Basketball is a very strenuous sport with plenty of quick bursts of sprinting, jumping, swatting, and little bit of shoving to get at the ball. Obviously, there is some risk of injury with such a physical game.
Here are some common basketball injuries and tips to prevent them:
- Ankle sprains: These occur if the foot rolls outward or inward when making sudden changes in direction while running. Treatment of ankle sprains will involve rest, icing, compression, and elevation (RICE therapy) of the ankle.
- Achilles tendonitis: The Achilles tendon which attaches your calf muscle to the heel can become inflamed with repeated jumping. Treatment would involve RICE therapy and taping of the ankle to prevent exacerbating the condition.
- Patellar tendonitis: Also known as ‘Jumper’s Knee’, the condition is characterized by pain just below the kneecap. The treatment will involve rest, pain medications, use of a knee brace, and stretching of the muscles around the knee to improve flexibility.
- ACL injury: The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a very important stabilizer of the knee joint. It can be injured when a player suddenly deaccelerates, performs cutting movements, or lands awkwardly from a jump. A severe ACL tear may require surgical reattachment of the ligament to bone.
- Muscle strains: A muscle strain is caused by placing a very heavy load on the muscle resulting in it being overstretched or torn. In case of an acute injury there may be a sensation of the muscle popping.
By being careful to observe the following precautions, you may be able to prevent most of the injuries mentioned above:
- Play in a safe environment: Check the basketball court for slippery surfaces or debris and avoid playing in extreme weather conditions or in poor lighting.
- strong>Use the right equipment: Wear well-fitting shoes and use protective gear such as ankle supports, knee braces, elbow pads, mouth guards, etc.
- strong>Warmup: Prior to a game, spend a few minutes doing some light activity to warm up stiff muscles and joints.
- strong>Focus of technique: Learning the correct way to throw and catch the ball while passing and scoring will help prevent finger and wrist injuries or collisions with other players.
- strong>Stay well hydrated: Even mild dehydration can hurt your athletic performance increasing your risk for injury. Have a sports drink or an 8 oz glass of water before the game and every 20 minutes thereafter.
- strong>Avoid overuse injury: Getting enough rest between games is the key to avoiding overuse injuries. A mild soreness in your muscles and joints may be present after a game, but if the condition keeps getting worse with every game you play, then it may be time to take a couple of days or weeks off until you have fully recovered.
The physicians of The Carrell Clinic™ are committed to providing the highest level of orthopedic care in Frisco & Dallas, Texas. Book an appointment with us today.