guys playing basketball

Basketball is one of the most popular sports and like many other sports, there is no shortage of possible injuries that can occur. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 501,000 basketball-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2009. Most basketball-related injuries are to the foot, ankle, and knee, largely due to the high amount of running, twisting, turning and jumping that is required of basketball players. Here are six ways to prevent basketball injuries.

Maintain Fitness

Make sure to keep up your level of fitness even during the offseason, and make sure your fitness program is balanced with cardio, strength, and flexibility training. Also, make sure to warm up and stretch before playing. This will help to prevent injury. Some great warm-up exercises include jumping jacks, stationary cycling, running, or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Once warmed up, slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Hydrate

When your body is dehydrated, your muscles lose their flexibility and are likely to stiffen. Your body is much more prone to injury when you are dehydrated. It’s important to continue to drink plenty of water. It is recommended that people drink at least 8 cups of water a day (8 ounces per cup), but those who are athletic generally need much more water to stay hydrated.

Focus on Technique

One of the most common causes of injury is moving in ways that you aren’t supposed to, such as twisting and turning rather than pivoting your whole body. In other cases, pushing, tripping, or other antagonistic moves can not only injure the other person, but end up injuring you as well. It’s important to follow the rules of the game to insure your safety.

Ensure Appropriate Equipment

It’s important to wear protective gear to keep yourself from getting injured as well as wearing properly fitted shoes, ankle supports, knee and elbow pads, mouth guard, and other needed equipment. By having the right equipment, you’re likely to keep from injuring yourself as badly and reduce the number of bruises and sprains you might get if you didn’t have them.

Ensure a Safe Environment

Whether the court is indoors or outdoors, it’s important to make sure the court is free from obstacles, debris, rocks, and trash as well as has proper space around the court so players don’t run into things. It’s also important to avoid playing in extreme weather including too hot or too cold conditions.

Prepare for Injuries

No matter how much protection or preparation you may have, some injuries are bound to happen. It’s important that everyone is prepared for them, coaches especially. Whoever handles the injuries should know first aid techniques for minor injuries like facial cuts, bruises, or minor strains and sprains and be prepared for emergencies like concussions, dislocations, contusions, sprains, abrasions, and fractures. If a player is injured, they should wait for the all clear to play again and all symptoms should be gone including any pain or swelling they may have had. They should also have their full range of motion and normal strength back in order to safely return.

Injuries can be a hassle to deal with and nobody wants them. It’s important to do everything you can to prevent them while still being prepared for when they do happen.

This article is brought to you by Dr. Brandon Downs. Dr. Downs can help you
understand your pain and if surgery is right for you. Find Dr.Downs at:

Hughston Clinic Orthopaedics, Centennial Medical Center in the Physician’s Park Building 2400 Patterson Street Suite 300, Nashville, Tn 37203 (615) 342-6300 Hughston.com and Orthopaedic Specialists, 415 Henslee Drive in the Creekside Center, Dickson, Tn 37055 (615) 375-8287, Orthopaedicspecialists.com.

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