The regular jumping necessary in volleyball increases the risk of ankle, calf and knee injuries. Volleyball is a ball sport with many ‘overhand’ techniques. The smash, the service and the set-up. Overhand techniques increase the risk of an overuse injury around the shoulder joint.
A commonly occurring injury in volleyball is a sprained or twisted ankle. In most cases, the injury occurs following a landing on the outside of the foot whereby the foot twists too far inwards. On the outside of the foot, capsula, ligaments and nerve fibre can be damaged due to overstretching. On the inside, cartilage can be damaged by excessive compression. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, the tissue on the outside is either stretched or torn. This damage causes bleeding in the ankle. As a result, the ankle swells, (after a short time) bruises and becomes painful.
The damaged tissue heals naturally just like a wound on the skin. However, muscle and nerve fibre does not automatically regain its original function. Muscle and nerve fibre must be trained. This is possible with simple balance exercises. In addition, the ankle must be protected to prevent the risk of recurrence. A Push Sports Ankle Brace is an excellent solution.
A common injury in volleyball is what is known as “calf strain”. Calf strain is a (minor) tear in the calf muscle. The sensation is similar to that of a whip crack at the moment the muscle tears. As well as considerable pain, it is no longer possible to complete the normal placement of the foot. It takes six weeks before the tear is fully healed. A possible cause is insufficient or no warming up.
Knee (acute injury)
The knee is a joint susceptible to injury. The knee joint can be damaged through twisting. In such a twisting incident (cruciate) ligaments and meniscus tissue can be damaged. Injury to the meniscus can cause swelling and it may no longer be possible to correctly bend and extend the knee. Serious injury to the cruciate ligaments often causes internal bleeding or accumulation of fluid. The knee then feels swollen and warm, is painful and no longer moves well. In the event of a serious twisted knee, cruciate ligaments and the inner meniscus are often both damaged. If injury to the cruciate ligaments is suspected, it is important that the correct diagnosis be made by a sport physician and/or sport physiotherapist. During and following recovery from a knee injury, it may be worthwhile to protect the knee (during sport) with a Push Sports Knee Brace.
Knee (overuse injury)
A commonly occurring knee injury in volleyball is irritation of the joint cartilage behind the kneecap. This is an often difficult to localise pain perceived around and behind the kneecap. The pain above all occurs during or after volleyball. During bending and stretching, the knees may ‘crack and creak’ and sometimes swell up following major exertion (volleyball match!).
A diagnosis can be made by a sport physiotherapist and/or sport physician. Depending on the diagnosis, the correct measures can be taken. Possibilities include good shoes, muscle-strengthening exercises, stretching exercises and sufficient recovery.