Which joint groups are at greatest risk of minor injuries for a volleyball player? What remedies can be put into practice to prevent trauma? Dr Tonino Cianfoni answers these questions. Cianfoni has been a physiotherapist for 32 years, part of the national teams of various sports who followed top level athletes of different disciplines and who will explain what countermeasures a volleyball player can take.
"There are two joint groups most affected by taping for those who do volleyball: the hands and ankles”, says Dr Cianfoni. These are the 'weak points' of a volleyball player because "the terminal part of the upper limb is clearly 'the tool' most subjected to stresses from the different fundamentals (serves, spikes and blocks, author's note).
And then there is the ankle which places volleyball in third place among team sports for the incidence of distortions, after basketball and football, with an incidence of 13-14%", explains the physiotherapist.
In order to prevent an injury or to speed up recovery, it is therefore very important to tape the joints at risk.
"As regards the ankle, taping can be both preventive and therapeutic. For preventive taping, products such as Tensoban, Strappal e Tensoplast can be used, whereas the indicated products for therapeutic taping are Tensoban, Tensoplast, Strappal (using a therapeutic tape technique) and Coplus.
Functional taping can be considered soft and deformable supports which protect the capsular-ligaments and tendon-muscle structures.
This type of taping - says Dr. Cianfoni – thanks to its particular characteristics of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, is indicated for mild sports traumas, degrees 0 and 1.
By injury degree '0' we mean when there is a modest swelling and a small haematoma on the external malleolus, there is pre-malleolus lateral pain but there are no ligament tears.
By injury degree '1', we mean a lateral crackling tumefaction with the formation of a haematoma, peroneal-tibial pain and isolated rupture of the Anterior talofibular ligament” (the haematoma which forms is simply the rupture of the peroneal artery). This type of injury can be treated, for example, with "an elastic bandage such as Tensoplast with multiple anchors placed on the back of the foot in order to turn the tarsus outwards: the bandage must be turned from the inside to the outside in order not to compress the saphenous nerve and the musculocutaneous nerve". As concerns the recovery time "this taping is done for two days with related rest and allowing sports on the fourth day".
There is also the possibility of a treatment with a “non-elastic taping, using Strappal, with complete or limited closure on the back of the foot. In order to do this, after having prepared the skin with a razor blade, we must put the ankle in an agamic position, the foot must be kept at a right angle to the leg: this type of bandaging must leave the Achilles tendon free and must be well anchored on both the peroneal and the tibial malleoli, always remembering to start from the medial malleolus towards the lateral side in order not to compress the saphenous nerve and the musculocutaneous nerve", adds Dr Cianfoni.
In addition to the ankle, hand taping is particularly important in volleyball. "In this case, for example as concerns taping the thumb with Strappal, it should be fastened to the metacarpal region so as to limit the abduction of the thumb.
More in general as concerns the fingers, it can be possible to immobilise the injured finger with a tape using a near finger, in this case the taping is carried out by anchoring the injured finger to the near one and between the two it is necessary to insert some padding. At this point the fingers are bound together by two half strips of tape. It should be remembered that circular tape closures should not be made: in fact, half overlapped applied strips should be used because they avoid the so-called 'tourniquet' effect - continues Dr Cianfoni.
As for the middle finger it is always better to remember that the bandaging begins with fastening a circular strip on the wrist and with a small anchor strip on the distal phalanx, then two anchor strips which go from the finger to the wrist and are then fastened again. According to how much more or less you want to block, just increase the various fastening anchors.
Another type of taping is that which supports a single finger. Applying a distal and a proximal anchor strip, a radial and an ulnar harness extending from distal to proximal. The taping ends by applying two semi-circular fixing strips, from the palmar to the ulnar region and another two in the opposite direction, ends Dr Cianfoni.