Volleyball Injuries: Block Them Before They Get Worse

DS_Body Beautiful_55Volleyball is a favorite workout for both recreational and competitive players. But you can still get injured just like in any other sport. Here is what you can do about it.

Types of Injuries

Serious injuries are not as common in volleyball as they are in other sports. People who play volleyball are more likely to have overuse injuries. Finger injuries from blocking and spiking the ball are also common.

Playing the game can lead to injury even if you are not a pro. Let's find out about injuries, how they are treated, and how to prevent them.

Patellar Tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper's knee, is inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone. People with patellar tendonitis will feel pain just below their kneecap. It often feels worse when jumping instead of landing.

Treat this pain with rest. You can also use ice and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease swelling. Exercises that strengthen and stretch your quadriceps muscles may also help. People who still have pain should contact a sports medicine doctor. Other treatments may be needed, such as surgery.

Ankle Sprains

Sprained ankles can happen when you go up for a block and come down hard. It can take 8 weeks or more to heal with treatment.

Rest, ice, and elevation will help to ease swelling. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. You can be taught stretching, strengthening, and balancing exercises that you can do at home. This can help treat the injury and lower the risk of repeating it.

You may also need to wear a brace to keep the ankle from moving. If you are prone to ankle sprains, talk to your doctor about whether wearing a brace is right for you.

Shoulder Injuries

It's easy to injure your rotator cuff when serving and spiking the ball. The injury is more common in people who have been playing for many years.

Shoulder injuries from volleyball tend to be overuse injuries. Examples are tendinopathy or small tears in the rotator cuff.

You'll need to rest the injury and ice it at least 2 to 3 times a day for the first couple of days. Over the counter pain medicine may also help. Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist to learn shoulder exercises. This can help you recover and lower the risk of this happening again.

Hand Injuries

Fractures, sprains, and dislocated fingers and wrists can be common in volleyball. In most people, these injuries are minor and do not mean a lot of time off the court. But you should see a doctor if you are not able to bend or straighten your finger. How it is treated depends on the injury.

Get in Shape

You should have a good level of fitness before playing volleyball. Focus on strengthening the lower back, shoulders, and legs.

Warm up before playing, such as with light stretching or a short jog. Always remember to cool down after the game as well.

Hit the Beach

Take things outside when summer arrives and you have the option to play on beach sand instead of a hard gym floor. You can lower the risk of injury by playing on a softer surface. As an added bonus, the view is a lot better than the view inside a court.


American College of Sports Medicine

Canadian Resources:

Volleyball Canada


Ankle sprain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/ankle-sprain. Accessed October 12, 2021.
Patellar tendinopathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/patellar-tendinopathy. Accessed October 12, 2021.
Preventing volleyball injuries. Stop Sports Injuries website. Available at:
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Accessed October 12, 2021.
Rotator cuff impingement. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/rotator-cuff-impingement. Accessed October 12, 2021.
Sports injuries affecting children. Sports Injury Clinic website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed October 12, 2021.
Last reviewed October 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 10/13/2021

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