improve your volleyball game without tapeServing, spiking, jumping, bumping, setting, digging and blocking — volleyball can be tough on your body and even tougher on your fingers. In volleyball, players strike the ball with their hands and use their fingertips to set and block the ball so it is of no surprise that finger injuries are rampant in this sport. For all the excitement that goes along with a game of volleyball, every player runs the risk of injury and your fingers may be the most vulnerable. Learn about the most common volleyball finger injuries and how you can help protect yourself both preventively and post injury.

The most common finger injuries in volleyball include bone fractures, joint dislocations, and tendon/ligament tears caused from the slightest miscalculation of the ball, body or ground.

If you’re unable to bend the finger, consultation with your doctor or athletic trainer is advised. Treatment can vary significantly depending on the injury. The specific treatment of each injury depends on the nature of the injury, but some tendon injuries and fractures in the hand can require surgery. No laughing matter, you’re sidelined off the court for months, rehab, medical bills and maybe even an inability to do your day job. But typically athletes do whatever they have to do to keep playing. In the past, this involved taping your fingers together as a splint, or buddy taping. It was the only option and it got the job done EXCEPT it significantly reduces mobility in the fingers due to the lack of elasticity in the tape.

Today with the progress of wearable technology, Grappz™ finger support compression gloves, solve the problem that athletic tape could not. Grappz™ offers finger protection without compromising mobility and they’re as efficient as wearing a compression sleeve. Unlike tape, the 4-way stretch compression fabric has elasticity, allowing your fingers to fully retract and extend, providing mobility to maneuver the ball better than tape. But the compression still tightly conjoins or ‘buddy tapes’ those 2 fingers together as a splint for support. They’re also quick and easy to apply, machine washable and there’s no sticky residue. They will never slip off and actually support the healing process due to all the benefits of compression fabric. Grappz™ also provides finger synergy, increasing your grip strength and performance. You can wear Grappz™ to play volleyball either to help prevent a finger injury or as a support after you’ve already sustained one. Below are the details of each injury:

Injury:

Fracture/Break

Affects:

Bone

Description:

Broken finger bone. The four front digits have three bones called the phalanges: proximal (closest) phalanx, middle phalanx, and distal (furthest) phalanx. In a fracture, the phalanx itself breaks. Fractures most likely also come with other injuries including tendon and ligament damage.
Causes: Crushing miscalculated impact from explosive collision or ball strike. A direct impact to a fingertip from another body part or Volleyball to breaking point.

Aftermath:

Get to a doctor for realignment and possible further treatment then:
1. Wear a finger splint (Complete immobilization of the whole finger)
Or
2.Tape fractured finger to adjacent finger (buddy taping) to provide splint like support but with some mobility.

Injury:

Finger Dislocation

Affects:

Finger Joint/Knuckle

Description:

A dislocation occurs when a bone is pushed/pulled out of alignment from its joints. Directional impact to the bone pushes the finger in a direction where it is not meant to bend.

Causes:

Direct impact to a single finger. An explosive collision onto a hard body part or ground. Volleyball hitting a single finger during bump, set, spike or serve.
Aftermath: Joint must be reset. Swelling of the joint. Once the joint is dislocated it is susceptible to frequent dislocations moving forward. Physical therapy and/or stability exercises are required to retain mobility, stability and strength. R.I.C.E.

Injury:

Tendon/Ligament tear

Affects:

Finger Ligament or tendon

Description:

Sprains and finger Jams are the stretching and tearing of a ligament –tough bands of tissue that connects two bones together in joints. Sprains or hypertensions are a painful joint alignment injury that is similar but less severe than a dislocation. They are both caused when a joint is extended out of its normal alignment. Hyperextended fingers do not dislocate fully but can cause strain in ligaments and tendons.

Causes:

Using fingers to break a fall in any direction, jammed finger from any directional impact at the tip or against the joint from a volleyball or body part.

Aftermath:

Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. Minimize use and movement during healing.

Injury:

Mallet Finger

Affects:

Tendon

Description:

The inability to extend or straighten end joint of finger without assistance or a lot of pain. Fingers have no muscles; tendons extend from knuckles to tip, allowing for movement. In Mallet finger, the extensor tendon (tendon running along the back of the finger) is torn away from the tip of the finger

Causes:

Stubbing or striking the finger-tip (jamming) causing it to bend backwards.

Aftermath:

You must wear a splint and keep the finger straight at all times! Failure to do so can result in improper healing and the patient will be left with a drooping finger.