6 common volleyball injuries

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.

Ankle sprains

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.

ACL injuries

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.

Finger injuries

Fractures, dislocations, and tendon and ligament tears in the fingers are common as players try to hit a ball moving at fast speeds.

Volleyball injuries can occur from spiking the ball.

Shoulder impingement

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.

Patellar tendinitis

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.