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How to prevent knee injuries in basketball
How to avoid Basketball Knee Injuries?
It seems like we are living in the golden age of basketball. We all “Love this game!” The NBA All-Star euphoria is exciting for everyone, especially during this time of the year, when the playoffs in both the Western and Eastern Conference are about to happen.
If you have ever played basketball, you know that we are talking about a fast-moving, exciting sport that is actually fun to play. However, there is one not-so-fun aspect of the game, and that is the high risk of knee injuries. Statistics have shown that basketball is the fourth leading cause of injury in the field of sports. It’s in the nature of the sport. All the running, jumping, outstretching, sudden stops, cutting side to side, puts an immense pressure on your knees, and as a result of that pressure, the knees can be unstable and prone to painful injuries.
Given these points, a conclusion that basketball is a dangerous sport comes naturally. However, as long as you understand where the risks come from and you learn how to prevent a severe knee injury, you can both play this exhilarating sport, and have perfectly healthy, protected knees.
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The first step toward an enjoyable game of basketball is to learn what the potential knee injuries are and understand how to prevent them from happening.
What are the most common basketball knee injuries?
Knee sprains and strains
Knee sprains are injuries to the ligaments that occur when the knee is overstretched. In basketball, overstretching happens during a sudden stop while running, or when making a rapid change in direction. These movements are affecting the ligaments that join the bones together, making them weaker, overstretched and even prone to tears. The most common knee sprain involves an ACL tear, which causes pain and instability of the knee.
A proper knee sprain treatment usually involves an immobilization of the knee for a short time, which allows the knee joint to keep still, and the ligaments to heal. If the knee sprain is more severe and involves an ACL tear, then anti-inflammatory medications are required. For some players, ACL surgery might be the only treatment available.
On the other hand, knee strains are an injury to the tendons – the tissues that attach the muscles to the bones. Knee strains are a result of an overuse of the knee, and usually, cause bruising around the injured area.
The most common type of knee strain is the patellar tendonitis, widely known as Jumper’s knee. This is an inflammatory condition that causes pain in the front of the knee. Jumper’s knee is a very common condition among basketball players because their constant jumping puts a lot of pressure on the tendons.
The usual treatments for knee strains include a combination of anti-inflammatory medications and exercises. Corticosteroid or platelet-rich-plasma injections may also be used to treat the tendon inflammation.
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The most common causes of meniscus tears are injuries or trauma to the knee. In basketball, meniscus tears occur when players twist their knees suddenly and awkwardly. Due to the lack of blood supply in the meniscus, these injuries can be difficult to heal and, if not treated properly, they may worsen over time.
If the meniscus tears are minor, they can be successfully treated with the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. For more severe tears arthroscopic knee surgery may be needed. The knee arthroscopy has a fast recovery period, and players can be back to the basketball court in no time.
How to prevent knee injuries and enjoy the game?
First of all, don’t try the tricks that NBA legends use on the court. Yes, they’re exciting when we see them on TV, but the knee strength and stamina of professional athletes are at a much higher level than yours.
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If you are serious about protecting your knee, follow these crucial tips:
Get in good physical shape. This is of extreme importance for not just basketball, but any sport you do, because being fit will help you avoid pain and inflammation. If you haven’t been active for a longer period, start slowly and gradually increase the level of your physical activity. It’s important that your knees are strong before you start playing basketball because they bear all the pressure.
Warm up before you start shooting hoops. Even if you do this in your backyard, make sure your body is ready for the game. Cold muscles are more prone to injuries. A 10 minute warm up is always a good idea.
Use a good playing technique. Make sure you focus on your movements and positions. Open your eyes and watch if other players are running into you.
Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink enough water or fresh juices during the game, and afterwards. Your body needs the fluids to effectively cool itself down after the sweating and evaporation you experienced during the game. This impacts the elasticity of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Play on a dry, clean field. Make sure there are no bumps or holes on the surface of the court.
After you finish the game, gently stretch your body. After all the running and jumping, you need to let the body know that it will cool down. Stretching helps the muscles, ligaments and tendons relax, thus preventing inflammation and soreness.
If you start feeling any pain, or if your knees start feeling weird, stop! Before you continue with the game, make sure your knees feel good and strong. Ignoring the signs of an injury can lead to developing a serious knee condition.
Remember, playing basketball should feel good, relaxing, and fun, and your knees should become stronger as a result of your physical activity. If there is anything that feels strange in your knee, or you hear a popping sound when you move, make sure you see an orthopedic doctor that can thoroughly examine your knee and, if necessary, recommend a correct course of treatment.
Basketball Knee Injury: Bullet Proof Your Knees
Basketball Knee Injury: Bullet Proof Your Knees
Post author:The Basketball Doctors
Post published:March 25, 2020
In basketball, lower body injuries are very common and affect the ability for athletes to play during the season. Studies have shown that up to 66% of basketball injuries occur in the lower body. Also, knee injuries are the second most common injury in all levels of play in basketball. Knee injuries can be nagging and result in increased time off; furthermore, knee injuries can be caused by multiple factors: trauma, overuse, and non-contact.
