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» Trad Gang.com » Main Forums » The Shooters FORM Forum » Solved: Draw finger pain worse after treatment and rest

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Author Topic: Solved: Draw finger pain worse after treatment and rest
Noctis
Contributor 2017
Member # 45322

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About 2 months ago I started getting a nagging ache in my draw fingers - mostly the middle and especially the ring finger. There was no range of motion issues, and the fingers weren't painful during normal activities. I quit shooting and went to a hand doctor. He took some x-rays, which turned up nothing. He basically suggested tendonitis. The physical therapist made me custom splints, which I wore religiously for 2 months. I also iced and took NSAIDS multiple times per day. Needless to say, it's been torture not shooting, but I made a vow to rest it even longer than they suggested. Alas, 2 months later, chomping at the bit to shoot, I let fly about 10 arrows and the pain was actually *worse* than when it first started 2 months ago. Previously it had been a nagging ache, but now it is actually slightly painful. Very discouraging to say the least. While taking time off I diagnosed a few things to try to take stress off these fingers: an even deeper grip, lowering my elbow, a thicker glove, etc. But I didn't even get a chance to try.

My only theory as to how the pain could have possibly gotten worse after 2 months rest is that I went overboard with splinting and icing, atrophying the muscles. The fingers definitely started feeling stiff after a while. I am going to try a different approach at this point: no more splinting and more massaging and strengthening exercises, as long as there's no acute pain.

I read a few other threads about similar issues ... just wondering if anyone else wanted to chime in on fingers, or this phenomenon of an injury getting worse after rest. I'm a bit desperate at this point and worried this will be a long-term issue. With hunting season around the corner I am also concerned about being out of practice.

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LH Wing Gull - 64" 45@28
RH Wing Gull - 66" 37@28
LH Wing Presentation - 69" 36@28
LH Black Widow MA X - 64" 55@28
Alibow Manchu - 64" 45@35
Mariner Qing 2 - 64.5" 55@36

Ambidextrous split finger shooter.
Thumb draw practitioner.

Posts: 34 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
McDave
Contributor 2017
Member # 10587

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I'm surprised that the treatment was to immobilize the finger. I'm not questioning the doctor; I'm no doctor. But when I had elbow tendinitis (tennis elbow) they told me immobilizing it was the second worse thing I could do. The first worst thing I could do was to continue doing whatever I was doing to aggravate it. What they recommended was a series of gentle exercises to strengthen the joint, which worked.

Two things you could do are to change the way you draw the bow or change from right to left handed.

Joel Turner changed from drawing with his fingers to drawing with a thumb ring. If you listen to his podcast on The Push Archery series, which is free, he discusses shooting with a thumb ring.

Changing hands is a very useful skill for anyone to acquire, in my opinion, and I recommend it to many people. The chances are that if you shot left handed for a year or so, you could gradually start shooting right handed again without the same problems. However, I would recommend easing into it with a low poundage bow at first, both in switching to left handed and then switching back again later. If this worked for you, you would have a useful skill you could and should use for the rest of your life.

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TGMM Family of the Bow

I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

Posts: 4163 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noctis
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Thanks, McDave

That is the one positive that has come out of this - I am now an ambidextrous shooter. I am left eye dominant so I shoot on that side, but since I am right handed it wasn't hard to emulate my form on that side. I just hate having to close my eye to shoot. It has been a fun experience, though, and it's rewarding to be able to pick up any bow and shoot, regardless of the side. My accuracy isn't as consistent but I've been surprised by how quickly things came together. My motto throughout this has been, "At least I'm shooting."

--------------------
LH Wing Gull - 64" 45@28
RH Wing Gull - 66" 37@28
LH Wing Presentation - 69" 36@28
LH Black Widow MA X - 64" 55@28
Alibow Manchu - 64" 45@35
Mariner Qing 2 - 64.5" 55@36

Ambidextrous split finger shooter.
Thumb draw practitioner.

Posts: 34 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
McDave
Contributor 2017
Member # 10587

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I see two arrows when I aim with my left eye, but I have learned which one to use, so I don't have to close my right eye. It's funny, sometimes I learn something new when shooting with one eye or the other that I can then transfer to the other side, that I don't think I would have learned shooting only on one side.

--------------------
TGMM Family of the Bow

I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess.

Posts: 4163 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rough Run
Contributor 2017
Member # 44566

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I had a similar experience with the ring finger of my string hand about 4 months ago. It would tingle, and felt bruised, after 50 or more shots. So, I took a video of myself shooting, and realized that my elbow had gotten very high, so I figured I was putting excessive pressure on my finger from the severe angle. I began working on getting my string arm lower, and more in line with my bow arm. I had to adapt, and change my routine, which was a hard habit to break. But, my pain ceased and my accuracy improved.
Posts: 324 | From: Kernersville, NC | Registered: Feb 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Noctis
Contributor 2017
Member # 45322

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An update: After 3 months of dealing with this injury I had a bit of an epiphany. After noticing a similar pain while shooting with my off-hand (even after working carefully to eliminate any form issues that might have caused too much pressure on ring finger), and that often the finger would hurt in positions when shooting that it didn't when at rest, it finally occurred to me that the one constant was the glove I was using. It might seem crazy to have not considered this previously, but moving to a *lighter* glove when having finger pain is pretty illogical, especially since all along I had figured it was an over-use issue.

I won't mention the brand of glove, specifically, but I believe that the leather was so thick and inflexible (even after months of use), and came down so far down toward m middle joint, that is was forcing the weakest of the three fingers (ring) to constantly work way too hard to flex in a way that supported a deep grip. After moving to a thinner glove the pain seems to have disappeared. Posting this just in case it helps anyone. All our fingers are different, so this shouldn't be considered accusatory toward heavy gloves. I myself am going to try others, but hopefully more flexible ones.

--------------------
LH Wing Gull - 64" 45@28
RH Wing Gull - 66" 37@28
LH Wing Presentation - 69" 36@28
LH Black Widow MA X - 64" 55@28
Alibow Manchu - 64" 45@35
Mariner Qing 2 - 64.5" 55@36

Ambidextrous split finger shooter.
Thumb draw practitioner.

Posts: 34 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Sep 2016  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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