For all the volleyball players out there, are you sick and tired of getting injured and have to sit out for half the season? Today we will be discussing injury prevention for common injury sites of playing volleyball.
Volleyball is an explosive dynamic sport that suffers a high injury rate. Due to its explosiveness in nature, the athlete’s body must be well conditioned to carry out the force that volleyball puts on them. When the force of output is greater than the tissues and joints can handle, the athlete is at great risk of injury.
The most common injury sites for volleyball are shoulders, knees and ankles.
Shoulders: Spikers such as outside, opposite and middles are at great risk. It is at risk of both overuse and acute injuries. The shoulders are responsible for spiking and serving. During these movements, the shoulder is in a vulnerable position (external rotation and abduction). In this position, repetitively using great explosive force to make contact with the ball will shock the structure and tissue around the shoulder. This could lead to tendinopathy/tear of the rotator cuff muscles, labrum tear and many more.
Knees: This is usually an overuse injury with excessive jumping and landing. Setters are more prone to knee injuries as they jump set every ball at a higher level. The amount of jumps in the game could be doubled compared to an outside hitter. Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinopathy) and patellarfemoral pain symdis one of the most common injuries.
Ankles: Ankle sprain is very common amongst volleyball players. This is a team sport with players close together. It is not surprising if you accidentally step on your teammate’s or opponent’s foot after landing from a spike or block.
How to prevent injuries?
Biomechanics: It is important to seek help from a coach if your techniques are satisfactory. A correct and safe arm swing is far better than doing any strength training and you might even see improvement on your performance.
Using rotation of the core into your swing will place less stress on your shoulders.
Strength training: As a jumping overhead athlete who requires explosiveness, strength training is a must. By strengthening the rotator cuff muscles and the quads, this will allow the joint: to move more efficiently. Therefore it places less stress on the joints.
Mobility and flexibility: A lot of athletes forget about the existence of mobility and flexibility. On top of the normal stretching routine after training, you must put emphasis on gaining extra mobility on the joints and flexibility on the muscles. This will allow greater range of movement and more leverage for the muscles to contract.
Side planking: It is one of the best exercise to work out the shoulder, core and glutes.
Eccentric external rotation with theraband: Strengthen the rotator cuff
Isometric quad squeeze: 5 second hold each repetition to strengthen the Quadriceps (VMO)
Take home message:
Volleyball is a high intensity and an explosive sport which pushes the body into great risk of injuries. However, knowing good biomechanics and by focusing on strength, mobility and flexibility training, you will greatly reduce the risk of getting injured.
This information can be used to gain a better understanding of volleyball prevention. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.