Sports Medicine Advice from a San Francisco Rotator Cuff Specialist
Volleyball continues to be a popular sport among high school students. Unfortunately, repetitive movements in this sport, such as overhead motions like spiking and blocking, often lead to injuries among players. Below are a list of the most common injuries volleyball players experience and the best ways to treat them with sports medicine:
Rotator Cuff Injury
The rotator cuff muscles are integral in generating the necessary power to serve and spike. These muscles are rarely torn in volleyball, but are often irritated by overuse. Simply resting and stretching the muscles should be able to alleviate most, if not all, of the pain. A rotator cuff doctor or physical therapist can guide you on the right stretches and exercises needed to strengthen the muscles and relieve stress.
Low Back Pain
Volleyball players often complain about chronic lower back pain. The cause is often related to muscle and ligament strain from jumping. The pain is typically resolved with rest, physical therapy, and proper athletic training. If, in addition to low-back irritation, you experience pain that radiates down the leg and produces weakness in the foot and ankle, you may have a herniated disk. Getting an MRI could help determine whether or not a herniated disk is the culprit. In many cases, volleyball players can return to the sport once pain, numbness, and weakness clears up. If pain persists longer than a month and becomes worse when bending backwards, then consider consulting an orthopedist or sports injury doctor.
Blocking, setting, and digging with the fingers can cause all kinds of injuries, including fractures, ligament tears, and dislocations. If you are unable to bend your finger, consult a sports medicine professional for assistance. The treatment will vary depending upon the nature of the injury.
Usually caused by awkward and insecure landing after a jump, ACL tears are accompanied by a “pop” and immediate swelling of the knee. Since ACL tears do not heal, those who want to return to playing need to have it reconstructed. The recovery time for a torn ACL can last anywhere between 6–9 months. Incorporating the right body form and undergoing training techniques for jumps can help minimize the possibility of an ACL tear.