Basketball is one of the most popular sports behind football, and like football there is no shortage of injuries during the sport. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 501,000 basketball-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 2009. Most injuries from basketball however, are to the foot, ankle, and knee largely from the high amount of running, twisting and turning, as well as jumping that the athletes do while playing. There are however six main ways to prevent basketball injuries.
Make sure to keep up your level of fitness even during the off season, and make sure your fitness program is balanced with cardio, strength, and flexibility training. Also, make sure to warm up and stretch so that your muscles are warmed up and to prevent injury. Some great exercises to warm up with 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.
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. For most regular people, they should drink at least 8 cups of 8 oz, but those who are athletic generally need much more water to stay hydrated.
Focus on Technique
One of the most common cases of injury is moving in ways that you aren’t supposed. 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 the protective gear to keep yourself from getting injured as well including 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 amount 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.