Volleyball is a growing and popular sport around Richmond, in schools and with recreation leagues such as the Richmond Volleyball Club and the River City Sports & Social Club. While volleyball isn’t thought of as a direct contact sport, like football, players aren’t immune from injury.  During a volleyball match there are countless split second decisions a player will make including stopping and starting quickly, diving and jumping or using explosive shoulder and arm movements.  Whether you play volleyball competitively or just for fun, there is always the risk of an injury. Find out more about the most common volleyball injuries, their symptoms and treatments.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle injuries are one of the most common volleyball injuries.  Landing the wrong way after a jump can be painful and sometimes serious.  Ankle injuries happen when the foot is rolled or twisted beyond its normal range of motion.  This abnormal motion can cause ligaments to stretch resulting in a ankle sprain.

If your ankle is just sore after a volleyball injury you likely have a minor injury and should treat the area with rest and ice. But if it is swollen and very painful a more severe sprain is possible.  If you suspect an ankle sprain it is important to have it evaluated and treated correctly to avoid joint problems or ongoing ankle pain later.

Volleyball Finger Injuries

Finger injuries are very common in volleyball as fingers and hands take a lot of force during blocking, setting and digging.  This can leave the fingers bruised or swollen, or with more painful injuries such as joint sprains, fractures, dislocations and injury to the ligaments.

For most finger injuries your doctor will request X-rays to evaluate injury and identify problems including fractures.
Finger injury treatments will vary depending on severity but typically include ice, compression, taping or others.

Knee Ligament Injuries

The nature of volleyball requires explosive jumping and repetitive movements which can place a lot of stress on the knee.  The most common knee pain volleyball players experience is near the patellar tendon.  Initial treatment of this type of knee pain consists of stretching, strengthening exercises and rest.

ACL injuries are more serious, and also common among volleyball players. These injuries can happen when landing the wrong way after a jump, falling on the court or stopping suddenly.

Signs of an ACL injury typically include a loud popping sound, severe pain, inability to stay in the game, swelling that worsens over time, or a feeling of the knee giving out.  If you have experienced an ACL injury treatment may involve:

  • Arthroscopic reconstruction
  • Physical therapy and strengthening
  • Surgery to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and tendons which stabilizes the shoulder and allows you to move your arm away from your body.  These muscles are used frequently in volleyball to powerfully serve and spike. Over time they can become fatigued from over-use which can lead to shoulder arthritis or a rotator cuff tear.

Pain is the most common symptom of a rotator cuff tear and usually over the front and outer part of the shoulder becoming worse when the shoulder is moved in certain positions. Common symptoms include a popping sound or tearing sensation in the shoulder or a dull ache.
Rotator cuff treatment may include:

  • Rest from overhead use and heavy lifting
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation
  • Cortisone injection to reduce inflammation (faster and longer lasting than pills)
  • Exercise program to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles

Don’t Let Volleyball Injuries Keep You Out of the Game

Even if you are just a casual volleyball player, suffering from an injury can be hard to deal with.  We recommend you see a sports medicine specialist who can properly evaluate the injury and provide the right course of treatment.
Not getting the right treatment at the beginning of an injury can lead to a longer recovery time or more injury later.  Even if you don’t plan to get back on the court right away, you use your fingers, knees and shoulders on daily basis.  Your body relies on these powerhouses to complete routine tasks like washing your hair, lifting a gallon of milk or helping a child dressed.

Don’t risk further injury or the wrong diagnosis.  Contact G2 today for an appointment with Dr. Goradia, a sports medicine specialist in Glen Allen.  Dr. Goradia treats all patients as if they were a professional athlete to ensure they get peak levels in sports, work and day-to-day life in the shortest amount of time.