, the cellist spoke with @cguptill and developed a solution that did not require AT. I am very thankful that Christine was willing to share her expertise.

Hi guys -

I wouldn’t say we’ll never need AT; client was waiting for some medical information. I just emailed her the other day and haven’t heard back yet. If I hear anything I’ll follow up :slight_smile: thank you!

Christine Guptill, BSc, BMus, MS(OT), PhD (she/her)
Professeure adjointe, École de réadaptation, Université d’Ottawa
Adjunct Professor, School of Music, University of Ottawa
Status Only Assistant Professor, Music & Health Research Collaboratory, University of Toronto
Affiliated Researcher, Sound Studies Institute, University of Alberta
Researcher, Women & Children’s Health Research Institute, University of Alberta
Email: cguptill@uottawa.ca

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Thanks Christine. If any AT is needed we are happy to help.