Basketball is enjoyed by players of all ages. It’s a popular junior high and high school sport.
A report by National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) shows two players on every high school basketball team are likely to be injured during a season.
Let's take a closer look at 5 common injuries basketball players experience:
- Head/face wounds: The eyes, nose, mouth, and chin are easy to injure. It happens when you bump heads with another player or taking an accidental elbow to the face
- Knee sprains: Although they are mostly found in high-contact sports, it’s still common for players to experience minor sprains
- Foot/ankle bruises: NATA shows foot and ankle injuries are more prevalent. They happen when you’re stepped on or getting hit during the scramble for the ball
- Wrist/hand injuries: Surprisingly, even when the game is mainly played with hands, these injuries are around 11%. The most common is jamming a finger
- Hip/thigh strains: The contact on the court (running and jumping) can result in the extra strain of muscles and ligaments on the legs and hips.
Tips to Prevent Basketball Injuries
Athletes are at risk of injury, despite the sport having health benefits and fun.
Here are the tips to prevent injuries:
- The right basketball gear- Parents should invest in a mouthguard and a good pair of basketball shoes for their kids. Get protective wear such as a knee brace, athletic tape, and elbow pads to prevent bruising
- Be prepared- Attend training, warm-up and a thoroughly stretch before playing. The more flexible your muscles are, the less likely you’ll strain them and injure yourself in the process
- Techniques- Players should use the right basketball techniques and follow the rules
- The environment – As a coach, make sure the court is safe. Remove hazards (stones, water from the playing surface). A professional should make the installation of the basketball ring and carefully assess the play area
- Keep an eye for other players: While on the court avoid running into them
- Maintain fitness: Always work to stay in the best shape through aerobic exercise, flexibility and strength training
Respond Promptly to Basketball Injuries
If you do get hurt or someone else is injured, seek prompt attention from your coach (or qualified aid personnel).
If there are cases of bleeding or wounds gagging open, go to the emergency room immediately. Parents and coaches should ensure athletes are completely healed before returning to play.