To maintain knee health and decrease the risk for knee injuries, one must address issues above and below the knee joint. In other words, we have to look at the hips and the ankles. For that reason, we should have good hip control with glute strength, and normal ankle mobility to decrease unnecessary stress on the knee. With that in mind, here are our top 3 exercises that address the 3 joints (ankle, knee, and hip) to bullet proof knees.
Glute Strength is an important factor for knee health since it controls motions at the hip. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the most common injuries in basketball, especially for the female athlete. Studies have shown that up to 64% of ACL injuries are a result of a non-contact incident. A non-contact ACL injury occurs when the bones (the tibia and femur) twist opposite each other, or over extending. Therefore, having glute strength to help control the femur against twisting or over extending is crucial.
One of our top exercises for glute strength is the standing fire hydrant. The standing fire hydrant with a loop forces the stance leg to prevent femoral internal rotation and adduction, which is what we don’t want. Finally, this exercise is performed for static holds to help improve the mind-muscle connection.
Another common basketball injury is patellar tendinopathy, or better known as jumper’s knee. It is usually an overuse injury due to excessive jumping and lack of quadriceps strength. One of our favorite exercises that we use to help decrease the risk for patellar tendinopathy is the Spanish squat. The Spanish squat allows us to load the quadricep muscle while maintaining a vertical shin. As a result, we are able to activate the quadriceps muscle more without compressing the patellofemoral joint.
One of the biggest culprits we see for knee injuries is decreased ankle mobility. Studies have shown that following ankle injuries, the ability to dorsiflex (bend) the ankle is decreased if not treated. Consequently, the decreased dorsiflexion leads to changes in the loading of the Achilles’ tendon and increases the demand of the knee joint to compensate for the lack of motion at the ankle. Ankle range of motion is commonly limited by muscle or joint restrictions. In this video, we will go over how to perform self mobilization to help decrease joint restrictions at the ankle and help improve ankle dorsiflexion range of motion.
Bird, Stephen; Markwick, William. Musculoskeletal screening and functional testing: Considerations for basketball players. 2016 Powers, Christopher. Functional Biomechanics of the lower quarter. 2017 Rudavsky, Aliza et al. Physiotherapy management of patellar tendinopathy. 2014 Terada Masufmi, Pietrosime Brian and Gribble Phillip. Therapeutic Interventions for Increasing ankle dorsiflexion after ankle sprain: A systematic review. 2013
The 5 Most Common Basketball Injuries and How to Prevent Them
We'll take a look at the types of injuries most common among basketball players according to the National Athletic Coaches Association report to see what the numbers can tell us. As with most sports, sprains, deformities, and common injuries are all the nasty things that can happen, but this information doesn't tell you the interesting details. Let's take a closer look at what injuries basketball players usually get and what to do to avoid them.
1. Foot/ankle injuries
As stated in the report, lower extremity injuries were the most common, with foot or ankle injuries considered the most serious problems. This could have happened after an ankle slip or an awkward jump after a ball. Also, the player can accidentally stumble. Naturally, basketball makes athletes more prone to this kind of injury.
Prevention: To prevent injury to the ankle, it must be supported. Before entering the playground, make sure your shoes are suitable for this activity. Closed basketball shoes help prevent slipping on smooth playground surfaces. In general, a good pair of basketball shoes will create a higher profile and better ankle support. It will not be superfluous to tape the leg with a special tape to provide additional preventive measures. This method is recommended for people prone to ankle injuries.
2. Hip and calf injuries
Spinning, running, jumping and bouncing put extra strain on the legs and hips, making players vulnerable to various kinds of injury. Hip sprains and bruises can occur from contact with the ground or from overstretching of the ligaments and muscles.
How to Prevent: Some contact injuries cannot be prevented, but there is no doubt that stretching has always been a good start to any workout or game. The more elastic your muscles and tendons are, the less likely you are to overstretch them and injure yourself while playing. Stretching your thighs is the key to warming up before a workout or game.
3. Knee Injuries
Severe injuries such as ACL tears are not common in basketball. But knee injuries, which are mostly minor sprains and deformities, still rank third on the list of the most common injuries in basketball.
Prevention: Strengthening the leg muscles will help create good support for the knees, so this is where going to the gym can really help. And, as mentioned above, never forget to stretch well before training and playing. If you know that you have problems with your knees, that you are prone to frequent injuries, it would be a good idea to put on a knee brace or fix a brace around your knee.
4. Wrist/Hand Injuries
In fact, it is surprising that these parts of the body are not the most vulnerable to injury, given that the game is played mainly with the hands. But according to the study, only about 11% of basketball injuries occur in the wrist, hand, or forearm.
Prevention: keep hands and wrists healthy and in good physical condition. Be sure to make sure that the ball goes straight into your hands when someone makes a strong pass to you. If you lose visual contact with the ball just before catching it, you can easily injure your fingers. Also, always be careful on the court and avoid clashes of the hands with other players. The less you deal with them, the better. Although, of course, in the context of basketball, this advice seems ridiculous.
5. Head/Face Injuries
When players hit their heads or an unintentional elbow to the face occurs, it is not funny at all. Hitting the ball in the face, of course, is less traumatic, but still unpleasant and also creates an awkward situation.
