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  1. Rafael M Pimenta1,
  2. Luiz C Hespanhol Junior2,
  3. João A Grangeiro Neto3,
  4. Alexandre D Lopes4
  1. 1Master's and Doctoral Programs in Physical Therapy, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo, UNICID, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Medical Department, Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  4. 4Department of Physical Therapy, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, USA


    Background Volleyball can be considered one of the most popular sports. Prospective studies aimed at investigating the incidence and risk factors of volleyball injuries are scarce.

    Objective To investigate the incidence and risk factors for volleyball injuries among Brazilian elite volleyball players.

    Design 20-week prospective cohort study.

    Setting Brazilian elite national league (2015–2016).

    Participants 13 Brazilian elite volleyball teams (208 players): 7 male teams (116 players) and 6 female teams (92 players).

    Assessment of Risk Factors Volleyball exposure (hours and sessions of training, strength training and number of matches) and injuries were recorded weekly by the medical team.

    Main Outcome Measurements Injury during the follow-up period.

    Results 196 injuries were reported among 96 athletes. The overall injury incidence was 4.8 injuries/1000 hours of training and 18.6 injuries/1000 matches. Overuse injuries (65.3%, n=128) were more common than acute injuries (33.7%, n=66). Knee (28.5%, n=50) and shoulder (9.8%, n=19) were the body regions most affected by overuse injuries. Ankle (6.2%, n=12) and shoulder (5.6%, n=11) were the body regions most affected by acute injuries. Tendinopathy (23.7%, n=46) was the overuse injury type most observed, and ankle sprain (7.2%, n=12) was the acute injury type most observed. Female athletes (OR: 0.50, CI 95%: 0.31–0.80) and additional training sessions (OR: 0.74, CI 95%: 0.60–0.91) were associated with a lower risk of injury. Previous injury (OR: 2.18, CI 95%: 1.40–3.38), and an additional hour of training (OR: 1.18, CI 95%: 1.05–1.32) were associated with a higher risk of injury.

    Conclusions This study showed that male gender, an additional hour of training, and a history of previous injury were the most significant risk factors for developing a new injury. However, additional training session was associated with lower considered risk of injury.

    • Injury

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