What troubles volleyball players

Athletes search for physiotherapists for various reasons and for the various injuries which they have been affected with. If we spot risk factors, which makes the athlete prone to injuries, we find out that the injuries which the athlete suffers during a certain sport are different from injuries which are caused by participation in different sports. It is scientifically proven that every sport has its own cases of illnesses and injuries. Specific injury patterns are resulting from the fusion of risk factors which belong to the athlete (specifics of the athletes) and from the sport and sport equipment itself (risk factors). Thanks to the knowledge about these factors and movement stereotypes we can prepare a better compensation measures for the athletes and lower the impact of these factors.

The injuries alone generally affect the specifics in certain sports, to which is connected also the age involving the firmness and resistance of the tissues.


Now we will focus on one specific group of athletes. We will introduce problems that usually affect volleyball players and what are the main risk factors.

By elite volleyball players, including men and women, the frequency of injuries is the same. What occurs most often in the group with acute injuries of the upper limb are fractures and jammed fingers. Problems with lower limbs by volleyball players are then usually acute phase of sprained ankle caused by a contact with the opponent below the net and by incorrect landing.

Regular medical and physiotherapeutic care is usually demanded by chronic problems in the shoulder and knee area.


Let’s look together on the process of the injury which is caused by two different ways:

  • Direct - the injury force is directly affecting the area of the body.
  • Indirect - the injury force is transferred by a frequent contact with the ball, contact with the floor after falling, contact with the opponent or teammate.



We usually meet with different types of injuries of the movement system influenced by chronic conditions.

Skin damage:

  • Abrasion
  • Blisters
  • Calluses
  • Subcutaneous blood effusion (hematoma)
  • Surface torn wounds

Injuries of this type are usually occurring during lowered concentration or excessive motivation for a good performance.

Bone damages:

  • Fractures
  • Bone infarction
  • Periostitis

This type of injury doesn’t occur very often, we treat it individually with the athlete. We also register:

Ligament damage:

  • Distention
  • Partial rupture
  • Torn ligament

Muscle damage:

  • Contusion
  • Tearing
  • Torn muscles
  • Muscle ossification as a result of blood effusion and crushed muscle tissue (myositis ossificans)
  • Hardening of the muscles (myogelosis), especially in case of trapezius muscles and back muscles
  • Muscle hernia

Tendon damage:

  • Bruise
  • Tearing
  • Inflammation of the tendon sheath (Tenosynovitis) concerning hands and legs
  • Tendon inflammation (tendinitis) especially of the Achilles tendon, tendons of the tibialis anterior muscle, biceps

Joint damage:

  • Bruised joints
  • Sprains
  • Partial dislocation (subluxation)
  • Incomplete dislocation (luxation)


We pay closer attention to inconspicuous microtrauma and from that resulting chronic conditions.

Microtrauma are small injuries of the organism which are characterized with minimal affection in performance, and are relatively small subjective symptoms. The danger is in continuing in the physical activity because it is often avoided or unnoticeable.

On the affected tissue, especially in the muscles are forming changes, such as small cracks and bleedings. First changes are observable on the microscopic level. Then it lead to ossification processes (formation of a bone tissue in the injured area). The function of these muscles has to be taken over by the agonist muscles (muscles moving in a certain direction, main executors of the movement), but at the same time it changes the function of the antagonist muscles (muscles moving in a different direction). There is a big presumption for muscle disbalance. Further changes can appear on the bones and joints, where ossifications can appear in the joint capsules, muscle, tendon and ligament attachment, etc. Typical  feature for the chronic condition is a slow manifestation and alternating intensity of the problems which grow with higher age.

What can be considered as a cause:

  • Worn out excessively adequate (physiological) load
  • Repeated excessive load during extreme sport performances
  • Repeated injuries, especially in the joint area, and inconsistent treatment


Just as in any other sport (in volleyball as well), we can act preventively and repressively in cases of acute and chronic conditions mentioned above.

We apply the preventive exercises mainly individually, but there is also an option of involving a small group of people focused on exercising specific part of the body. Although it is ideal to first deal with everyone individually to make everything clear through a thorough physiotherapeutic explanation. Therapist also has a chance of controlling the learning and acquisition of the exercises of the client.

There is a strict individual care for solving acute and chronic conditions of the athletes, by using physical and kinesiological rehabilitation.

FYZIOklinika has experienced professionals with high quality tools supporting a wide spectrum of rehabilitation techniques and methods. The environment is adapted to the performance of the preventive preparation (rehabilitation and strengthening exercises, including the group exercises at the gym), as well as for individual treatment of acute and chronic conditions.

Application of the focused shock wave therapy has proved to be very effective method in practice for treating the injuries. It is the most modern non-invasive technique for treating the musculoskeletal system, which is available by us at FYZIOklinika. It is more sophisticated than the radial shock wave therapy, because it is focusing its energy into one smaller area and is thus able to more accurately penetrate deeper into the tissues and focus on the source of pain. You will feel relief from pain much faster than you would with by other conservative techniques. Apart from the appliances and its use we also help in many cases with classic physiotherapy, which is ideal especially for stabilization of the shoulders and ankles.

FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Hanik et all., Volejbal 2 - učební texty pro školení trenérů, FYZIOklinika

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