Basketball is a game you can play for life. We start as kids on the playground, move up to the hardcourt in middle and high schools, we might even play in college or on the professional level, but we continue to play long after we stop keeping score. It’s great exercise. AND IT’S FUN.
But like any game that involves running, jumping and the occasional elbow in the ribs, the chance of injury is always there.
Most injuries are fairly minor and can be treated with just ice, rest and an ibuprofen, but some are more serious. Here at MSA, we see all manner of basketball-related injuries. Here is a short list of the most common basketball injuries we treat regularly.
Tendonitis: This is just an inflammation of the tendon. It can be treated with rest, ice, and some light physical therapy.
Achilles Tendinitis: If you are feeling pain at the back of the ankle, just above the heel, you could be suffering from Achilles Tendinitis. It’s especially common in basketball due to all the short sprinting the game requires.
Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Shooter’s shoulder. This form of tendonitis occurs in the shoulder joint, and is most often associated with those that like to jack up a lot of shots.
Acute injuries are the ones that might require surgeries. They are the breaks, tears and strains that every athlete fears. Basketball isn’t supposed to be a contact sport, but just watch a game and tell me there’s no contact.
ACL and PCL Injuries: Twisting and turning quickly is a big part of basketball. How many times did your coach yell at you to, “Keep your pivot foot still,”? Well, keeping that pivot foot still can cause stress on the ligaments in your knee. ACL and PCL Injuries occur during sudden twists and changes in direction.
Meniscus Injuries: The meniscus is the cushion in your knee. It can be easily torn during a forceful rotation around the knee. This is a pretty common basketball move.
Wrist Sprains: Falls happen in basketball, and it’s only natural to try to catch ourselves. This can lead to severely sprained wrists.
Finger Fractures: Those balls come fast, and sometimes we aren’t ready to receive them. A fractured finger hurts, but most of the time the healing process is fairly short.
Ankle Sprains: This is probably the most common basketball injury we see. Once again, it comes from quick changes in direction, a move that is very common in basketball.
Achilles Tendon Ruptures: This is a severe injury. Once the Achilles tendon rupture, it’s impossible to rise up onto your toes. This injury typically requires surgery and up to a 12-week recovery time.
Hamstring Pulls and Tears: Your hamstring runs along the back of your thigh and allows your knee to flex. A pull and tear normally involves a sharp pain during mid stride.
Injuries can be prevented by proper stretching and warm up before playing a game. So, even if it’s a pickup game at the local Y, STRETCH BEFORE YOU PLAY. Yes, it’s okay to be THAT GUY.
But sometimes injuries happen despite our best efforts. When injuries occur, trust the professionals at MSA to get you back on the court as soon as possible.