PREVENTION OF SHOULDER INJURIES IN COMPETITIVE VOLLEYBALL ATHLETES

PREVENTION OF SHOULDER INJURIES IN COMPETITIVE VOLLEYBALL ATHLETES 

ABSTRACT

INTODUCTION:The aim of this study was to describe the significance of monitoring and evaluating different organic, muscular and neuromuscular parameters of athletic training in the prevention of shoulder injuries in competitive volleyball players.

METHODS:The literature on shoulder injuries of volleyball players was reviewed and the shoulder isokinetic tests of members of the Spanish national volleyball team were evaluated.

RESULTS:Shoulder injuries account for 8-20% of injuries affecting competitive volleyball players, with females suffering more severe problems. In contrast to other diarthrodial joints, there is little inherent bony stability at the glenohumeral joint. Instead, surrounding soft tissues such as ligaments and muscles are critical in enabling a full range of motion and protecting from injury. The most frequent mechanism of shoulder injury is via repeated movements of abduction and external rotation, followed by extension and internal rotation of the upper extremity during rigorous training. As such, approximately 50% of shoulder injuries in competitive volleyball players are caused by strenuous overload during training.

In order to effectively prevent such injuries, it is crucial to devise preventive programs that closely monitor the training load sustained by each athlete. The majority of such preventive training programs rely on close monitoring of a set of different organic, muscular and neuromuscular parameters to avoid shoulder injuries. Examples of such parameters include monitoring the joint mobility (organic parameter), the development and balance of muscular strength and strength resistance (muscular parameters), and achieving and maintaining neuromotor qualities such as perception and coordination abilities (neuromuscular parameters).

CONCLUSIONS:In an effort to prevent shoulder injuries in competitive volleyball athletes close monitoring and measurement of individual physical and technical abilities via a set of organic, muscular and neuromuscular parameters, should identify the limits of competitive athletic training (i.e., frequency, intensity, methodology) and assist in minimizing the risk of shoulder injuries.

DR. EVANGELOS PAPOUTSIDAKIS

Resident, Sports Medicine, Barcelona, Spain

Member of the medical team of The Spanish National Volleyball Team

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