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Volleyball Injury Risk Factors

There are intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for injury. Intrinsic factors are a child’s individual musculoskeletal issues, which can include skeletal immaturity (bones and joints that are still developing) or muscle weakness. Extrinsic factors are the environment in which an athlete performs, which can include the level of competition: how much, how hard and how long play lasts.

Other common risk factors for volleyball injuries include:

  • Serving and spiking are two repetitive activities that are done while attempting to generate a great deal of force. The combination of repetitions and force can result in injuring the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder.
  • Blocking, setting, and digging are all activities that have been found to increase the risk of finger injuries.
  • Most injuries occur when the ball strikes the fingertip.
  • If the player is unable to bend an injured finger a sports health professional needs to be consulted.
  • The repetitive, forceful jumping involved in spiking and blocking can result in patellar tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the kneecap (patella) to the leg (tibia).
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee injuries occur when a player lands awkwardly from a jump. If an ACL injury is suspected a sports health professional needs to be consulted.
  • The repetitive nature of arching the back during serving can result in low back pain. If low back pain develops then s sports health professional needs to be consulted to develop a plan of care that will allow the athlete to return to full participation.