shutterstock_1723848115_2jo0GfW..jpeg (shutterstock_1723848115.webp)Playing basketball can be a great way to stay fit and have fun, and there’s no better time than amid March Madness to get involved in basketball season. However, it's important to note that there are some serious injuries that basketball players are at risk for if not prevented properly. Basketball injury prevention starts at the very beginning of the season, with a thorough warm-up, consistent stretching routine, and other strategies to prepare your body for the physical demands of the sport. However, many athletes wait until it is too late to implement these injury prevention strategies. That's why we've outlined some common basketball injuries and how you can prevent them this season.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are unfortunately a very common injury suffered by basketball players. This is especially true for the jumper's knee, known medically as patellar tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the tendon connecting to the kneecap due to overuse and poor technique during shooting. Although one might think that all basketball injuries happen in the heat of a game or practice, most basketball knee injuries occur during off-court training due to repetitive movements such as running, weight lifting, and jumping drills. That's why practicing proper form while playing basketball and focusing on injury prevention is imperative to lowering the risk of knee injuries.

Ankle Sprains

Playing basketball carries its risks, and ankle sprains are no exception. These painful ankle injuries occur when the ankle is overstretched, causing ligaments to tear or stretch too far. Since the ankle area is so susceptible to harm during stops, jumps, and turns, it’s important to take precautions to prevent ankle injuries. Wearing ankle guards and ankle braces can help protect against them, and ankle strengthening exercises such as calf raises or ankle circles can be beneficial for muscular strength and endurance. It’s also helpful to make sure your shoes have appropriate grip and cushioning while playing on a court.

Wrist Injuries

As anyone who plays basketball knows, jammed fingers and wrist injuries are common ailments of the sport. While they may seem like small ailments, they can quickly become serious injuries. Even a jammed finger, like when you jam someone’s hand when trying to make a move, can lead to a more serious wrist injury if it is not properly taken care of right away.

A few simple preventative measures can help you avoid common basketball wrist injuries. Consider wearing supportive braces that let you move freely, yet keep your wrists strong. DSimpleexercises and stretches that focus on strengthening your wrist muscles can also help prevent painful injuries While these options may not be able to completely prevent wrist problems, they are ways to minimize the risk. So next time you’re out on the court, consider taking a few extra precautions.

Achilles Tears

Achilles tears are a common injury among basketball players, injury prevention should be a priority for anyone playing the sport. An Achilles tear occurs when the tendon running along the back of the ankle and calf is damaged, overstretched, or even ruptured. Such damage can be caused by something as small as an overly-ambitious jump, so injury prevention should begin with proper warming up, cooling down, and stretching before and after practice. Additionally, since it is typically caused by stress or wear placed upon the tendon itself, it's important to make sure your footwear is suited for proper protection as well as court traction.

Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries are especially common in sports like basketball. These types of injuries occur when the athlete has done too much without taking a break - often as a result of excessive practice or too much playing time in one session. Common basketball overuse injuries include shoulder pain, shin splints, and knee tendinitis. To keep aches and pains away, it's important to make sure your body is getting enough rest and recovery time between practices, competitions, and scrimmages. Limiting play time per session and stretching before and after any activity are effective injury prevention methods as they can help minimize stress on muscles, bones, and joints.

By following the advice of the GPOA orthopaedic specialists, basketball players can be more prepared to face the physical demands of their sport and minimize the risk of injury. With a little bit of preparation and precaution, you can help ensure that you're able to play your best every game.

If you have suffered an injury this season, don't hesitate to seek treatment. No matter what is ailing you, Greater Pittsburgh Orthopaedic Associates is proud to provide both non-surgical and surgical treatments for a variety of injuries. At GPOA, we want our patients to live a life free from pain or injury. Schedule an appointment today for comprehensive orthopaedic care that helps you get back in the game.

With the help of Greater Pittsburgh Orthopaedic Associates, you'll be on your way to reducing your pain and improving your quality of life in no time. Schedule your first appointment with us online today and take one step closer to a healthier, pain-free future.