Younger archers making their mark
Parents beware. You may have noticed your children catching a fancy for archery as popular culture has as well. The sport has been featured quite often through avenues such as the widely-read series “The Hunger Games,” the animated movie “Brave” and the television series “Revolution.”
Although it offers your son or daughter something unique to learn, archery can lead to some unwanted injuries if not practiced properly, said Dr. Elizabeth Bosquez.
“Therapists who’ve had patients that have taken up archery sometimes came up with shoulder injuries or swelling, pain in the elbows and the wrist,” said Dr. Bosquez, medical director at Harris Health Pediatric and Adolescent Health Centers-Bear Creek and Cypress. “It is similar to the little league injuries in baseball for kids who start pitching really young. They are usually at higher risk.”
Dr. Bosquez said when children are performing repetitive motions, like pulling on a bow string or pitching a baseball, it can invite strains on an already growing body. If really dedicated to their sports, young athletes will tend to play during off-season, increasing the chance for injuries. To remedy, Dr. Bosquez advised a regime of cross training.
“These kids definitely need to be aerobically fit as well as involve themselves in low-impact strength training,” she said. “Not so much bench pressing, but they should be doing multiple reps of lighter weights and that would help avoid injury.”
Though preparedness is key, injuries can be unavoidable. Dr. Bosquez noted that if a few attempts of archery leaves one’s shoulders, elbows or wrist in pain or tingling numbness in the fingers, they should contact a doctor.
“What we recommend is to stop any activity that is causing this discomfort. That should immediately give you relief,” she said. “You should ice the area for at 20 minutes at a time throughout the day. Use an anti inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen. That will get rid of the swelling. If this is still a problem, it may need to get evaluated.”
About Dr. Elizabeth Bosquez:
OCCUPATION: Medical director at Harris Health Pediatric and Adolescent Health Centers-Bear Creek and Cypress
COMMUNI TY CONN ECTION: Dr. Bosquez is an area high school graduate from Langham Creek High School in Cypress Independent School District
FAST FACT: Graduated from Texas A&M University and Baylor College of Medicine
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