Volleyball and Knee Injuries

Dec 08, 2015

Volleyball is common to direct injuries and chronic overloads in the joints, indirectly resulting in traumas and permanent dysfunctions. This applies to different joints including knee joints.

The knee is the most frequent site of injury in volleyball players. Knee injuries account for 30% of volleyball-related injuries. Although volleyball is a sport without contact between players, traumatic acute injuries are more frequent and more serious than expected.

Knee Injuries in Volleyball

Common knee injuries that occur in volleyball include ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries, MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries, chrondomalacia, and torn knee cartilage. Another injury that usually occurs in volleyball is the patellar tendinopathy, which is commonly known as jumper’s knee. This particularly painful syndrome is caused by frequent jumping typical in volleyball.

Jumper’s Knee

Jumper’s knee is an overuse injury of the tendon that runs from the kneecap to the shinbone. It may cause pain below the kneecap, especially when running, jumping, or climbing stairs. After it progresses, the pain may become steadier. The term comes from the fact that the problem is common in jumping sports such as volleyball. Generally, the injuries are caused by frequent jumps with loss of balance and a consequent ‘one-footed’ landing.

The stress from repeated jumping results in tiny tears in the tendon, which your body attempts to repair. But as the tears in the tendon add up, they cause pain from inflammation and weakening of the tendon.

The tendon above the knee is known as the quadriceps tendon and the one below is the patellar tendon. Along with the quadriceps muscle, these tendons play an important part in walking, running, jumping, and climbing stairs.

Contributing factors that add risk to jumper’s knee are inflexibility of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Other risk factors include poor training, hardness of the playing surface, and certain biomechanical factors.

An increase in physical activity adds stress to the tendon, as changing your running shoes. Tight thigh muscles can increase strain on your patellar tendon. If some muscles in your legs are much stronger than others, the stronger muscles could pull harder on your patellar tendon.

The Role of Physiotherapy

Intervention is aimed initially in addressing pain reduction, followed by a progressive exercise program to target weak areas, power exercises to improve the capacity in the stretch-shorten cycle, and finally functional return-to-sport training.

A physiotherapist educates the patient about rehabilitation process and symptom management. It is important for the athlete to know how to identify symptoms and adjust participation and loading during rehabilitation process and in return to sport.

Many patients with jumper’s knee respond to conservative management program such as activity modification, ice therapy, joint motion and kinematics assessment, stretching, strengthening, and sport-specific proprioceptive training and plyometrics.

Employing a physiotherapist in a league team makes a good option due to the reason that a physio can implement an injury prevention program and can choose the right training loads for the players.

Having a jumper’s knee can really influence your volleyball performance. Call us today at 927 27359 today!