Philippe Landreau*, Lior Laver, Romain Seil, Nebojsa Popovic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Handball is a high intensity team sport with a large number of actions requiring skill, impulsiveness but also endurance. The physical demand is high in handball as this is a high intensity team sport with a lot of contact. These modalities explain the high risk of trauma. There are three main high-risk mechanisms for the handball player: throwing, contact, and landing. These mechanisms can lead to acute injuries or cause repetitive microtraumas with overuse injuries. Handball is one of the sports with the highest risk of injuries. The most common types of acute injuries in handball are contusions, strains, and sprains. The knee and ankle are the most common sites for acute injuries, while overuse problems primarily affect the knee, lower leg, and shoulder. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are particularly frequent, they often occur while performing a cutting movement or on landing from a jump without direct body contact. There is a gender difference in ACL injury incidence in handball, with female players suffering four to six times more often than the male athletes. Shoulder injuries are common in the practice of handball. They are caused by repetitive overhead activities leading to overuse injuries rather than by single traumatic mechanism, leading to internal impingement, cuff tendinopathies, long head of biceps pathology, and scapula dyskinesia. The handball elbow is specific and frequent as well with two main patterns: the field player elbow with lesions due to the repetitive throwing movements and valgus stresses and the goalkeeper elbow with repetitive hyperextension. The prevention of injuries in handball, particularly in the field of ACL ruptures and chronic shoulder injuries, has grown considerably in recent years and has already shown its effectiveness by implementing neuromuscular training and structured warm-up programs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpecific Sports-Related Injuries
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030663216
ISBN (Print)9783030663209
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Handball
  • Handball elbow
  • Injury prevention
  • Throwing shoulder injuries


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