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Common Basketball Injuries and Tips for Prevention

Basketball is the most popular youth sport in the US. A study by the National Athletic Trainers Association found that 22% of male basketball players have an injury that causes them to miss playing time each year. 42% of the time, that injury is to the ankle or foot, making this the most injured area.

Some other common injuries to basketball players include:

Lower Extremity

  • Muscle strains such as a groin pull, quadriceps, hamstring, or calf strain

  • Knee ligament injuries such as ACL, LCL, MCL tears or sprains

  • Ankle sprains, including high ankle sprain

  • Ankle fractures

  • Overuse injuries such as patellar tendonitis, IT band pain, shin splints

Upper Extremity

  • Falls, leading to fractures, dislocation, or sprains of the wrist, elbow, or shoulder

  • Jammed fingers

  • Head

  • Concussion as a result from a collision between head and the ground, usually from falling

Knowledge of the most common types of injuries gives us a place to start thinking about prevention. While not all injuries can be prevented, there are some things parents and players can do to reduce the risk of being injured.

This should include baseline testing of strength, ROM, and a baseline concussion test

  • Make sure you have an adequate base of strength and aerobic fitness

The annual physical mentioned above should identify areas needing addressed here. Your PT or other professional can help design a training a program to address your specific needs

  • Improve your balance and proprioception – this can help reduce the risk of the foot and ankle injuries so common in basketball

This can be accomplished with off-season strength and conditioning as well as participation in injury prevention programs to work on jumping and landing skills

  • Avoid overuse injuries and burnout

Taking time off throughout the season and the year will let the body recover

  • Hydrate adequately before and during practice and games

  • Wear properly fitted shoes

  • Be aware of the environment

Especially when playing basketball on outside courts – the court may not be smooth and even everywhere.

Now that kids are returning to school and summer is winding down, it’s a great time to begin the pre-season training needed to return to basketball safely and without injury. Come see a physical therapist at Functionize Health & Physical Therapy for a musculoskeletal screening. They can help design a training a program to address your specific needs and deficit areas.

Blog provided by APTA Private Practice Section

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