Whether it’s beach, indoor, social, or competitive, volleyball is loads of fun and very popular in Australia. However as with most sports accidents happen, so this blog will help gain an understanding of some of the most common injuries that may occur in volleyball players.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are the most common injury occurring in volleyball players, accounting for up to 41% of all injuries. Ankle sprains involve stretching or in some cases tearing of ligaments that stabilize the ankle joint.

The most common type is an inversion sprain where the foot turns inward and bends down toward the ground, affecting the ligaments on the outside of the ankle, often from a trip, rapid change of direction, or an awkward landing on the ground or foot of a teammate. Initially, ankle sprains will be painful, and swollen and movement will be limited.

If the sprain is serious enough to suspect fracture then it will need to be seen by a doctor, otherwise, early physiotherapy management is key to reducing swelling, and pain and restoring ankle movement.

Beyond this point physiotherapy rehabilitation is focused on developing strength, balance, power, a gradual return to play, and preventing re-injury – research shows the biggest risk factor for re-injury is returning to play too soon and without sufficient rehab.

Patella Tendinopathy “Jumpers Knee”

Significant force is placed over the patella tendon (at the front of the knee which connects the kneecap to the shin bone) during repeated jumping and landing to spike and block, as well as to move quickly across the court.

A full description of what a tendinopathy is can be found HERE. In short, tendinopathy can be thought of as an overuse injury of the tendons where they have not had time to adapt to training which they are not accustomed to.

The result is usually specific pain located at the front of the knee which arises during warm-up, and explosive jumping, and lingers for some time after the activity has finished. There may also be some stiffness after periods of rest i.e. when waking up in the morning.

Patella tendinopathy is therefore common in new or social volleyball players and experienced players who sharply increase their training volume.

No matter what level you are at, a physiotherapist can provide advice on pain relief (e.g. icing, braces, activity modifications) and treat contributing physical impairments, guiding your progression back to the sport.

This will include progressive resistance exercises tailored to the individual to increase muscle and tendon strength to get them working as they should.

Finger Injuries

Setting and passing require a high level of hand-eye coordination and accuracy while often withstanding large forces from the ball. For this reason, common finger injuries include:

  • Sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Tendon disruption.

If you have injured your finger and are experiencing pain, swelling and reduced movement then ruling out a fracture may be necessary with a referral for imaging. However, a physiotherapist can thoroughly assess the finger, provide splinting if necessary and help reduce swelling and regain finger movement and strength.

If you have experienced any of the above then get in touch with your local Sports & Spinal Physiotherapist today to see how they can get you on the right road to recovery.

Written by Sports and Spinal Physiotherapist, Kirby Pitt


  1. Verhagen EALM, Van der Beek AJ, Bouter LM, et al. (2004). A one-season prospective cohort study of volleyball injuries. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 38:477-481.
  2. Gallo, R., Briner, W. (2023). Volleyball Injuries. The University of Rochester Sports Medicine. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/orthopaedics/sports-medicine/volleyball-injuries.cfm.