Basketball could certainly be played free of injuries. It is exciting enough as a game of skill, letting a player display fancy dribbling and footwork along with a precise aim. But the enthusiasm of competition and a lack of protective equipment means that there are many injuries each season.
A survey by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission of players aged five to fourteen found that basketball, surprisingly, led all sports in the annual number of injuries, with 574,000 incidents—more than double those of baseball and over 100,000 more than football.
Using Protective Items at First to Avoid Injuries
There are very few protective items for basketball payers, but these can reduce injuries. A mouth guard will protect the mouth and teeth, and any player wearing glasses should switch to safety glasses.
Knee and elbow pads offer good protection from bruises and abrasions, and ankle supports can be worn to reduce the chance of ankle sprains.
The most important equipment, however, is a good pair of basketball shoes that offer support, fit snugly, and grip the floor tightly without skidding. This can reduce everything from ankle sprains to knee injuries and lower back pain.
And shoes that are not the right size, or that have poor support around the feet and ankles, may cause blisters. So, use better shoes for guarding your feet.
“Doctors will often take X-rays and scans to determine if a player has suffered such serious injuries as a fracture, dislocated shoulder, or concussion.”
A key factor with regard to injuries is the condition of the court. The goals must be adequately padded, and the walls behind them should also be padded and not too close to the basket. The boundary lines should not be near the officials’ table, bleachers, or other structures. The floor must also be clean, without debris, and not slippery. If the game is played outside, the court area should be free of natural hazards, such as holes and rocks, and night games must be properly lit.
Types of Basketball Injuries and Their Treatment
There is a saying that, playing basketball proper way can reduce the injuries, still some injuries are accidental and cannot be avoided. During a game, players should be alert to the danger of collisions, keeping an eye on other players’ movements. Another way of reducing injuries is to play fair, refraining from tripping, pushing, holding, elbowing, blocking, and charging into opponents.
Still, the following types of injury occur due to collisions, rough contact, and falls:
Acute, or acute traumatic, injury
This can be caused by any hard hit during a game, such as a collision with another player or a bad fall. Acute injuries include contusions, abrasions, lacerations, sprains, strains, and fractures. “Contusion” is the medical name for a bruise, which may be bad enough to cause swelling and bleeding in the muscles or other tissues.
An abrasion is a scrape, and a laceration is a cut that is usually deep enough to require stitches. A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament, which is the tissue that supports joints by connecting bones and cartilage.
If a stretch or tear occurs in a muscle or tendon, this is a strain. A fracture involves a crack, break, or shattering of a bone.
Overuse, or chronic, injury
This kind of injury is caused by repeating the same action many times, as when a center rebounds the ball and experiences an ache in her ankles or knees.
This is not as serious as an acute injury, but any chronic problem may become worse during the season, so players should seek medical advice and treatment.
Other Common Injuries in Basketball Game
Basketball requires the active use of the whole body. The lower part is injured most often, but the upper body, including the head, can sustain injuries, particularly in a hard fall. Common injuries, categorized by areas of the body, are:
Ankle and foot Injuries During the Game and Training
Because basketball is a game of running and jumping, it places great demands on your feet and ankles. The most common plays, such as quickly cutting around a defensive player or leaping high for a rebound, which may result in an uncertain landing, subject ankles, and feet to continuous stress.
Young players put additional wear and tear on these parts when they play on outdoor concrete courts. The strenuous action on any court can result in ankle sprains, heel bruises, and fractures.
A sprain that severely stretches the ligaments of the outside ankle is fairly common in basketball because players make rapid changes in direction. You will feel immediate pain and sometimes hear a crack when a tear occurs.
Treatment of Ankle Injuries
Any sprain will be followed by swelling, and a trainer or coach will apply ice to the ankle when the player returns to the bench.
As soon as possible, begin a treatment program known as R.I.C.E., which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Put the ice in a plastic bag, lay a towel on the injured ankle, and put the ice on the towel. Never place ice directly on the injured area.
Do this for about twenty minutes at a time, then repeat every two hours. Compression involves applying pressure to the ankle with an elastic bandage, making sure it is not tight enough to restrict circulation.
Finally, elevate the ankle above heart level as much as possible. To provide support and prevent a recurrence of the injury, tape the ankle or use an ankle brace. A mild sprain should heal in about a week; severe ones can take up to six weeks.
