March Madness: Preventing Basketball Injuries

Basketball is a thrilling sport to watch and even more thrilling to play, but the fast-paced energy and action that makes the game so exciting also makes it incredibly dangerous sport if you aren’t a careful player.

Some of the most common injuries on the court are ankle sprains, jammed fingers, knee and ligament tearing, deep thigh bruising, facial cuts, and foot fractures. Many of these injuries have quick fixes, some even quick enough to get the player right back in the game, but others can have lasting effects on athletic ability and physical health, leaving the patient in need of physical therapy. So while some injuries sustained during gameplay are easy fixes, you should always take preventative measures against any kind of sports related injury. So here are four easy ways to prevent injury:

1. Warm-up

A good season starts in the off-season. Make sure you are staying healthy, active, and maintaining a balanced and well-rounded fitness program outside of basketball season. Similarly, every good game starts with proper practice and warm-ups, which includes stretching. When you engage “cold” muscles, they are more susceptible to injury than muscles that have been stretched or slowly warmed up for gameplay.

2. Protection as prevention

Make sure you are using the right equipment! It is important to choose basketball shoes that fit snugly, offer support, and are non-skid. They should have have ankle support to reduce the risk of ankle sprain. You can also use protective knee and elbow pads, and a mouth guard.

3. Prepare for injuries

All coaches and players should know that there is a risk of injury any time a player steps on the court and are fully prepared for emergencies. Coaches and players should have first aid knowledge and be able to administer it for minor injuries, such as facial cuts, or minor strains and sprains. Players should also be in an area where at least one person is able to reach medical personnel in case significant injuries occur.

4. Take time to rest

This is more so a problem with younger athletes playing only one sport year round. Overuse injuries are becoming one of the most common injuries among school-age basketball players. Because there is such a focus on the same areas of the body repeatedly for an extended duration of time, it is easy to sustain overuse injuries when one does not diversify the sports they play. To prevent these injuries, avoid playing for more than one sport per season, but be sure to vary the kinds of sports you play year round, ensuring you work different groups of muscles at the proper times.

Have you sustained a basketball injury? Looking for preventative tips and exercises? Find your nearest Foothills location and talk to one of our physical therapists today!

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy