Prevention of Volleyball Injuries

Volleyball is a fairly safe non-contact sport. However, it still involves a high amount of training, with intense explosive movements, which puts athletes at risk for overuse and acute injuries. Roughly 20% of volleyball players will suffer an injury at some point in their career.

Luckily, the three most common injuries can be prevented with education and coaching on proper skill techniques/mechanics, as well as specific strength and conditioning exercises; all with which the therapists at Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic in Oakville/Mississauga can help you:

Ankle sprain:

Ankle sprains make up roughly 50% of all acute injuries experienced in volleyball athletes across all skill levels. Most ankle sprains (89%) occur around the net from landing after a block or an attack. They generally result from stepping on the foot of an opponent or a teammate. The greatest risk factor for an ankle sprain is a previous history of ankle injuries, especially if it occurred in the past 6 months. They occur more often in games than practices, as well as during indoor play vs. outdoor volleyball.

Prevention Strategies: 1. Education and training regarding proper landing technique during blocking and attacks. 2. Proprioceptive training to improve stability and coordination. 3. Proper rehabilitation post ankle injury in order to prevent reoccurrence. 4. The use of support (brace or tape) to protect the ankle.

Overuse injuries to the knee (i.e., patellar tendinopathy)

Pain at the front of the knee is common in volleyball players, with 40-50 % of players being diagnosed with patellar tendinopathy, or more commonly known as “jumpers knee.” Patellar tendinopathy is an overuse injury due to training on hard gym floors with repetitive jumping, and can be related to weaknesses and imbalances.

Prevention Strategies: 1. Education and training on proper jumping and landing technique. 2. Minimize the amount of jump training on hard surfaces. 3. Proper strength and conditioning program, focusing on functional lower body exercises and core stability.

Overuse injuries to the shoulder (impingement syndrome/functional instability)

Shoulder injuries account for 20% of all volleyball related injuries and tend to have the longest recovery time. The majority of shoulder injuries are related to overuse, as a result of the repetitive spiking and serving seen in games and practices. Risk factors include weakness and poor scapular stability, as well as core weakness.

Prevention Strategies: 1. Proper spiking and serving technique is crucial in preventing shoulder injuries. 2. Proper strength and conditioning programs focusing on scapular stability and rotator cuff strength, as well as core stability.

Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic has been treating athletes of all ages and skill levels for over 10 years in the Oakville and Mississauga area. If you’re currently injured, book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists, chiropractors, athletic therapists or massage therapists in order o help get you back on the court healthy and pain-free. If you’re not currently injured, the therapists at Sheddon can get you started on an injury prevention and strengthening program by working on your specific weaknesses and imbalances to help prevent any future injuries. If you’re looking for a sports medicine clinic in the Oakville and Mississauga area that has great therapists AND will get you results quickly, then contact Sheddon Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic at 905-849-4576.