Click here to download Volleyball Injury Prevention Tips and Awareness Pamphlet
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 187,000 volleyball-related injuries were treated in hospitals, doctors' offices, clinics, ambulatory surgery centers and hospital emergency rooms in 2007. More than 97,000 of those injuries occurred to children under the age of 14.
Many volleyball injuries can be prevented by increasing the level of awareness and knowledge to players, parents and coaches. Volleyball does require high energy and repetitive movements that can place an athlete at risk for injury.
Overall, most injuries happen while blocking and spiking the ball. Thus, ankle sprains are the most common injuries in volleyball, followed by overuse injuries to the shoulder, back and knees.
The importance of good flexibility and strengthening programs for young athletes is often underestimated. Research has shown that good flexibility and strengthening programs can reduce injuries by as much as 50 percent.
Injury Prevention Tips
Coaches and athletes believe that males have higher injury rates than females. Male and female athletes have about the same injury rate per hour of training.
Do Not Over Do It!
The amount of training you carry out plays a key role in determining your real injury risk. Studies have shown that your best direct injury predictor may be the amount of training you completed last month. Fatigued muscles do a poor job of protecting their associated connective tissues, increasing the risk of damage to bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
The Two Best Predictors of Injury
- If you have been injured before then you are much more likely to get hurt than an athlete who has been injury free.
- The second predictor of injury is probably the number of consecutive days of training you carry out each week. Scientific studies strongly suggest that reducing the number of consecutive days of training can lower the risk of injury. Recovery time reduces injury rates by giving muscles and connective tissues an opportunity to restore and repair themselves between work-outs.
- Over 60 percent of volleyball injuries are related to jumping.
- Injuries are more common on concrete or linoleum than on wood.
- Ankle injuries are the most common acute injury. They are usually caused when a blocking player's foot lands on the opponent.
- Patellar tendonitis (jumper's knee) accounts for up to 80 percent of overuse injuries. ACL injuries mainly occur in plant and cut moves or one-leg landings without direct contact with other players.
- Overhead movements such as overhead serving and spiking increase risk of shoulder impingement.
- Low back overuse accounts for approximately 10 to14 percent of injuries.
- Tendonitis of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, patellar tendon and Achilles tendon
- Shin splints and stress fractures
- Shoulder dislocations/subluxations, bursitis, impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tears
- Sprains to the hands, wrists, knees (ACL/MCL) and ankles
- Finger fractures
- Muscle strains to the gastrocnemius/soleus (calves), hamstrings/quadriceps (thigh) and back
- Achilles tendon and heel cord rupture
Three Major Risk Areas
If you're looking for your body's weakest link...start with your ankles. According to research, this is the most vulnerable place on your body.
Active Ankle braces protect you from injury. If you're already injured, they can speed recovery. Active Ankle is the way to be active... and stay active.
Patellofemoral pain is a common knee problem. If you have this condition, you feel pain under and around your kneecap.
Knee braces are supports that you wear for a painful or injured knee. Many use them to prevent knee injuries during sports.
The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. It is our shoulders that allow us to put our hands where they need to be for all of our daily activities.
To manage this, the shoulder has to have the right balance of strength, flexibility, and stability. Loss of such measures can lead to pain and injury. Maintaining this balance through exercise can help avoid shoulder problems.