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Common Volleyball Injuries: How to Prevent and Treat Them

Posted by Todd Mensik on September 21, 2017

common-volleyball-injuries-how-to-prevent-and-treat-them.jpgGiven the nature of the game, the most common volleyball injuries likely aren’t hard to guess: shoulder overuse, finger fractures and sprained ankles.

Injuries aren’t inevitable, and knowing how to prevent the new and treat the old can go a long way toward keeping young athletes off the bench and in the game.

Here's a brief overview of common volleyball injuries, as well as how to prevent and treat them.

Volleyball By the Numbers

An estimated 460,000 high school students play volleyball, and the vast majority – 410,000 – are girls. As the number of players has increased over time, so has the number of injuries.

Volleyball injuries rank the lowest for all of the major sports, but it isn’t without its risks.

Shoulder Overuse

Rotator cuff tendinitis is a common shoulder injury for volleyball players, who rely on those muscles for serving and spiking. It’s rare to see torn rotator cuffs in young players and more common to see irritation and fatigue brought on by overuse.

Prevention: Proper strength training techniques for shoulders

Treatment: Rest and physical therapy are often enough to resolve joint pain

Talk to a doctor if: Pain persists

Finger Fractures

Volleyball players use their fingers for blocking, setting and digging, making their valuable digits more vulnerable to fractures and dislocations, as well as tendon and ligament tears.

Prevention: Finger strengthening exercises, taping

Treatment: Varies depending on the injury

Talk to a doctor if: You’re unable to bend the finger

Sprained Ankles

Ankle injuries are the most common volleyball injury, and most lost playing time can be attributed to them.

Prevention: An external ankle support, such as an ankle brace or taping

Treatment: Immobilize the injured ankle for as short a time as possible; daily rehabilitation for eight weeks

Talk to a doctor if: Pain continues after several weeks

Other Common Volleyball Injuries

Other common injuries include:

  • Patellar tendinitis
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
  • Low-Back Pain

With any injury, players should return to the court only after receiving clearance from a medical professional. A sports medicine specialist can help with volleyball and other athletic injuries, including these common sports injuries.  For immediate treatment of athletic injuries, visit an ortho urgent care clinic.


volleyball injuries tip sheet

Topics: Shoulder, Sports, Ankles, Ankle Injuries, Finger