Being placed on the DL

No baseball player likes to be placed on the disabled list.  It can lead to frustration and depression.  Archery is no different.  You practice hard and set goals for the year.  You aggressively pursue those goals and then you notice a twinge, soreness, and soon pain. In the spring of 2011, I changed grips on my recurve. I went to a very flat, low wrist grip, which produced great results from the start.  The bow really jumped off my hand towards the target, but it changed the geometry in my hand and arm.  This grip put more heel into the bow and my hand was turned up, which somewhat flexed my forearm and set my arm so that any shock went from my hand to my elbow.  After a month or so I noticed some soreness in my elbow right on a tendon.  I iced it and continued to shoot.  It worsened but it didn’t hurt when I shot, only afterwards when I would grasp things.

I managed to limp it out through the IBO World Championships in August and managed to shoot well and win there.  When I returned home I knew that the only thing I had to prepare for was deer season so it was a good time for a break.  I saw the doctor and we decided to inject the elbow with a corticosteroid.  It worked instantly.  I felt relief and was able to rest.  I shot different bows until the spring of 2012 and then went back to my recurve but this time with a high wrist grip.  The pain soon returned.  It’s been 10 months since the injection but now it’s worse than before the first shot.  I was planning to head to Erie for the 2nd Leg of the IBO National Triple Crown but now that is not possible.  Traditional Worlds is 6 weeks away and I’m injured.  I got another injection this past Tuesday but the instant relief did not come this time.  I am icing, stretching and doing rehab exercises but the jury is still out.

I share this because as I have spoken with others about my injury I have found that many other archers suffer or have suffered with this same injury.  It’s very difficult to heal due to constantly having to use these muscles.  A couple of orthopedic surgeons have informed me about some procedures that have been successful but require more recovery time so that may be a fall option.  Right now ice is my friend, compression, and exercises.  Naturally depression and anger accompany being placed on the DL, but we are creatures of flesh and bone so we must deal with ever present aches and pains.

6 responses to “Being placed on the DL

  1. Sorry to hear that, total bummer. Have you seen a physical therapist? They showed me a bunch of stretches to get through tennis elbow, was helpful. Hang in there.

  2. Man, that really sucks. Been there, gone through it. Sounds like lateral epicondylitis, “Tennis” elbow. Had it in both arms at different times, but not from archery- (from using bad techniques, and excessive practice time on guitars following long periods playing related but different instruments). If your condition has been truly diagnosed as lateral epicondylitis, I have a long letter exchange I wrote to a musician friend about this- but so much OT from Archery I would like to send it to you as a private email. Right now, have to run- helping a friend teach beginning archery at his weekend children’s range.

    Get in touch- Dan

  3. I realize that this injury is “not a good thing” however i cannot symithize with the sufferer that knowing what shooting the bow did to his elbow went back to the same bow after healing the first time and began shooting it again. If it were me I would have changed back to original grip or kept shooting those “diffrent bows”

  4. I know it’s hard to not shoot, but if you let yourself heal, you will. Don’t push it. If it hurts, ever, just leave it alone. I’ve had lots of similar little things that sometimes became big things because I just tried to push on through. I’m smarter now, and so far, if I give myself a rest, and temper my eagerness, my body catches up.

    You can do it. Be patient, and know, that until then, you’re still an inpiration and asset for a whole bunch of us!

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