Archery Grip - Providing solutions to ensure joint protection and career longevity.
Archery is the art, sport, practice or skill of using a bow to shoot arrows. Most Archers make the mistake of holding the bow too tight. When archers first grab a bow and step to the shooting line, their inclination is to grab the bow extremely tightly. The reason being, that most people realise the gravity of the responsibility of shooting a bow and they are trying to be careful. Holding a bow with a relaxed grip feels very, dangerous, especially when shooting a bow with a draw weight that is challenging to the Archer. Holding the bow too tight can actually be dangerous because you have less control over the arrow, and you have less control over the bow string after you've released your arrow.
The proper your grip on the bow should be very gentle. The fingers fully grasp the bow, but they are placed lightly on the front of the bow, steadying it for the shot. The knuckles taper away from the bow at about a 45 degree angle. The archer's hand and fingers are relaxed, but he/she still has full control of the bow.
This 14 year old girl has base of thumb arthritis from rowing as well as a double crush syndrome. I needed to analyze her posture and movement pattern when holding the bow with her left hand, positioning the arrow with her right hand before shooting and the movement pattern of both hands when releasing the bow.
Her main problem in the left supporting hand was the base of thumb arthritis and the force on the ulna collateral ligament (UCL) when supporting the bow (Image 1). I decided to make her a splint that provided support to the UCL and reduced the force applied to the CMCJ of the thumb. Image 2 shows a splint that was provided to support the left thumb MPJ & CMCJ. The splint is effective and non-obtrusive.
In addition, you can see that her left thumb MPJ is hyper flexed when in position close up to her face (Image 3). This position cannot be changed or supported due to the proximity to her face.
A combination of treatment is being used to address this young lady's problems. Treatment includes splinting, theraputtty exercises, activity modification, core strengthening, nerve glide exercises and muscle re-balancing.