With NBA and college hoop season ready to tip off, basketball injuries are the subject of this post. Whether you're an avid fan, a concerned parent, a competitive athlete, or a weekend warrior, having a baseline knowledge of basketball's most common injuries can promote prevention and proper treatment and give you insight into the inevitable injury reports you will read this season.
Knee, Wrist & Ankle Sprains
According to a recent study of high school basketball players by the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), sprains are the most common high school basketball injury, accounting for 43% of all basketball injuries reported during the study. The ankle is the most commonly sprained joint, followed by the knee and wrist.
These stats also hold true among professional basketball players. According to this study which analyzed NBA injury reports over 17 years, ankle sprains at the most commonly reported injury in the NBA.
Sprains occur when the ligaments surrounding a joint are stretched or torn, usually during a sudden twist, turn, or fall. The frequent starting, stopping, twisting, and jumping motions used by basketball players make them particularly prone to sprains.
Pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness are all symptoms of a sprain. Mild sprains can usually be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, while more severe sprains might require bracing and strengthening exercises. Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce the swelling and treat the associated pain. In very severe cases, surgery might be required to repair the torn ligaments.
To prevent sprains, players should warm up thoroughly, wear supportive basketball shoes with skid-resistant soles, and be diligent about strength and agility training.