Volleyball is a popular non-contact team sport enjoyed by players of all ages. However, the strenuous physical activity involved in playing volleyball can lead to injuries — the most common of which are sprains and strains, followed by fractures and contusions (bruises). It’s a sport that demands tight turns, jumps with little wind-up, and quickly generated power shots, all of which inevitably wear on sensitive body parts like fingers, knees, shoulders, and wrist joints. Intensive practice can also lead to muscle pain and cramping.

In this post, we’ll go over how some of the most common volleyball injuries are acquired, their symptoms, and how cannabidiol (CBD) can help.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of two major cannabinoids in cannabis plants; the other being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Though these two cannabinoids have many health-positive properties in common, CBD has leapt in popularity among athletes because of its lack of psychoactivity. This means that it won’t cause delayed motor response or impair one’s ability to make sound, split-second judgements like THC. This is why the World Anti-Doping Agency formally removed CBD from its Prohibited List in 2018.

CBD is also available in a wide range of forms and concentrations. For non-localized treatment, CBD drops and edibles are good options, but if your goal is to soothe muscle or joint pain, it might be better to try a freeze roller or CBD-infused recovery balm.

The Most Common Volleyball Injuries

Volleyball is a fast-paced sport that requires near instant decisions and reactions. The most common type of injury in volleyball is a sprain or strain, typically around the knee. Below are 4 of the most common types of injuries, along with some of their symptoms and causes.

  • Jumper’s Knee, or patellar tendonitis, occurs because the repetitive jumping and landing involved in volleyball can lead to pain, inflammation, and even tears in the patellar tendon. There are also knee injuries to consider, which can occur when a player lands awkwardly after a jump. Jumper’s knee usually starts out as a dull ache in the front of the knee. It may get worse with activity, especially if there is repetitive jumping or landing. The pain may be sharp or stabbing and can make it difficult to walk, run, or even stand for long periods of time. You may also notice swelling and tenderness around the patellar tendon.
  • Ankle Sprains are one of the most common volleyball-related injuries and often occur when a player inverts or rolls their ankle, which can happen when a player lands on another player’s foot. This type of injury is usually the result of an unnatural movement of the ankle, such as when you land on an outstretched foot after a jump. Ankle injuries can range from mild to severe and can cause pain, swelling, bruising, and limited mobility.
  • Shoulder Instability can be caused by repetitive overhead motions of the arm, such as those used in playing volleyball. The condition is marked by a feeling of looseness or instability in the shoulder joint, and may be accompanied by pain and/or weakness. Aside from repetitive overhead motions of the arm, another cause is weakness in the muscles that support the shoulder joint, such as the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Finger Injuries are a common injury in volleyball and can be very painful. The most common finger injury in volleyball is a jammed finger. A jammed finger occurs when the finger is hit by the ball and bends back too far, or if the joint is knocked out of alignment, causing the tendons and ligaments to tear. This can be very painful and sometimes requires surgery, but there are many cases where a minor realignment and finger splint are sufficient.

How CBD Can Help

The injuries one can get from intense games of volleyball can require a hospital visit if they’re severe, but if they can be treated at home, CBD has demonstrable properties that can help facilitate the healing process and make it more comfortable.

CBD works by communicating with the brain directly through the endocannabinoid system, via the CB1 receptors (present in the central nervous system) and CB2 receptors (can be found in peripheral tissues and heavily responsible for the immune system). This is how CBD affects the body’s interpretation and response to internal or external stimuli.

Inflammation

When it comes to sprains and other minor sports injuries, the best remedy is often time and rest — but the primary cause of discomfort or pain is usually the inflammation that follows. Inflammation is just the body’s response to tissue damage, in that it’s a biological response or attempt to cushion the injured area.

Though this can be a good thing, the inflammation (swelling) in an area can sometimes put pressure on nerves (causing sharp pain or loss of sensation) and affect quality of life due to limited mobility. CBD is a proven and natural anti-inflammatory compound, because of its access to CB2 receptors, that has low risk of allergic or adverse reactions.

Pain Relief

A degree of pain always goes hand-in-hand with athletic training. This can come from pulled muscles or minor muscle tears from intense training, sprained joints, or nerve impingement. If the injury isn’t very severe, a couple days of rest is usually all the body needs to heal. CBD is a natural analgesic that many professional athletes have begun preferring over conventionally prescribed opioids because it has “comparable efficacy with a better safety profile.”

Facilitates Blood Circulation

Blood is what transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, it also carries all the old blood and toxins away from damaged areas, allowing the tissue to get replenished with fresh blood and oxygen. This is why good blood circulation is key to healing injuries efficiently. According to an LA Weekly article, “numerous studies have found that CBD can help in improving blood flow through the arteries and lower blood pressure.”

CBD is a compound that can help with injury management when they are minor in nature, and can be treated at home. If you think you may have suffered a serious injury, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the risk of long-term damage.