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Common Volleyball Injuries Like Swollen Knee – Treatment

Volleyball player with swollen knee injury

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Common volleyball injuries including swollen knee

Volleyball has some of the highest participation scores than most other sports. In fact, it is second only to soccer in participation. Volleyball is one of those sports that can be played both indoors and outdoors. However, just like other sports, there are sometimes when you get volleyball injuries. A common injury is swollen knee or knee spain. It can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. Even if you did not know what the game is called, there is a fair chance that you have played it at least once in your life.

Volleyball became an Olympic sport back in the 1980s. It is a team sport, played on a court with a high net. The players are to create a “volley” by hitting the ball over the net. The team to win a rally scores a point regardless of which person in the team served. If you still cannot place the game, it is worth mentioning that it is the most popular beach sport. There are iconic scenes in movies and film that show beach volleyball scenes.

Volleyball is one of those sports that have a large majority of female participation. It is amongst the top most popular sports in females. It is played in interscholastic competitions and international tournaments. Each year more than 460,000 students in high school take part in these competitions. It is worthy to note that more than 410,000 are girls.

As the popularity and participation of sports increases, so does its rate of volleyball injuries. Like most other sports, volleyball has a tendency to amass quite a few of them. Injuries in volleyball are quite less in number as compared to other contact sports, but they do exist. It is necessary to be completely fit before you set foot on the court, in order to prevent volleyball injuries. In a survey, data was used from the files of the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program. The result of the survey includes volleyball as one of the most common causes of hospital emergencies. The results also show that only around 37% are male subjects in injuries related to volleyball. This makes volleyball a sport with the majority of female injuries.

Types of volleyball injuries

Volleyball injuries are of two kinds, much like all other sports injuries out there; acute (traumatic) injuries and chronic (overuse) injuries. Acute injuries are accidental and instantaneous, often the cause of physical trauma or stress. Overuse injuries, as the name suggests, happen over a period of time. This makes them no less important in the matter of treatment. Although acute injuries require instant treatment and rehabilitation, it is overuse injuries that could be more dangerous. This is because they happen under the surface, without any obvious signs. They are insidious and cause problems for the body in the long run.

Some common volleyball injuries that require physical training and therapy include:

  • Ankle and Knee: Ankle sprains and swollen knee are the most common injuries. Most of these are fortunately not very severe and require only a month or a few weeks of rehab and exercise. A fracture can, however rare, require surgery and a long period of rehab. Patellar tendinitis in the tibia can cause problems if not treated as soon as possible.
  • Fingers: Volleyball players like Jamie can suffer jammed and dislocated fingers, caused by handling the ball, or accidents with teammates. If treated correctly and in time, they can heal perfectly. If not, it may result in pain and deformation in the long run.
  • Shoulder: Another common injury in volleyball players is rotator cuff tendinitis. Long-time competitive players might suffer this injury due to the motions of serving and spiking required in the game. The rotator cuff undergoes a lot of movement and can be the cause for both acute and overuse injuries.
  • Concussions: Concussions are rare, but they are also huge problems. This is because these are acute injuries that are hidden. If untreated, they can wreak havoc on the body and the brain. This particular survey explains in detail the incidence of concussions in Canadian volleyball players.
  • Lower Back: For those of the children who start early when it comes to competitive playing, overuse injuries are a common problem. Especially in the lower back, because adolescents still have a “softer spine”. Repetitive motion can cause the lower back to ache.

Most of the times, an overuse injury is exposed because of an acute volleyball injury in the early years. Take the case of young Jamie for example. Jamie is a twenty-two-year-old university student who has been playing volleyball since she was ten. She has a good form and makes sure she practices regularly and remains in good shape for the court. Having a good pre-game exercise regime can actually help with enhancing skill and balance throughout the game.

How Physiotherapy can help?

Jamie came into Pillars of Wellness after a fracture in her index finger. Finger injuries are common injuries in volleyball because of the specific techniques required in handling the ball; like digging and blocking. Jamie came into the clinic with the complaint that she still had problems moving her finger, even after the bone had set. She was given a physiotherapy regime to follow with the reassurance that this was completely normal. Sometimes, especially with extremities, it requires more exercise post-surgery in order to get it back to working condition. Physiotherapy works wonders in this regard, in removing pain and helping with faster rehabilitation.

Seeking physiotherapy treatment in time

It is necessary to seek out professional physiotherapy assistance as soon as an injury has taken place. Sometimes, it can bring to light other overuse injuries. For example, in Jamie’s case. She was brought into the clinic for treatment for her finger. But closer expert examination found out that she was developing a very slight deformation in her spine because of a lower back injury. There was no pain, but it would cause problems for her later in life. With proper rehabilitation and time, Jamie was back to playing the game she loves so much. This is why expert physiotherapy advice pays later in life: it makes the body healthy and you more aware of injury prevention.

Khizar Hayyat
Khizar Hayyat
Khizar graduated in 2007 and completed his post-graduation in Physiotherapy. He has extensive experience in different clinical areas including Orthopedic, Neurological, Cardiac and Pediatric rehab.