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How to Prevent Injuries While Playing Basketball

It is estimated that more than 1.6 million injuries are associated with basketball each year. The most common being:

  • Ankle Sprains
  • Jammed Fingers
  • Knee Injuries
  • Deep Thigh Bruising
  • Facial Cuts
  • Foot Fractures

We all know that these injuries are painful and can be treated, but how can they be prevented? Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Have a pre-season physical examination to ensure you are ready for the season.
  • Hydrate - waiting until you are thirsty is often too late to hydrate properly.
  • Pay attention to the weather, especially in relation to excessive heat. This will help avoid heat illnesses.
  • Maintain proper fitness. Injury rates are higher in athletes who have not adequately prepared physically.
    • After a period of inactivity, especially due to COVID, progress gradually back to full-contact basketball through activities such as aerobic conditioning, strength training, and agility training.
  • Watch out for overuse injuries. Many sports medicine orthopedic specialists, like Drs. Jason Vourazeris at Ortho El Paso and Dr. Justin S. Mitchell, The Precision Hand Surgery Center at Ortho El Paso, advise to train properly and listen to your body. Rest and/or decrease training time and intensity if pain or discomfort develops. This will reduce the risk of injury.
  • Talk with your coach and/or athletic trainer about an ACL injury prevention. Incorporate stretching into team warm-ups.
  • Return to play ONLY after being released by the orthopedic surgeon and/or trainer following any basketball injury.