Basketball is a popular sport for all ages. Recreational and scholastic leagues as well as informal pickup games are just as common as the college and professional circuit. The high-intensity non-stop action creates a unique set of circumstances which often create a potential for injury. In competitive leagues, the increased competition has led to harder training and less recovery time between sessions. In recreational settings, there is often a lack of conditioning which lends itself to other types of injuries. Fortunately, physical therapy can help the competitive college player stay on top of his or her game while avoiding injury and help our weekend warriors enjoy the game more safely as well.
Common Basketball Injuries
- Broken, Sprained, & Jammed Fingers Jamming a finger against the ball while catching it or even against another player is a common injury in most sports, but exceedingly prevalent in basketball.
- Ankle Sprains On a hardwood floor or blacktop court it becomes easy to overstretch the ligaments of the ankle since most or all of the shock of a quick change in direction is absorbed by the ankle.
- Thigh Contusions Physics tells us that what comes up must come down. Jumping to reach a 10 foot hoop is only half of the equation. Repetitive landing can cause deep bruising in the thigh.
- ACL/PCL (Anterior/Posterior Cruciate Ligament) tears are a very common injury which can happen while making a sharp turn or sudden change in direction. These two ligaments help provide lateral stability to the knee. On a basketball court these ligaments absorb more stress than normal.
- Knee Sprains Another common knee injury among basketball players is a sprain. While the ligaments don’t typically tear during a sprain, the results can be just as painful.
- Hamstring and groin pulls are among the more common muscle injuries sustained while playing basketball. Sharp movements and hard landings can often overstretch a muscle and cause a muscle pull.
Back and Lumbar Issues
- Lower back pain is an all-too-common problem with basketball players. The lower back absorbs a lot of the shock for the whole body while jumping and bending. Jump shots, rebounds, and even scrambling to save a ball going out of bounds puts strain on the lower lumbar.