Common Volleyball Injuries
From spiking and serving to bumping and blocking, volleyball involves many of the same motions that make players more prone to certain types of injuries. Below are common volleyball-related orthopaedic injuries, ways to prevent them, and how to recover from them.
Upper Body Volleyball Injuries
Repetitive overhead motions commonly cause these arm and upper body injuries on the volleyball court:
- Rotator cuff tendinitis – A shoulder injury, this type of tendinitis comes about when your tendons and muscles that move your shoulder joint are inflamed or irritated. Rotator cuff tendinitis usually develops over time, so volleyball athletes that often play and practice without enough rest are more likely to develop it.
- Fractured, sprained, or dislocated fingers – If a volleyball comes toward your open hands at a high speed, its direct impact can injure your fingers. Diving for a save or breaking a fall with your hand can also cause harm to your fingers.
Volleyball Injuries of the Legs
The fast-paced game of volleyball requires common movements such as running, jumping, bending, and diving. Such motions can cause wear and tear on your lower body resulting in the following leg injuries:
- ACL tears – Sudden stops and changes in direction can tear your ACL, or the anterior cruciate ligament, which hurts the stabilization of your knee. This is a serious injury that can take up to six to nine months of recovery time.
- Patellar tendinitis – Whenever a player jumps for a block, spike, or serve, the repetitive and forceful impact on the knees can cause stress and inflammation on the tendons connecting your kneecaps and shin bones resulting in patellar tendinitis.
- Sprained ankle – Ankle injuries are one of the most common player injuries. A poor landing from jumping or running on the court can cause a sprain. Depending on the severity of the sprain, recovery can take up to two months and many athletes ultimately end up losing playing time.
Volleyball-Related Back Injuries
In addition to any upper and lower body pain, volleyball’s intense and repetitive motions can cause stress on the back. With frequent playing and practice, the muscles and ligaments in the lower back can get worn down. Too much stress can even lead to a herniated disk, which causes debilitating and intense pain and numbness to shoot down the legs.
Preventing Volleyball Injuries
Regardless of how seasoned a player is, these injuries can happen to any volleyball athlete. To prevent injury, volleyball players often strength train their shoulders, legs, and lower back. Many players often wear ankle braces to prevent sprains or athletic tape for extra arm, leg, or back support. Proper shoes can also make a huge difference on the court, as they can minimize the impact from jumping or running and reduce the stress on the knees. Lastly, warm up and cool down routines are key to prevent injuries since they take care of your body before and after intense exercise.
How To Recover From Volleyball Injuries
To heal your body from any pain, rest and ice are always a great first start. However, if you are suffering from more serious and persistent volleyball injuries that affect your daily movement, you should consult with the specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. Our sports medicine team is here to assess the severity of your volleyball injury, help you recover, and get you back to playing the sport you love.
If you’ve experienced a common volleyball injury or another type of orthopaedic injury, please give us a call today at 904-825-0540 or request an appointment online.
Sina Kasraeian, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has extensive training in arthroscopy and sports medicine reconstructive procedures.