Most Common Basketball Injuries and How to Prevent Them

It’s March Madness!!  I hope you are enjoying all of the college and high school basketball tournament games taking place this month.  It is a great month to be a sports fan!

As an athletic trainer I spend a lot of time working to keep athletes injury-free and to help them rehab from injuries that do occur.  Here are the top 5 most common injuries that occur with basketball participation according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and tips on how to decrease their occurrence.

1. Foot/Ankle Injuries
These injuries are easily the most common seen injuries in basketball.  They include ankle sprains, fractures, and tendonitis.

Prevention: First, make sure you have the appropriate footwear for basketball participation.  Strengthening, balance training, and proper conditioning all help decrease injury risk.

2. Hip/Thigh Injuries
Hip flexor, hamstring, and quadriceps strains are among the most common injuries in basketball.

Prevention: Strengthening, balance training, using proper jumping/landing mechanics, and proper conditioning can decrease injury risk.  Proper warm-up and increasing flexibility can also decrease injury risk.

3. Knee Injuries
Knee injuries including overuse injuries and ligaments sprains/tears have the third highest incidence of occurring in basketball.

Prevention: Once again strengthening, balance training, using proper jumping/landing mechanics, and proper conditioning can decrease injury risk. The use of a proper fitting knee brace may also lessen injury risk.

4. Wrist/Hand Injuries
Wrist and hand injuries account for approximately 11% of basketball injuries occur to the wrist/hand/forearm according to the study.

Prevention: Having good court awareness, hand-eye coordination training, and having proper technique when taking a charge can decrease injury risk.

5. Head/Face Injuries
Injuries to the head and face are hard to prevent.  They include concussions, contusions, nose and eye injuries, and lacerations.

Prevention: The important thing to watch out for here is concussion symptoms and to make sure they are managed by a healthcare professional with concussion management expertise.

One very interesting statistic that was found in the NATA report is that roughly 60% of injuries occur in the second half of games, suggesting that fatigue plays a big part in when injuries are most likely to occur.  Managing playing time throughout a game may play a role in staying injury-free.

If you are experiencing pain from a sports related injury our rehabilitation experts can help!  Visit www.physicaltherapyptc.com/free-consultation/ to request a free consultation and a member of our care team will call you to answer any questions you may have.

 

Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC, ITAT
Athletic Trainer
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

 

March 21st, 2018

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