Basketball Injuries: Stop Them Ahead Of Time

Basketball Injuries and how to battle them?

If you have watched or played any level of basketball, you probably have seen an injury happen.  Even worse, you may have suffered an injury.  Well, I have and it sucks!  Fortunately it has only been ankle sprains, but it took a good amount of time before I ever regained my strength/stability in my ankles.  I hated missing time and not being able to play at 100%.  

Basketball injuries are generally defined as either acute, traumatic or overuse. Acute or traumatic injuries occur due to a sudden force or impact, such as an awkward landing or fall.  In most cases, it will be the lower body that takes the hit (foot, ankle, knee).  An overuse injury usually will be a result of not enough rest from the sport.  Common injuries are ankle sprains and some type of knee injury, usually an ACL injury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basketball is such a fast paced game and an injury can happen in a split second.  So, how do we prepare ourselves to not get hurt.  Well, sometimes it’s inevitable and we can’t control the outcome.  Still doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for these situations.  Here are some helpful tips to think about or incorporate into your regime.    

  1. First thing, make sure you have a quality pair of basketball shoes. From personal experience, “you get what you pay for”  in regards to basketball shoes.  I often get this question, “Should I buy a high top or low top shoe”?  I always believed that is a personal choice.  People argue that low top shoes make it easier to roll your ankle due to the ankle being exposed, whereas some people believe the high top shoe can prevent an ankle sprain.  I always purchased high top because I liked the support above the ankle, but like I said it’s a personal choice. 
  2. Always warm up before you play! The goal of any warm-up is to increase core temperature, lubricate your joints, and get the blood pumping.  Add in some dynamic stretches to help loosen up your muscles after they’re warm.  Implementing a good warm-up will help decrease the risk of an injury.      
  3. Add in proprioceptive training 1-2 days per week, focusing on balance and body control. Proprioception is the sense of knowing where your body parts are in space.  An example of this would be landing on one leg and having enough stability in your ankle and knee to not buckle.  This can be a difficult concept to grasp until you actually get hurt, because so much proprioception occurs subconsciously.        
  4. Add in strength training 2-3 days per week, focusing on full body movements and core strength. Think of strength as the frame of a house, it keeps the house from falling over and keeps the house strong for years.  Performing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, presses, rows and any single leg/arm variation will help build useful strength.  Core training can be any type of anti rotation/extension or stability exercises, such as pallof presses, rollouts, or planks.    
  5. Add in plyometric training 1-2 days per week, focusing on generating power and deceleration. Learning how to decelerate may be the most important way to stay healthy. So many injuries happen when athletes go from full speed and then need to change directions or land.  Adding in this type of training will contribute to making you become more powerful, but also teach you how to decelerate.      
  6. Get a movement screen or assessment with a fitness professional. This can help the athlete become aware of any issues that could lead to an injury.  Especially if an athlete has been injured before, a thorough screen can pin point those issues.
  7. Take care of your body! Rest, eat well, and drink enough water.  These 3 things can play a vital role in keeping your body feeling energized and healthy. 
  8. Take time off from playing basketball. It seems constant among our youth, find one sport and play it year round.  This is a great way to have an overuse injury on top of other concerns.  As always, I recommend to go play another sport or lift some weights.

Strength Coach,

Silas Perreault