You can train as hard as you want all basketball season, but all it takes is one injury to keep you from playing the game you love. When playing basketball, it is just as important to learn proper injury prevention techniques as it is to practice your free throw. Some of the most common injuries in athletics occur in basketball. Common basketball injuries include ankle sprains, foot fractures, overuse injuries in the shoulder, tendonitis, knee injuries, and more. Here are some injury prevention techniques that can lessen your likelihood of getting injured while playing basketball.
While you may want to jump straight into the game or practice, a warm-up needs to be an integral part of your pre-game routine. Warm-ups get your body’s joints and muscles loosened up and prepared for physical activity. Warming up your body can play a huge role in preventing injury and getting you prepared for practice or a game. Dedicate at least 5 to 10 minutes to your warm up before you start playing. Go on a light jog, or do some gentle dynamic stretches and anything else to prepare your body for activity. If you have an injury you are recovering from or know that you are prone to a certain type of injury, take this into consideration during your warm-up session.
Sports-specific shoes are imperative for injury prevention. Basketball shoes need to be durable, offer shock absorption, and be extremely supportive. Basketball athletes make quick directional changes and do a lot of jumping and running, so basketball shoes are created to support these activities. The proper footwear can absolutely work to prevent stress fractures, sprains, and other common injuries in the feet and knees. If your shoes are starting to wear out and become non-supportive, then it is time to invest in a new pair as soon as possible.
Building muscle and flexibility is key to preventing injury. A strength and conditioning regime will help stabilize and strengthen your muscles while also increasing the elasticity of the connective tissue surrounding and connecting the muscle fibers thus reducing the chances of injury. Adding strength and conditioning exercises into your workout routine will also improve your balance and coordination, increase flexibility and range of motion, and stabilize your joints. Not only will these exercises help prevent injury, but the work you put in will also make you a better, stronger, and more well-rounded basketball player.
Basketball is a sport full of quick motions, changes in direction, and micromovements that can make even the strongest athlete susceptible to injury. Many injuries in basketball stem from improper technique. Practice makes perfect in this sport, so ensure that you are always practicing shooting, dribbling, and all other drills using proper form. If you feel yourself getting sloppy, it is probably due to overexertion. This is when it is important to take a break and then come back to play when you are able to give proper technique your all.
One of the best things you can do to prevent an injury while playing basketball is to listen to your body. Feeling a little pain? Does something not feel right when you throw the ball or pivot? Feeling exceptionally tired? These are all signs that you need to slow down and take a break. While you could keep playing through any of the above feelings, you will most likely be aggravating an injury and making it worse. If you take time to tend to your body right away, you can cut down the overall time you need to be on the bench since you will not be making your injury worse.
If you do find yourself suffering from a basketball injury, the experts at IMPACT Physical Therapy are here to help. Our team of physical therapists specializes in treating common injuries faced by basketball players. We understand the pain of being on the bench, and we work to get you feeling stronger than ever so you can get back to playing the sport you love. To learn more about the services we offer or to request an appointment, please contact us today!