How to prevent: The most important task is to be able to recognize the symptoms of a concussion. There are no methods to avoid contact with the head, but if it does occur, you need to look at your condition and not miss the first symptoms. If there are even the slightest signs of a concussion, you should immediately seek help from a professional.
There is one more conclusion made after studying the report. It consists in the fact that approximately 60% of injuries occur in the second half of the game. This suggests that fatigue has a significant impact. So, in addition to the prevention mentioned above, always work on staying in great shape. Running a few extra miles at the gym or in the park is certainly not a lot of fun for many basketball players, but it will help you be physically fitter than your opponent in the second half, and, more importantly, it can simply protect you from injury.
Injuries in basketball - types of injuries, their causes and prevention
According to statistics, every third basketball player during his sports career faces five minor, two moderate and one severe injuries. Injuries in basketball can put a player out of action for a long time, and therefore special attention in this sport should be paid to the prevention of player injuries.
Consider what kind of injuries in basketball, and what rules must be followed to avoid them.
The most common injuries when playing basketball
Abrasions and bruises are, of course, the most common injuries when playing basketball. Such injuries do not require specialized treatment and it is enough for the player to treat the wound and, if necessary, apply a cold compress. But there are more serious injuries in this sport.
Most common basketball injuries and first aid:
Anterior cruciate ligament tear. With this injury, the player's knee loses stability and may move to the side. The main causes of ACL rupture are abrupt stop, unsuccessful landing and lateral movement. First aid for torn ligaments - applying cold to prevent swelling and immobilize the joint. The victim must be urgently taken to the hospital for fixation of the joint. In case of untimely access to a doctor, treatment is carried out surgically;
Ankle sprain. The main cause of a sprain is a sudden change in direction of movement, in which the foot turns inward or outward. In case of sprain of the ankle joint, first aid consists in applying cold to the injury site and complete rest for 48 hours in the position of the leg above the level of the body with the imposition of a fixing bandage. After the swelling is reduced, the athlete is required to wear a fixing bandage until complete recovery;
Achilles tendonitis. Achilles tendon injuries are the most common injuries in basketball. Injuries occur when there is excessive stress on the foot while jumping. With a sharp pain in the heel area, it is required to immediately provide the athlete with peace and apply cold. Next, the victim must be shown to the doctor. Treatment consists in fixing the leg until complete recovery, followed by rehabilitation;
Finger injuries. Despite the fact that in basketball the fingers receive a significant load, their injuries account for only about 11% of all injuries. Most often, players experience finger sprains and joint damage, but there are also fractures. First aid in case of damage to the finger - cold and see a doctor. For proper diagnosis and adequate treatment, an x-ray of the injured finger is required;
Head injuries. Players receive such damage during collisions and falls. Most often, these are mild concussions. Even with a slight concussion, the victim must be taken to a medical facility. The recovery period depends on the severity of the injury and includes complete rest and taking prescribed medications.
Types of injuries in basketball
There are three main types of injuries in basketball, as in any sport, they are:
Acute. Such damage occurs when a sudden sharp overload of muscles or joints. In case of acute injury, the victim must be taken to the doctor as soon as possible. With timely medical care, complete recovery occurs in 90% of cases;
Chronic. Such types of injuries in basketball are most often the result of improper treatment, as well as the player entering the field contrary to the recommendations of doctors. Chronic injuries are difficult to treat and it is not uncommon for a player to require surgery;
Fatigue. Fatigue damage occurs due to the constant load on certain muscle groups as a result of monotonous movements. The most common injury in basketball players is the knee and ankle.
Causes of injuries in basketball
Recent studies have shown that the causes of injuries in basketball often depend on the age category of players. For example, in children's basketball, craniocerebral injuries, bruises and fractures most often occur, while chronic and fatigue injuries predominate among representatives of adult basketball.
Causes of childhood injuries:
Violation of training schedule and technique;
Neglect of warm-up and stretching;
Shortcomings in the organization of competitions;
Poor equipment of sports halls.
Causes of adult injury:
Early return to play after illness;
Violation of the training regimen;
Rudeness during a duel;
Overwork and overtraining.
These are the main causes of injuries in basketball, but there are also accidents that can lead to serious injuries, even if the player is disciplined and strictly follows all the recommendations of the coach.
That is why every basketball player should have reliable sports insurance. Athletes' insurance is a mandatory condition in professional sports; without a policy, an athlete cannot be allowed to participate in training camps and competitions. Particular attention should be paid to children's insurance.
In the insurance calculator you can calculate the cost of child insurance with 24/7 coverage and worldwide coverage.
Injury prevention in basketball
Every athlete should know how to avoid injuries in basketball, because following simple rules will help maintain health and build a successful sports career.
Accident prevention in basketball includes:
Mandatory warm-up before training;
Compliance with the regime of loads and rest;
Compliance with the recommendations of the doctor in case of injury;
Timely visit to the doctor;
Compliance with the drinking regimen;
Compliance with the diet;
Fulfillment of all instructions of the coach;
Acquisition of high-quality sportswear;
Keeping a sports diary to track the results of classes.