5 Most Common Archery Injuries
What are the most common archery injuries?
- String Slap
- Shoulder Injuries
- Archer’s Elbow
1. String Slap
String strap is archery jargon for a shooting related injury. It is a type of compound bow injury that typically results in a contusion or a painful bruise. It occurs after a shooter releases the bowstring. As the bowstring is traveling backwards after the shot, it can harshly slap the archer on the lower arm. Due to the strength of the string, the veins under the string will be negatively impacted and cause bleeding under the lower arm skin. All archers have dealt with this pain. It can range from resulting in a minor bruise to possibly even a facture.
2. Shoulder Injuries
When you are pulling the bowstring, you are using almost all the muscles and tendons in your shoulders. Shoulder injuries in archers are typically impingements or rotator-cuff related. Each time an archer draws their bow, the rotator cuff is being used. If an archer engages in over usage and poor technique, the muscles and tendons in the shoulders will start to strain. To avoid these injuries, proper form and stance is a necessity. If an archer has aches or lack of motion in their shoulders, they should rest and consult a medical professional to find the root of the problem.
3. Archer’s Elbow
Tendonitis in the elbow is more commonly known as “Archer’s Elbow” in the archery world. This injury happens due to intense strain on the elbow, which is typically a result of overbowing. Overbowing will happen when the weight of the bow’s draw is too strong for an individual to properly handle. It is common for archers to feel pain on the outside of the elbows after archery shooting. An archer must properly distribute the bow weight into their back and keep the right alignment to not offload or lose balance while shooting.
When an archer’s fingers rub against the bowstring, it is common for the skin to break and form blisters. If the positioning of the elbow is too high, the index finger tends to remain on the string longer after release. This results in breakage of the skin. Archers need to have proper draw technique and use less finger tension to avoid contracting blisters on the skin. A great solution to blisters is for archers to invest in a pair of high-quality archery gloves. These safety gloves are designed to properly protect fingers during the drawing and release of the bowstring.
A strain injury is common in the upper extremities of archers. A strain can be to the muscles, nerves, or tendons from overuse and intense repetitions. Strains are typical in many athletes. For archers, these strains are most likely referring to the shoulders, forearms, elbows, wrists, hands, and even the neck. Archery tenses up these muscles and tendons. If an archer has proper technique and adequate rest time, they will be able to minimize these types of injuries. It is important for archers to take these strains seriously in order to avoid them turning into chronic injuries in the future.