Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

From ‘Ow!’ to ‘Wow!’

No one likes to think about getting hurt. Even imagining an injury can be scary and overwhelming. But the reality of sports is that injuries happen. However, the road to recovery doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster ride. By learning about common injuries in volleyball and understanding what to expect during the recovery process, you can make the journey more manageable.

Types of Injuries

Injuries can be categorized as acute or chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly, like rolling your ankle by stepping on your teammate’s foot. The most common acute injuries in volleyball are ankle sprains. On the other hand, chronic injuries develop over time due to repetitive movement. These types of injuries are often found in the shoulder, back, and knee.

Symptoms of acute injuries include pain, bruising, swelling, decreased range of motion, and decreased strength. Chronic injuries, on the other hand, may present as aches, soreness, and swelling that increase after activity but decrease on their own.

Recovery Process

When dealing with an acute injury, it’s important to follow the RICES principle: rest, ice, compression, elevation, and support. This should be done for the first three days. Rehabilitative exercises may also be necessary, and in some cases, surgery might be needed to stabilize the injured body part.

For chronic injuries, it’s recommended to participate in lower-intensity activities to give your body a chance to practice skills without aggravating the injury.

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The recovery timeline for injuries can range from two weeks to nine months or more. It’s also common to experience flare-ups throughout an athlete’s career.

Rehabilitation Process

Collaborating with a physical therapist, athletic trainer, or strength and conditioning coach is crucial for a successful recovery. They will guide you through a rehabilitation program that starts with pain-free range of motion exercises and progresses to resisted range of motion, complex movement patterns, and eventually sport-specific patterns.

The goal of rehabilitation is to gradually build up the injured area and the entire body to prepare for a return to play. Even after returning, it’s important to continue exercises that maintain balance and support more complex movements. This prehabilitation can help prevent future injuries.

No Pain, Big Gains

Contrary to the popular saying “No pain, no gain,” during the recovery process, it’s essential to prioritize a pain-free mindset. Pain is a signal from your body, indicating that you should not push beyond its limits. It’s crucial to listen to your body’s signals and respect its boundaries.

External factors such as surgery, physical therapy, ice, or medication can support the natural healing process. However, patience is key during recovery. Pushing your body too hard or returning to the court before fully healing can be dangerous and hinder the recovery process.

Healing is a physiological process that takes time. Some days will feel strong and healthy, while others may be more painful and challenging. It’s important to rely on your support system, including doctors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, parents, and coaches, to help you navigate the difficult days and celebrate recovery milestones. Always follow the recommendations of medical professionals.

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What are the common types of acute injuries in volleyball?

The most common acute injuries in volleyball are ankle sprains. They occur suddenly, often as a result of stepping on a teammate’s foot.

How long does the recovery process typically take?

The recovery timeline for injuries can vary from two weeks to nine months or more. It’s important to be patient and listen to your body throughout the entire process.

Can participating in lower-intensity activities help with chronic injuries?

Yes, participating in activities at a lower intensity can give your body an opportunity to practice skills without worsening the injury. It’s important to find the right balance between staying active and allowing the body to heal.


Recovering from injuries in volleyball requires understanding the types of injuries that can occur and having realistic expectations for the recovery process. Acute injuries happen suddenly, while chronic injuries develop over time. It’s crucial to follow proper recovery protocols, such as the RICES principle and rehabilitative exercises. Collaborating with healthcare professionals and maintaining a pain-free mindset are key to a successful recovery. By incorporating prehabilitation exercises and listening to your body, you can reduce the risk of future injuries and return to the court stronger than ever.

For more information and resources on injury prevention and recovery, visit