Caution on the court: Common basketball injuries

With winter sports well underway, it's common to see an increase in injuries related to basketball this time of year. Jodi Chambers, PA-C, Parkview Ortho Express, shares some practical advice for reducing risk this basketball season.

Are there any common injuries or risks associated with basketball?

Osgood-Schlatter disease is common in pre-teens and teens, along with anterior knee pain that can be brought on by rapid growth and exacerbated by repetitive jumping. Patellar tendonitis is also common in basketball players. Additionally, ankle sprains, ACL tears, and finger dislocations are all seen in high incidence.

When should an athlete be seen by a physician, versus trying to treat the injury at home?

If you’re experiencing swelling of the knee joint and/or instability of the knee, or if you have symptoms that last longer than a week, despite RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) then you should be evaluated by a doctor.

What are some tips for avoiding injury?

Solid core strength can have a significant impact. It’s the powerhouse of the muscular system, and it drives the extremities. At Parkview Sports Medicine, all treatment includes improving core strength. Increasing flexibility and proper training techniques are also important for preventing injury, as well as good nutrition and getting enough sleep. I can’t say enough about sleep; it recharges all of our systems — mental, physical and emotional. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re playing catch-up all day. Not to mention, young athletes are still growing and that growth taxes their system daily. Add sleep deprivation to the mix and it can significantly affect health, performance and safety. Shoot for 8-10 hours of sleep every night.

Are there any specific shoe types that are recommended for injury prevention?

Purchase shoes that are basketball-specific. Wearing running shoes while playing basketball isn’t wise, because the tread and the design of the shoes were made for running, not the specific physical demands of basketball. Whenever you’re participating in physical activity, make sure you’re wearing appropriate shoes that were made to support you in that activity.

For treatment of sport and orthopedic injuries without an appointment, visit the Parkview Ortho Express walk-in clinic, located at entrance 2 of the SportONE/Parkview Fieldhouse. Hours are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.

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