Basketball is one of the most exciting games to play but because of its fast pace, it also means injuries can arise. While getting hurt playing regular sport is almost inevitable, there are things you can do to minimise the risk as well as treat injuries correctly so you can recover faster.
If you love basketball, it can be easy to simply want to run onto the court and start playing when you arrive at the venue. But going through a proper warm up routine will help prevent injury by ensuring your body is ready for physical activity. Light jogging is recommended to get the body going, followed by a range of stretches. Practicing side to side movements and shooting drills in warmups will also help your body get ready for a game or training session.
Baggy shorts or jersey can make it harder to move and also increases the risk of other players getting fingers caught up on them. Wearing a uniform that fits well is paramount. Sneakers or boots that fit are also crucial – not too loose, not too tight. Older footwear can also lose grip making you more susceptible to slipping. Wearing jewellery is also a no-no as earrings can get caught up in the action and wearing a ring increases your chances of a broken finger if the ball or a player hits it.
A rolled or sprained ankle is one of the most common injuries basketballers face. But it’s also one that can be significantly prevented easily. Whether you’re participating in a game or a training session, taping your ankles before playing or wearing ankle braces reduces the angle your ankle can move, making it a lot harder to roll or sprain. Choosing footwear that has good support will also help.
Other injury prevention tips
For ankle, knee sprains or other muscular injuries:
Use the R.I.C.E. method
Rest the injured area.
Ice the injured area for 20 minutes every 2 hours.
Apply a Compression bandage to reduce swelling.
Elevate the injured area to a level above the heart.
If you received a heavy knock, stop playing right away. You should not return to playing (games or trainings) until you are evaluated by a medical professional and are given the all clear.
For jammed fingers:
Run your finger (or hand) under very cold water for 20 minutes. Alternatively, apply an ice pack to the injured area (with a layer around it such as a cloth). You can continue playing by taping the injured finger to the next finger.
A lot of injury prevention is common sense. If you take all the main precautions, you should be able to enjoy basketball to its fullest!