Close to half a million athletes play high school volleyball in the United States. Due to the movements in the sport, athletes are at risk for both traumatic and overuse injuries. In this video, I share some of the most common overuse and traumatic volleyball injuries.
Like most sports, ankle sprains are common volleyball injuries. Athletes can land awkwardly from jumps. They can turn their ankle landing on another player’s foot. While these ankle sprains rarely need surgery, they can lead to weeks off the court.
These knee injuries can sideline an athlete for an entire season and require surgery and months of rehab. ACL injuries are especially common in female athletes who must land from jumps in their sport, so it should be no surprise that they are common in this sport.
Fractures, dislocations, and tendon and ligament tears in the fingers are common as players try to hit a ball moving at fast speeds.
The shoulder is a common site for overuse problems in volleyball players. Often athletes develop internal impingement from the repetitive overhead motions. Fortunately, rest and physical therapy can help them overcome the pain. Occasionally more serious shoulder injuries, like SLAP tears, can develop.
Low back pain
The repetitive hyperextension of the lumbar spine with spiking and blocking can cause low back pain. Most of the cases are muscular and resolve with rest and physical therapy. Occasionally, spondylolysis, which is a stress injury to a small bony area in the lumbar spine, can develop and require a long absence from the sport.
This overuse knee injury is common in athletes who play jumping sports, like basketball and volleyball. The athlete will notice pain below the kneecap during practice and games that initially improves with rest. Patellar tendinitis can start to limit performance over time. Often rest, ice, counterforce straps and physical therapy can help resolve the knee pain.