Volleyball players are at high risk of overuse shoulder injuries, with spike biomechanics a perceived risk factor. This study compared spike kinematics between elite male volleyball players with and without a history of shoulder injuries. Height, mass, maximum jump height, passive shoulder rotation range of motion (ROM), and active trunk ROM were collected on elite players with (13) and without (11) shoulder injury history and were compared using independent samples t tests (P < .05). The average of spike kinematics at impact and range 0.1 s before and after impact during down-the-line and cross-court spike types were compared using linear mixed models in SPSS (P < .01). No differences were detected between the injured and uninjured groups. Thoracic rotation and shoulder abduction at impact and range of shoulder rotation velocity differed between spike types. The ability to tolerate the differing demands of the spike types could be used as return-to-play criteria for injured athletes.
Lara Mitchinson, Amity Campbell (Corresponding Author), Will Gibson, and Diana Hopper are with the School of Physiotherapy and Curtin Health Innovation Research, Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Damian Oldmeadow is with Physiotherapy Solutions, Perth, Australia.