Author: Niki L. Carayannopoulos, DO
According to the NCAA, women’s volleyball players have an overall injury rate of 4.3 per 1,000 exposures (combining both games and practices). The most common injury sites are:
- Lower limb (51.1%)
- Upper limb (21.3%)
- Torso and pelvis (13.8%)
- Concussions (4.1%)
- Head, face and neck (2.3%)
- Other (7.4%)
Common Volleyball Injuries
As a fast-paced sport that requires quick changes in direction, volleyball can put players at a high risk for injury. From finger jams to lower back pain, trainers and sports medicine physicians treat a wide range of injuries. Let’s look at four common volleyball injuries below, and then discuss some injury-prevention strategies for volleyball players.
#1 Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
Did you know there are approximately 56 rotator cuff tears per day in Houston? While complete tears are rare in young volleyball players, rotator cuff tendinitis – irritation caused by shoulder overuse – is fairly common.
#2 Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains also tend to be fairly common in many athletic activities, especially in a sport like volleyball, which requires sudden pivots and changes in direction. (Learn more about how long it takes to recover from an ankle sprain.)
#3 Jumper’s Knee
Also known as “patellar tendinitis,” jumper’s knee is frequently seen in basketball players, volleyball players, and other athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive jumping. The condition can cause stiffness in the knee, pain just below the kneecap, pain when bending the knee, pain in the quadriceps, and fatigue or weakness in the calf or entire leg.
#4 ACL Injury
Located in the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) provides the support and stability volleyball players need for jumping and making sudden changes in direction. Unfortunately, ACL tears are quite common sports injuries – especially in volleyball. Learn what you can do to reduce your risk for an ACL injury.
Preventing Volleyball Injuries
So, what can you do to prevent volleyball injuries?
- Strength training is key, especially for injury-prone muscle groups like the legs, shoulders and lower back.
- Ankle braces and taping can prevent ankle rolls. This is especially important if you’ve recently sprained your ankle.
- Complete as much of your jump training on an impact-absorbent surface as possible. Jumping on hard surfaces may increase your risk for jumper’s knee and other injuries.
- Always take time to warm up and cool down.
- If you are experiencing any kind of pain or injury, talk to your coach, trainer or sports medicine doctor; modify your training as necessary until the pain or injury is resolved.
Questions? Talk to a Sports Medicine Doctor In Houston
To learn more about how a sports medicine physician can help you, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Call (713) 756-5546, or schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.