Archery is the sport or skill to hit the arrow on the target using a shooting bow. Centuries ago archery was used in wars and for hunting, but today archery is a competitive sport and a recreational activity like a game of poker online. Archery involves greater use of the upper body, and so upper-body injuries are most common for archery.
The drawing arm is the most vulnerable to muscles and bone injuries caused due to overuse. Practising too often can cause overuse injuries, particularly in the forearm and shoulders. Insufficient rest can also cause injuries to the shoulder and neck.
The rotator cuff muscle in shoulder is especially susceptible to overuse injuries. The bows of the archery are very tight to load; therefore, repeated use of the hand and shoulder muscles can cause injuries and pain. The most vulnerable regions include the neck, back, shoulder and chest.
Most common injuries associated with archery
- Rotator cuff strain – The group of muscles surrounding and supporting shoulders is called the rotator cuff. As the archery requires stretching the bow to shoot the arrow, this repetitive load-bearing can cause pain and stress in the shoulders, especially the drawing arm.
- Tendonitis – Tendonitis is a kind of inflammation in the tendons. Tendonitis can occur in any tendon of the body. However, archers are most susceptible to inflammation in the tendons of the shoulder, elbow and the wrist of the drawing arm. Inflammation in the tendons of the elbow is known as “Archer’s Elbow.”
- String slap – if you’re an archer, you can’t deny ever getting injured with the string of the bow. This is most common for forearms as strings snap against them with each shot.
- Blisters on the fingertips – Blisters on the fingertips happen when the fingers rub against the bowstring while shooting. The cause of this injury is the friction while pulling.