What are the top volleyball injuries and what are the best tips to avoid them? As volleyball involves continuous overhead motions, such as spiking, blocking and setting, players are prone to overuse injuries of the shoulder. In addition, volleyball players are particularly susceptible to finger injuries.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The biggest shoulder injury is rotator cuff tendinitis. So during serving and spiking, the rotator cuff muscles are important in bringing about the necessary strength to move the shoulder. Most of the time the muscles aren’t completely torn, they can become extremely irritated and overused.
The first thing to do in helping reduce or fully remove pain is get a lot of rest and use physical therapy devices or even services. Of course, if the pain continues on you should talk to your physician.
Finger injuries are very common when it comes to blocking, spiking, digging and setting. The most common are fractures, dislocations as well as tendon and ligament tears.
If you are unable to bend the finger, consultation with your sports medicine professional or athletic trainer is important. Treatment can change significantly depending on the injury.
Next up we have the most common volleyball injury known, the ankle. Almost every ankle sprain needs an 8-week span of day to day rehabilitation exercises in order to decrease the risk of re-injury.
Usually, these injuries can mostly be treated with a brace, physical therapy or at home rehabilitation exercises and on rare occasions may need to be tended through surgery. Often if operation is needed it could be due to subtle fractures or cartilage injuries.
Definitely, if you have continued pain after a few weeks, you should get seen for further evaluation. If you are having no pain and are able to support your own body weight then you should be able to continue playing.
Another common injury is called patellar tendinitis. Basically what this is, is inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the tibia (or shin bone). This knee injury is common with any athlete that does any repetitive, forceful jumping activities, such as spiking and blocking.
Patellar tendon straps can really help with releasing the stress to the tendon and are often the first line of treatment. Physical therapy and athletic training services that focus on stretching and strengthening are also helpful.
Paying good attention to landing from jumping in rehabilitation can be very beneficial. Very rarely, patellar tendinitis continues even after therapy and then surgery is required.
Let’s talk about the commonly heard of ACL injury. Like ankle sprains, most ACL injuries in volleyball players occur when a player lands awkwardly after jumping.
Usually, if you hear a ‘pop’ followed by swelling of the knee you should go ahead and be seen by a physician to get an examination. Often an exam and an MRI are what's needed to confirm the ACL injury.
Because ACL tears do not heal, those hoping to return to sports activities are encouraged to have the ACL reconstructed. Recovery time is usually at least 6-9 months.
There are training exercises that would help to prevent the risk of this injury. However, it is important to speak with a qualified athletic trainer or physician before joining in on these activities.
Lower Back Pain
Lastly, let's talk about lower back pain. The cause of most low back pain is related to muscle or ligament strain. As the lower back is a usual source of continuous pain among volleyball players, the pain usually does resolve with rest, physical therapy and athletic training services.
If you are having lower back pain that goes down through your legs and/or a numb and weak feeling in the foot or ankle, then there could potentially be a herniated disk. If this is the case for you, a great next step would be to get an MRI.
Most of the time players can return to playing once there is no pain, weakness or numbing feelings. If there is continued pain for longer than a month, being seen by a physician is a very great idea.
The best tips on how to prevent volleyball related injuries are to use correct strength training exercises for the lower back, shoulders, and legs. Definitely using an ankle brace or even taping to prevent from sprain your ankle is huge. Try not to do a lot of jump training on hard surfaces.
Something that can be very very helpful is to warm up by stretching and doing light aerobic exercises, this is also very helpful after your workout. Always remember that if you are having pain, please visit your doctor for whatever treatment may be needed.