Like players of most action-packed sports involving short, sharp bursts of speed, people who play volleyball can often suffer from sporting injuries. Most are not season-ending or career-ending and according to the Physician and Sports Medicine journal, the majority of injured players are only out of action for four days or less. However some people still turn to forms of medication that can have negative side effects.
Patellar tendonitis is one of the most common volleyball-related injuries and accounts for four fifths of overuse injuries. It is characterized by knee pain exacerbated when the sufferer moves from a sitting to a standing position or walks uphill. According to injury expert Thomas Souza, the risk of developing this condition can be reduced by decreasing the amount of jumping training that you do. However this is not always possible and might mean a reduction in skill during games stemming from a lack of practice. This results in some people turning to addictive painkillers in order to reduce the discomfort that it causes.
A Non-Addictive Alternative
Taking addictive prescription painkillers is always best avoided if possible. In some countries, painkiller addiction has reached epidemic proportions, most notably the United States, where there are states where there are more people overdosing due to prescription drug addiction than due to addiction to substances like heroin and cocaine. Pennsylvania is one of the worst hit states. The US Drug Enforcement Administration reports that Pennsylvania addiction treatment resources that were previously being channelled into preventing addiction to cocaine and heroin are being directed more and more towards painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin as they are now the main cause of overdoses in some parts of the state. How does this relate to volleyball injuries? There have been instances of people using up to forty milligrams of Oxycontin per day to cope with the pain of patellar tendonitis. Psychiatrist David Sack has warned that sportsmen are particularly prone to abusing Vicodin and Oxycontin as a result of starting to take them due to sporting injuries. However there is an alternative. There are natural remedies that are far safer and better for your body. One of them is acupuncture.
Acupuncture has been proven to be successful in reducing the pain that is caused by patellar tendonitis. According to the Wall Street Journal, neuroimaging studies demonstrate that it is capable of calming the areas of the brain that register pain. It is a drug-free means of decreasing your suffering and therefore negates the need for painkillers. Transverse friction massages have also been used to treat the discomfort that stems from patellar tendonitis. This is a form of deep tissue massage that is carried out on the site of an injury. Once again, it requires no addictive drugs, making it a favourable method of pain relief.
‘Sand toe’ is another common volleyball injury. Rather than attempting to get rid of the pain by taking painkillers, research conducted by the University of Southern California indicates that it is more advisable to attempt to reduce the symptoms by using protective tape, applying ice to the inflamed area and using anti-inflammatory medication. Health expert Marcelle Pick advises that you can use boswellia as a natural anti-inflammatory drug. Research suggests that it can switch off pro-inflammatory mediators called cytokines within the inflammatory cascade.
Ankle injuries make up between fifteen and sixty percent of acute volleyball-related injuries. The pain involved in these injuries can be reduced by applying ice to the affected area and undergoing proprioceptive training. Hold the ice pack against the ankle for approximately quarter of an hour in order to reduce the swelling. Some experts also advise immersion in contrast baths two days after sustaining this type of injury. This involves soaking the ankle in ice-cold water for thirty seconds and then soaking it in warm water for an additional half a minute.
A significant proportion of volleyball players will also suffer from meniscus tears at one point or another. Again, you can apply ice to reduce the swelling here. You should avoid positions that antagonise the pain as well and take it easy for a while. You might want to consume half a teaspoon full of ginger powder added to eight ounces of hot water, as this has been proven to help to reduce swelling. Following the advise above will reduce the likelihood of you needing to use painkillers that are habit forming and bad for your body. However if your symptoms persist, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Sometimes stronger painkillers are the only thing that will do the trick but it is best to use them as a last resort.