Prevalence and Factors Associated With Injuries in Elite Spanish Volleyball

J Sport Rehabil. 2019 Nov 1;28(8):796-802. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2018-0044.


Context: Prevalence studies have been carried out widely on elite volleyball players. However, the extent to which specific prevention strategies are used and the influence of the sport equipment on the occurrence of injuries have been sparsely investigated.

Objective: To describe the prevalence of injuries sustained during 1 season in elite Spanish volleyball leagues and to investigate the association of injuries with factors such as player court position, injury mechanism, type of shoes used when playing, or participation in prevention activities.

Design: Descriptive cross-sectional epidemiology study: observational study.

Setting: European elite professional volleyball.

Participants: Professional volleyball players from the elite Spanish volleyball league.

Main outcome measures: A self-report questionnaire assessed the presence of injury during a volleyball season. Questions included the type of injury, its anatomic location, participation in prevention strategies, shoe type, the injury mechanism, the season period, the period of leave, and the treatment received.

Results: In total, 490 players (71.2% response rate) completed and returned the questionnaire. The injury prevalence was 66.9%, and the average of injuries per player was 0.94 (0.85) (range: 0-4). Most Spanish elite volleyball players participated in prevention programs during the season (90.3%) and played volleyball with low-top shoes (83.6%), but these factors were not associated with the prevalence of injuries (P > .05). The anatomic regions with the most injuries were the ankle, knee, and shoulder; the most common types of injury were sprains, tendinopathies, and strains, usually occurring during blocking and attack actions during the in-season period.

Conclusions: Despite most elite volleyball players participating in prevention programs, the results reveal a high injury prevalence. Further prospective research on the effectiveness of prevention strategies in elite volleyball is needed.

Keywords: epidemiology; prevalence; prevention; rehabilitation; sports.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Volleyball / injuries*
  • Young Adult