When one thinks of high-risk sports, their mind immediately travels to hockey and its poor reputation when it comes to sports injuries. And yet, millions of people play it every year because they are aware of the risks and prevention tactics involved.
In the sunny state of Florida, beginner and seasoned athletes of all ages have the chance to play the exciting game of basketball year-round. Unfortunately, basketball is also not without its fair share of risks, what with the dangerous playing surface, the size of the ball and the speed of the game.
How can you stay safe without losing the excitement of playing basketball? You can find your answers below.
How Common are Basketball Injuries?
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recently performed a study of high school basketball players, and its findings were as follows:
- 60% of injuries occur during practice sessions
- 59% of game-related injuries occur in the second half
- 43% of injuries are sprains
- 22% of injuries are general trauma
- 42% of injuries occur in the foot and ankle
- 11% occur in the hip and thigh
- 9% occur in the knee
- Injuries occur at a rate of 6-14 injuries per 1,000 hours played
How to Prevent Basketball Injuries
While the above statistics are alarming, every basketball player can do their part to not only preserve their own well-being but also lower these numbers with time. Consider using the following tactics to prevent each type of injury:
- Foot and ankle injuries – Wearing a good pair of basketball shoes protect the foot and offers proper support around the ankle. Correct footwear also eliminates the dangers of slipping on the court. As an extra precaution, you might consider placing athletic tape around your ankles for a game.
- Hip and thigh injuries – Although not all contact injuries can be prevented, stretching the muscles and tendons is highly beneficial. Flexible soft tissues minimize the risk of injury.
- Knee injuries – Strengthening the leg muscles and proper stretching is the most effective form of injury prevention. As an extra precaution, you might also consider wearing a knee brace for a game.
- Hand and wrist injuries – Awareness of your surroundings is the easiest way to prevent injury. Never look away from the ball until you have caught it, and always keep track of all other players to avoid collisions.
- Head and face injuries – Because it is difficult to prevent head injuries, being aware of concussion symptoms is your ideal solution. If you believe that you have a concussion, seek help immediately.
- Fatigue – To ensure that you stay alert and safe in the second half of the game, it is important to maintain the ideal level of physical fitness between basketball seasons.
If you have sustained a basketball injury anywhere in the Manatee or Sarasota Counties of Florida, or if you want to learn more about prevention, you have come to the right place: Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine & Pain Management is home to a team of dedicated sports medicine doctors who can help you play basketball safely for years to come.