When I worked for Cookies by Design as a cookie decorator I didn’t think I was going to make it through my first Christmas there, my hands hurt so bad. I would wake up with what we cookie decorators called “the claw”...I couldn’t straighten up my fingers or hold my toothbrush or even a hair brush in the morning. Then I discovered compression gloves. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sm-Md-Compression-Support-Glove/14264842 What a life saver!!!!! Wouldn’t pipe without them ever again. I get mine at WalMart. This particular brand has support not only for your hand but also for your wrist. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THEM!! Seriously, they are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. (Have I told you how much I LOVE them!!??) Since I started using them, I haven’t had “the claw” once. I even wear them to bed some nights when my hands give me some trouble.
I also found that a hot paraffin bath for your hands helps a lot too. I used to have one of those plugged in in my bathroom all the time so I could put my hands in before I went to bed at night. (Until it burned out. I keep forgetting to buy a new one.) It helped immensely. I’d do that before I put my compression gloves on and I was good for the night. (Sexy, I know, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. :)
In addition to wearing the compression gloves, make sure your icing consistency isn’t so thick you have to squeeze really hard to get it out of the bag. And, I agree with the others who say, don’t make the bags too big.