In collaboration with basketball coaches Connoer Jean and Reid Ouse
Basketball as a sport through the years has evolved. Today it's high-scoring, high-speed, and the intensely physical sport. As the game has become professionalized, with eight-figure salaries on offer, the athletes playing basketball have become larger, faster and stronger. And even with ever-improving training regimens and state-of-the-art facilities, injuries are common: occurring at a rate of 6-14 injuries per 1,000 hours played.
Due to the nature of the fast-paced game, it is estimated that 1.6 million injuries occur each year while playing basketball or related to basketball. You may wonder, what is the most common injury in basketball? Most often, injuries involve the joints, elbows, particularly ankles and knees. Before allowing these basketball injury statistics to alarm you, though, be assured that these injuries can often be avoided by taking some preventative measures. Besides being fun and competitive, basketball is great exercise and can have many health benefits. That being said, here are tips how to prevent basketball injuries:
Ideally, basketball injury prevention and training begins three weeks before the start of the season. This allows players to build a base of strength and endurance.
Being aware of any underlying conditions or any potential weakness offers the opportunity for treatment prior to an injury.
to prevent joint injury. Spend time warming up appropriately and stretch muscles. Warming up allows the body the time it needs to be able to respond to nerve signals for quick and efficient actions. This is imperative for basketball, as it involves quick, high-intensity actions.
“The first major mistake that I see players make is not warming up properly. To be honest, I see a ton of players not even warm up at all. Think about the first paragraph. We are asking our body to be able to do a bunch of difficult and explosive movements, and you’re going to repay your body by not warming up? Yikes!
The first thing you should do is learn how to warm up appropriately. Personally, I am not a certified sports performance coach so I try to stay away from advising players on exactly what to do for their warm ups. With that being said, I have sought out various professionals in the industry that have helped me develop a plan
Basketball involves playing at a variety of different levels. Sometimes I am straight up and down and sometimes I have to play low. All of these involve your hips. That is why I spend around 5-10 minutes getting my hips and glutes ready to go. There are several ways that you can do this, but I would encourage every basketball player to have a foam roller to lacrosse ball with them all the time. Those are two great tools to help you get loosened up and ready for competition”. @coachouse
“I find vital to a player’s success is their ability to rest. While I do hold more of an “old-school” mentality when it comes to hard work and fighting through adversity, it is also very important to understand when you need a break, not only physically but mentally.
As a former college coach, we mandated that players were not allowed to touch a basketball for 10-14 days after the season. We understood the importance of taking a break to let your body physically recover, but we also stressed the importance of being mentally rested. We wanted to get the most out of our players, and we knew that if we told them they couldn’t play basketball for two weeks they would be hungry to get in the gym when it was time. That led to healthier players and better workouts” @coachouse
If you have not had enough fluids, your body will not be able to effectively cool itself through sweat and evaporation. A general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid 2 hours before exercise. While you are exercising, break for an 8 oz. cup of water every 20 minutes.
“EVERY PLAYER should carry around a 1 gallon jug of water. Does it look awkward? Possibly. But you need to stay hydrated and most players do not drink even close to enough water. Carrying around a 20 oz bottle of water is fine, but are you really going to fill that thing up 6 times per day? Only you know the answer to that. Personally, I use a gallon jug of water and take 10 large gulps every time I take a drink. You would be surprised how much water you could drink every day and how much better your body will feel when you are truly hydrated.” @coachouse
Stay in shape during the offseason. Basketball injury prevention begins in the off-season!
For most sports league athletes, this preseason training may be hard because of time constraints. But, even minor conditioning is better than none at all. Getting ready in advance is a key prevention factor.
“The weight room is so crucial for any sport to help you strengthen weak parts in your body. Lastly is train smart. Over the years you put so much stress on the body and the joints that you want to do low impact things to train. A cycling class, water aerobics, yoga, swimming..etc. don’t always just be Attacking the weights and putting more strain on those joints!” @coachouse
Good shoes and properly fitted clothing. Properly fitted, breathable clothing and good shoes can make a big difference in injury prevention. Ankle supports can reduce the incidence of ankle sprains. Protective knee and elbow pads will protect you from bruises and abrasions.
“Acute injuries are inevitable, but you want to try to reduce your risk for these injuries which is why always wear protective pads while playing” @connorjean123
Basketball injuries to the hip and thigh
Deep thigh bruising (contusion) is another common basketball injury, typically caused by an opponent's elbow or knee inadvertently striking a player's thigh muscles. Injuries such as this often can't be prevented. However, having a comprehensive yoga or stretching program -- along with weight training -- can lesson the impact of the injury. Also, compression sleeves and/or girdles with thigh pads can be worn for additional protection.
Basketball injuries to the knee
'Pain felt behind the kneecap, where the kneecap (patella) meets the thigh bone (femur) -- is one of the most common knee injuries among basketball players. The pain is generally the result of excessive joint pressure due to poor kneecap alignment, which affects the joint surface behind the kneecap.
To prevent you need normalize muscle balance and establish proper biomechanics, through physical therapy, yoga, or pilates. Wearing a compression sleeve or knee brace can also be beneficial.
Elbow tendonitis is an overuse injury that can occur in basketball players as the result of dribbling, passing and shooting the ball. With elbow tendonitis, the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the elbow become inflamed and swollen, causing pain in the elbow. You can prevent this injury by wearing Basketball Padded arm sleeve or Long Sleeve Compression Shirt. More you can find in the link below.
A rib fracture may occur when a rib(s) sustains a direct impact from a ball, punch, kick or fall. They may also occur with constant repetitive movements in sports. By wearing protective gear such as Padded compression shirt you will minimalize you chance being injured in many ways.