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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2018 July-August;58(7-8):1063-70

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07828-8


lingua: Inglese

Acute and overuse injuries in elite archers

Claudia K. NIESTROJ 1, Volker SCHÖFFL 2, 3, 4, Thomas KÜPPER 1, 4

1 Institute of Occupational and Social Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; 2 Department of Sports Medicine and Sports Orthopedics, Klinikum Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany; 3 Department of Trauma Surgery, Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany; 4 International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation Medical Commission (UIAA MedCom), Bern, Switzerland


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate type and incidence of acute and overuse injuries in high level European and German competitive archers.
METHODS: Participants of the German National Indoor Championship (DM) 2012 in Solingen, Germany, and European Outdoor Championship (EM) 2012 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, participated in the study. The design was a retrospective cohort study performed by a questionnaire. Data obtained included standard personal data (age, gender), training habits, draw weight, competition experience, and detailed data about acute and overuse injuries that occurred during the entire sporting career of the archers. Data was analyzed with descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests.
RESULTS: Sixty-two archers joined the study (40 DM, 22 EM). There was about same sporting experience in both groups, although a tendency to more experience in the EM group could be shown. Fifty-two overuse and six acute injuries were reported. Overuse injuries were located mainly in the shoulder (N.=27, 52.9%), more precisely in the drawing arm shoulder (64.7%). The second most overuse injuries were in the arms (N.=12, 23.5%), mainly the bow arm (66.7%). Overuse injuries mainly represent damage of tendons, ligaments and articulations (67.9%). Overall in the EM group significantly less overuse injuries occurred. Acute injuries were rare, occurred mostly in the arm (66.7%) and were mainly caused by failure of equipment (83.3%). They occurred only in the DM group. All acute arm injuries were hematoma. Both acute and overuse injuries were not severe. A rate of 0.00536 acute and overuse injuries per 1000 hours was calculated. Occurrence and localization of overuse injuries in archery are caused by specific repetitive movements under loads. Inaccurate technique is one of the major risk factors for overuse injuries.
CONCLUSIONS: To prevent overuse injuries, archers should focus on perfect shooting technique as well as adequate strength, which includes stabilizing trunk muscles. To prevent acute injuries based on equipment failure, equipment must be well maintained and checked before and after each training and competition. Safety equipment should be worn by all athletes.

KEY WORDS: Athletic injuries - Shoulder pain - Preventive medicine

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