Heel Bruise During the Leaps and Treatment
A heel bruise can happen when a player leaps for the ball and lands incorrectly on the base of his heel instead of his toes. Poorly fitting shoes may also bruise the heels where the Achilles tendon attaches the back of the heel to the muscles of the calf of the leg. Achilles tendonitis, in which the tendon becomes inflamed, is a common injury.
To treat heel bruises, follow the R.I.C.E. program and wear a doughnut-shaped felt pad on the bruised area.
Fracture to a Foot Bone and Treatment
A fracture to a foot bone is common when a player falls or when another competitor land on her foot, especially during rebounds. A bone can also develop tiny cracks from overuse, such as the running and leaping required by the game.
And this is A sprained ankle receives quick treatment with ice, which helps to relieve the swelling and pain. It is part of the R.I.C.E. treatment of rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
The injured player should see a physician, who will take an X-ray. To heal a fracture, rest, in particular, is important, so follow the R.I.C.E. method and use a brace.
Rehabilitation for these Injuries
The recovery period after an injury may take several weeks or even months. Once the pain has subsided, you might feel completely fit, but follow your doctor’s advice about changes to your athletic activity or even time away from the game.
Such injuries as sprained ankles and dislocated shoulders can quickly return if you reenter competition too soon. And even after rehabilitation, an injured area may begin to hurt again during a game. If so, stop immediately and tell your doctor.
Depending on how badly you are injured, your road back to fitness may include physical therapy or ultrasound to the injured area. Rehabilitation will also include an exercise program because an injury will cause you to lose strength.
(If, for example, you wear a cast on your arm or leg for about six weeks, you may lose up to 40 percent of the strength you had in that arm or leg before the injury.) Recommended exercises may include swimming or workouts on gym equipment, such as a rowing machine.
Basketball Knee Injury and Its Treatment
Knee injuries are more serious than those of the ankle and foot. Many professional basketball players have suffered severe knee injuries that have shortened their careers. Knee injuries also happen to the teens who play using the portable basketball hoops. So, it is a much common factor.
The game puts excessive tension on the knees and legs, especially when twisting the body while the feet are planted. Concrete or poor court surfaces increase the hard jamming of the knee bones.
Quick turns, collisions, and falls cause sprains and strains of the knee, as well as cartilage injuries and dislocated kneecaps. Overuse can also put too much stress on the knees and cause tendonitis.
A knee sprain involves a painful ligament stretch or tear, which can cause a snapping or popping sound. This often happens to the anterior cruciate ligament (A.C.L.) inside the knee joint, a ligament that protects the knee from too much forward and backward movement.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has found that female basketball players aged fifteen to twenty-five years suffer this injury about two to four times more often than male players.
Treatment of Knee Strains
Use the R.I.C.E. treatment for the sprains, and a splint or even crutches if necessary. For a player who wants to continue on to college or professional basketball, surgery is often recommended.
Especially, to repair the A.C.L. Knee strains to muscles or tendons may produce similar symptoms to a sprain. Also, it might also show bruises. Strains, too, will respond to the R.I.C.E. program.
Cartilage Injuries and Remedies in Basketball
Cartilage injuries can happen when a player has a leg firmly on the court and the knee is twisted hard.
The cartilage breaks off from the knee bone, causing swelling and pain. The knee will develop stiffness and popping sensations.
And it might be difficult to extend the leg because of the knee locks. Players who are still growing are more likely to suffer this injury. About one-third of these injuries will heal with rest, although it may also be necessary to wear a cast for several weeks.
Usually, however, surgery is required in older teens and adults.
Dislocation of the Kneecap
A hard blow, such as falling to the court, can cause a dislocated kneecap, or patella. This movable bone at the front of the knee is pushed sideways, causing swelling and much pain.
A bulge can develop on the side of the knee, and walking may be affected.
Apart from the R.I.C.E. treatment, the kneecap may have to be reset by a physician, and the player may need to wear a brace to prevent a recurrence of the injury.
Tendonitis of the knee
Tendonitis of the knee is an inflammation of a tendon, especially the one that connects the kneecap to the thigh bone. It is sometimes called “jumper’s knee” and is an overuse injury caused by running and jumping, which stretches the tendon.
This causes swelling and pain when walking, bending the knee, or trying to lift or extend the leg. Again, R.I.C.E. is the best treatment.