With the NBA season well upon us, basketball fans are excited to wear their jerseys and show their wares on the hardcourt, just like their heroes. Although NBA players are professionals,
they suffer injuries when they play. Even if they know how to prevent basketball injuries and wear their protective equipment, accidents do happen.
Before you head to the court for your three-pointers, remember that basketball is a contact sport. And it’s not just the physical contact that you have to be careful; there are injuries from falls, jumps, and overplay.
Why is Injury Prevention Important in Basketball?
Injury prevention in basketball is vital because it reduces the cost of healthcare and keeps players in tip-top shape. Every player in a team is an essential piece of the puzzle. Take away one, and you can’t complete your puzzle. There are preventive measures to reduce the risk of injury to the knee, ankle, and face.
Even a bench player’s role is essential. They can give a breather to starters and save them for the all-important push. And who knows, there might be a hidden talent there, and the critical quality minutes will give him a chance to show his wares.
Looking back to the 2021 NBA season, there were some of the league’s most prominent names who suffered injuries that caused their team’s hope of winning their semi-final matches.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis suffered a groin injury in Game 4, which was re-aggravated in Game 6 as the Suns marched on to the final round. James Harden suffered a hamstring strain in Game 1 and returned in Game 4, but the injury bug bit Irving’s right ankle in Game 4 as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets in an epic 7-game battle. Jamal Murray caught a left ACL tear in a regular game and was out for the season as the Denver Nuggets suffered defeat from the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers in 6 games of the first playoff round.
A healthy team can take advantage of the situation and alter the outcome of the game.
What are the Common Injuries in Basketball?
Playing basketball is fun, but you’re prone to injuries from those daredevil drives and sticky defense from your opponent. It’s normal for players to suffer common injuries in basketball when they’re on the court.
Either a professional or an amateur player suffer this type of injury. An ankle sprain results from the ankle rolling or getting inverted with a popping sound at the time of injury. The affected area swells with bruises all around.
The physical motions of the sport take their toll on the player’s back. Most athletes play with lower back pains.
Basketball players usually experience the pain of a hamstring strain or a pulled hamstring. The muscles get over-stretched too much and tear. Pain can be mild, requiring a short period to heal, or severe which requires operation and crutches afterward.
Players of the sport often suffer knee sprains. Overplaying the ligaments connecting the bones of the knee will result in a knee sprain.
There’s a lot of physical contact in a basketball game and it’s no surprise that players have one or more contusions, bruises on their body.
Although we rarely see concussions in a basketball game, this happens when a player can get a hard foul to the head, affecting his brain. The injured player loses consciousness, suffers dizziness, or vomits.
A finger sprain, or a jammed finger, makes the finger puffy and hard to bend and affect the hand.
Basketball players feel pain running up and down the court and their legs will be extremely sore after jumping.
Since players are at close quarters, they’ll be fighting for every position on the court. Expect elbows swinging, busy hands reaching, and heads swaying. Getting in contact with these active body parts may cause you a poke in the eye, broken nose, or a cut.
ACL, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, tear is a nuisance to any basketball player. You might be injured for an extended period, and an NBA player’s career might be on hold.
Some of the top NBA players who suffered ACL injuries last year and are still bay in the 2022 edition are Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson, and Kawhi Leonard from the Los Angeles Clippers.
Players who overtrain will suffer injuries such as stress fracture and knee pains. The star players are prone to this type of injury with more minutes played.
What Causes Injuries in Basketball?
Basketball is a fun and exciting game to play, especially if you have that spectacular move that can be good for a poster. It is a contact sport and a fast game. When you are on the court, you react based on your instincts, and your opponent and an accident might happen when you come into contact.
We have prepared a list of causes of injuries in basketball that might help you avoid injuries when you play.
1. A vicious crossover or landing on someone else’s feet after a rebound or a layup can break the ankles.
2. You can acquire lumbar strain from repeated jumping, a player landing on your back, or from a fall.
3. Constant running and stopping movements can cause a hamstring strain. The wooden floor on the hardcourt exerts pressure on the hamstring.
4. Jumping, running, or a sudden impact from falling on your knees applies constant pressure on your knees that causes knee sprain.
5. Contusions can be acquired from a hard foul, or accidentally elbowed by an opponent, or from hitting the rim.
6. Concussions may be inflicted by an opponent’s wayward elbow to the head, diving for a loose with the head hitting the floor, or getting hit on the head in a layup.
