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Tips For Basketball Injury Prevention
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Basketball injury prevention is important because basketball can be played and enjoyed by people of all ages, shapes, and sizes all year. Basketball is played because of the exercise benefits, comraderie, and it is just plain fun to "ball". On the courts we recast our image to represent our favorite college and NBA stars, we wear the jersey numbers of our favorite player and proudly wear the latest basketball shoes endorsed by the next great mega-star. Unfortunately, as we continue to age we are unwilling to admit to our physical limitations, changing physical conditioning, and our need to revisit moves on the court we feel and know exist in our hearts and minds but are not as easily executed anymore.

Basketball injuries are not exclusive to any age group but can occur with youth of all ages, middle age and more senior players. In fact, I can remember severely spraining my ankle while in elementary school so bad I had to hop home on one foot because of the pain and the inability to put any weight on my right foot. I was on crutches and had to wrap my ankle with an Ace bandage for several weeks before beginning to walk gingerly without the aid of crutches.

Basketball injuries are generally the result of overuse and/or traumatic injuries.

Overuse injuries are caused by stressing a body part over and over again until it is hurt or begins is damaged. Examples of overuse injuries are sore achilles tendons or sore tendons in the shoulder from repetitive shooting drills.

Traumatic injuries are caused by sudden or forceful impact. Ankle sprains are the most common traumatic injury because the ankle rolls to far outward. One of the most common traumatic injuries is an ankle sprain. This can occur when you step or land on another players foot or plant your foot awkwardly and your momentum continues to move your weight over the ankle.

In my later years playing in a touch football game as a wide receiver, my team-mate a former college football player threw what seemed like an easy pass to catch. As I stretched to grab the pass the football barely touched my finger. I caught the pass, however; I began to feel some pain and when I looked at my finger I found that it had become severely dislocated and required medical attention.

Here are a few tips to prevent basketball injuries.

Warm and stretch. Cold muscles are more prone to injury. Slowly and gently stretch. Warm-up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling, or running for 3-5 minutes. Other warm-up exercises that can be used are karioke, knee tucks, and lunges.

Proper physical condition. Understand and know your limitations. If you have not been working out or have not been playing basketball regularly it is a good idea to check with your medical doctor for his opinion and/or clearance. If you are under doctor's orders to limit physical activity it is unwise to try to play basketball unles advised otherwise. If you are in good physical shape limit your court time until you can comfortably play a series of games. Avoid playing when tired and or in pain.

Dress appropriately. Wear appropriate protective gear and equipment. Basketball shoes should fit snugly and offer support. We recommend two pairs of cotton socks and a mouth guard. Inadvertent elbows and heads have a way of modifying a smile and will require a visit to a dentist. Do not be afraid to wear ankle or knee braces if they are recommended by a doctor or you require additional support to prevent ankle sprains or knee ligament damage.

Basketball can be played and enjoyed for many years at any level you choose to play by adopting these simple tips on preventing basketball injuries. There is nothing sweeter than the "string music" of the swish of the ball going through the basket or making a defensive play that converts into a basket. There is no better feeling than the warm glow from the physical exertion and the high fives shared with your basketball team after a hard fought game; because basketball is life and life is basketball.


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