When you play basketball, not only do you exercise your cardiovascular system but you also exercise your brain by formulating strategies for attack and defence.
But, caution is encouraged when playing any sport and basketball is not an exception. It may seem harmless compared to soccer or football but basketball’s fast pace can lead to injuries. Whether you’re an NBA player being treated by the courtside physiotherapist, or a local college student visiting a Des Moines physician, an injury would be better if avoided.
So, if you want to know what injuries you could incur while playing basketball, and how to avoid them, read on.
1. Foot and ankle injuries
A lot of basketball players often injure their feet and ankles when playing. Some athletes hurt their ankles because they trip on another person when they’re trying to grab the ball, or when they don’t land on their feet properly. Some athletes injure their foot when another player steps on it.
In order to avoid these injuries, invest in the right footwear. Most basketball shoes these days are manufactured to protect against common feet and ankle injuries. Basketball shoes also have effective traction on the soles so that you won’t slip easily. If you want to protect your ankles further you could use muscle tape to stabilize them.
Avoiding your feet being stepped on is nearly impossible. Make sure that your shoes are thick enough to protect your feet from other players.
2. Hip and thigh injuries
Basketball players do a lot of running, pivoting and jumping, and these movements can put some strain on your hips and thighs. You can also damage your hips and thighs if you constantly collide with other players while you’re rebounding.
In order to avoid these injuries, you should stretch frequently. Do some stretching exercises before you play and after. When your muscles are flexible enough there is lesser risk of you over-extending them.
3. Knee injuries
Fortunately, basketball players are not as prone to tearing their ACL like other athletes but sprains are still common in this sport. In order to avoid this injury, you should focus on strengthening your leg muscles. You can practice squats, squat thrusts or a barbell back squat to really work out your legs and your core.
In addition, also wear a knee brace if you think that your knees are prone to injury. This brace will support your knees throughout your game.
4. Hand/wrist/finger injuries
Most basketball players who have been playing for a long time are not as prone to injuring their hands or wrists because they are adept at handling the ball. Some beginners injure their fingers because they don’t know how to properly catch a ball. Some players don’t open their palms enough, so when they catch a basketball the ball hits their fingers at the tip, injuring it. So if you’re new to this game, practice handling a basketball first before you start playing with other people.
These are some of the most common injuries in basketball. Now that you know how to avoid them, you’re more likely to have a fun and safe time playing with your friends.