7. Finger sprain occurs when a player mishandles the ball. Players jam their fingers directly to the ball instead of over it.
8. Worn out or unfit basketball shoes lead to shin splints.
9. Shin splints may develop from constant practice of jump shots. Your muscles cannot manage the force from all your jumps; the bones absorb the stress, which shouldn’t be the case.
10. Poor basketball techniques cause shins.
11. Players fighting for possession of the ball, defending their net, or scoring may suffer facial injuries.
12 Pivoting, cutting, changing direction, or coming in contact with player can cause an ACL tear.
How to Prevent Basketball Injuries?
You can train as much as you want, but it will have no purpose if you suffer an injury. Basketball is a risky game that can result in injuries from minor to major ones. Knowing how to prevent basketball injuries will give you more time to enjoy your favorite game.
1. Visit your doctor to know if you are fit to play.
2. Get basketball shoes with ankle support that provide tons of help for the ankle. Choose one that snugly fits your feet and is not for the looks.
3. Wear socks to avoid skin contact of the feet with the shoes and avoid blisters.
4. Tape your ankle or wear ankle braces before a game for rigidity.
5. A regular workout will keep your muscle groups healthy to avoid hamstring strains.
6. To prevent shin splints, avoid jumping or running in your practice shots. Set shots will do.
7. Watch YouTube videos for the best basketball running and jumping techniques. Constant practice will get you there.
8. Wearing basketball protective gear can minimize injuries.
9. Do warm-up and stretching exercises before a game to provide oxygen to your muscles, increase blood circulation, and gradually raise your heartbeat.
10. Cool down after a game; abruptly stopping will give you dizzy spells.
11. Fabrics made of polyester will absorb and dry sweat faster.
12. A sweatband will prevent sweat from reaching the eyes for a good look at the basket. A wristband will stop hands from getting wet for a good grip of the ball.
13. If you feel pain when training, take a break. Overdoing things will cause injuries stopping you from reaching maximum productivity.
14. Drink frequently to hydrate correctly.
15. Check the condition of the venue to avoid slips or falls and to adjust to the weather condition that may affect your game.
How to Treat Basketball Injuries?
You cannot avoid injuries in a basketball game. Even the great ones in the NBA suffered injuries during their basketball career.
Hands, ankles, and knees are exposed to the dangers of the game. The proper treatment of basketball injuries can get you back on the court in no time.
We have gathered a few facts on the treatment of the most common basketball injuries.
It will take an ankle sprain a few days or months to heal, depending on the severity of the injury and location of the pain. Application of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) method usually takes care of the injury. Severe swelling and pain over the bone will need an X-ray and consultation with a doctor.
Taping the injured finger to an adjacent finger and applying for ice offers relief, and the player can go back to the game. Long-term swelling and pain in the joint, failure to move the finger, weakness or deformity in the finger are symptoms that you need medical assistance immediately.
A knock to the outer side of the knee injures the ligament and can be treated with ice, bracing, and a steady return to mobility. Joint, severe injuries may require operation and a doctor’s clearance before you can return to play.
Temporary stitches to a cut serve as first aid for basketball injuries on the face. It can stop the bleeding, and the application of ice can reduce swelling and pain. After the blood has stopped dripping and the cut is dressed, the player can return to the game.
You can apply ice to an eye that is poked. If the player experiences discomfort and blurs his vision, he needs to see a doctor immediately.
A nose injury resulting in a fracture means that a player is out of the game and straight to the hospital’s ER. Any contact will aggravate the injury.
Most of the basketball players with ACL tears can kiss the season goodbye. If your ACL is poorly torn, your doctor will remove the damaged ligament and replace it with tissue to grow a new one. Physical therapy will facilitate the recovery process, and you’ll be back on the court in about 12 months.
If your injury is minor, you can use the RICE method and crutches to keep the weight off your knee.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Prevent Basketball Injuries
No player would like the hassle of dealing with basketball injuries. Knowing how to prevent basketball injuries will keep you prepared when they do happen.
Basketball is a contact sport with risks involved that can lead to injuries. When you are on the court, you are playing against yourself, your opponent, and you also have to consider the condition of the court.
With preparation, you can enjoy playing your favorite sport with little concern over injury while playing basketball.