Background Volleyball is a dynamic sport, presenting a high number of movement injuries. Analysis of injury prevalence is crucial for the development of prevention programmes.
Objectives To estimate the overall incidence of acute and overuse volleyball injuries in the Female National Team during the 2008–2009 season.
Design Prospective recording of newly incurred injuries.
Setting and participants Female Portuguese National Team Participants: 32 female volleyball players participated in the study and were followed prospectively during a whole season.
Interventions All players completed a questionnaire on demographic variables, sports participation, use of preventive measures, and previous injuries. Volleyball exposure during training and matches was recorded for each individual player by the team's physical therapist (PT) on a weekly exposure form. In case of injury the PT provided the injured player with an injury registration form, which had to be completed within one week after the onset of injury.
Main outcome measurements The incidence and burden of injuries and factors associated with injury.
Results 100 injuries were reported, resulting in an overall injury incidence of 2.6 injuries/1000 h. The incidence of acute injuries was 2.0/1000 h. Ankle sprains (n=41) accounted for most of the acute injuries, and 31 (75%) of all players with an ankle sprain reported a previous ankle sprain. The majority of injuries occurred during blocking or spiking. 25 overuse injuries were reported. The overall incidence of overuse injuries was 0.6/1000 h; the back and the shoulder were the most common sites.
Conclusions Ankle sprain is the most common injury in volleyball, accounting for 41% of all volleyball related injuries. Previous injury seems to be an important risk factor for an ankle sprain. Injury prevention programmes should focus on ankle sprains and concentrate on players with previous ankle sprains.
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