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Volleyball and its High Risk Injuries for Professional Players

U.S. Women’s Volleyball’s best spiker, Jordan Thompson, was forced out of the Olympic games after an ankle injury contributed to the team's fall to ROC, Russian Olympic Committee. Ankle injuries happen to be the most common injury to volleyball players and responsible for the most lost playing time. 

Professional Volleyball is a full-body sport, meaning the limbs and joints required to effectively play the game include the fingers, arms, shoulders, abdomen, thighs, legs and ankles. While the sport has many, many health benefits, you will also risk injury.

Volleyball involves repetitive overhead motions, such as spiking and blocking, so players are prone to overuse injuries of the shoulder. In addition, volleyball players are particularly susceptible to hand injuries and hard driven spikes are often returned with bumps and sets using the wrists, hands and fingers.

Other injuries include:

Rotator cuff: During serving and spiking, the rotator cuff muscles are important in generating the necessary power to move the shoulder. While rarely completely torn in young players, these muscles can get irritated or fatigued with overuse.

Finger fractures, dislocations and tendor tears: Fingers are vulnerable to injury during volleyball activities, such as blocking, setting, and digging. 

Patellar Tendinitis: This condition of tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the tibia (or shin bone). Patellar tendinitis is common in any athlete subjected to repetitive, forceful jumping activities, such as spiking and blocking.

ACL Injury: Like ankle sprains, most ACL injuries in volleyball players occur when a player lands awkwardly after jumping.

Back Injury: Volleyball players may also be at increased risk for a sort of stress fracture in the low back called spondylolysis.

You may not think of volleyball as a high risk sport, but it's actually responsible for one of highest rates of overuse and trauma injuries of any sport.

Photo: Reuters.com