Basketball is a fast-moving sport, and it can put a lot of pressure on the lower body. The quick stops and fast turns can put a lot of stress on the feet and knees of basketball players. There are four common basketball injuries that players suffer from. Here’s some more information about what they are and how to manage them.
Achilles tendon injuries
There are a variety of basketball injuries that centre around the Achilles tendon. The Achilles anchors the calf muscle to the heel. It is common to inflame this tendon by playing basketball. If the inflammation persists it becomes Achilles tendonitis. Swelling, pain, tightness and stiffness are common symptoms. Prevent it by warming up the ankle area properly before every training session and game. Treat it with plenty of rest and anti-inflammatories.
If bones suffer repeated impacts over a long period of time, very small cracks can appear, known as stress fractures. This is a very common basketball injury. When a foot strikes the ground, the muscles in the leg usually absorb the shock. If the muscles are tired they may not absorb the shock well, leaving the bones to take the impact. Prevent stress fractures by strengthening muscles, wearing shock absorbing shoes and resting appropriately to prevent fatigue. Treat them with rest or by wearing a cast or removable support.
Basketball players are very susceptible to ankle sprains. When very sudden stops or pivots occur, the ligaments around the ankle may be forced to stretch beyond their usual range of motion. The stretching causes pain, swelling and the inability to bear weight on the ankle joint. Prevent ankle sprains by training well and wearing footwear that supports the ankles to perform properly without overstretching. Treat an ankle sprain with the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
This is a trickier injury to prevent, and it’s also difficult to heal. The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs down the centre of the sole of the foot. It connects the heel with the front of the foot. It can become inflamed through repetitive impacts like running or jumping. Prevent plantar fasciitis by warming up the calves particularly well before playing, and wearing shock absorbing shoes. Treat it by taking anti-inflammatories and undertaking an exercise routine to stretch the plantar fascia and calves regularly.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.
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