Basketball players acquire injuries over time due to either overuse of joints or a sudden physical impact.
Can be described as injuries that occur when ligaments or tendons around the joints are stressed over and over until they are damaged. Overuse injuries are difficult to diagnose because many athletes ignore minor aches that occur due to repetitive stress on joints, bones, muscles or tendons. The pain minimally affects the function in the initial stages; however, ignoring the injury increases the damage, eventually restricting movements and physical capabilities.
Common overuse injuries in basketball athletes
- Rotator Cuff Injuries – Are involved in the concentric and eccentric movements of the arm and shoulder. The ligaments that attach these muscles to the shoulder joint can become inflamed due to overuse of the muscles in one direction.
- Patellar Tendinitis – also known as jumper’s knee, is a basketball-related injury that affects the tendons around the kneecap.
- Achilles Tendinitis – ACL is a tendon that connects the muscles in the back of the calf to the heel bone. Stress to the ACL over time can lead to small tears, which cause pain in the back of the leg above the heel. Occasionally, a partial Achilles tendon rupture can develop into a complete tear. Achilles tendinitis occurs due to repetitive movements such as sudden starts and stops, and frequent jumping.
Little League Elbow – Is an injury to the medial epicondyle apophysis in the elbow. Repetitive throwing and swinging motions in basketball can cause the inflammation and deterioration of ligaments in the elbow, causing pain and tenderness.
- Shin Splints – Is a very common overuse injury that occurs due to an intense training schedule, poor flexibility, or repetitive jumping and running on hard surfaces. Mild tenderness around the shins is an initial symptom, especially when the foot is bent downwards. If left untreated, this condition can lead to inflammation of tissues surrounding the tibia, which can hinder the movement completely.
- Femoral Neck Stress Fracture – is a serious overuse injury in basketball athletes that is characterized by the cracks in the top part of the thighbone. A poor running mechanism, excessive training, or lack of proper nutrition can lead to this injury. Athletes suffering from femoral neck stress fracture often experience groin pain during physical and routine activities.
Traumatic Injuries – also known as acute injuries, are caused by a sudden, forceful incident.
Traumatic or acute injuries occur due to a sudden force such as collisions or direct blows. Some of the common traumatic injuries in basketball include sprains and jammed fingers. Stretches in the ligaments that connect bones and support joints due to physical trauma can lead to sprains. Over the years, some players can damage the ligaments in their fingers from repeated use of the hands, which eventually leads to jammed fingers.
If diagnosed early by a physiotherapy expert, the progression of all aforementioned basketball-related injuries can be stopped or even reversed. RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is often the first physiotherapy treatment in recovering from injuries. An expert often immobilizes one’s joint with the help of a cast or a sling so that the ligaments can heal. After immobilization, supervised exercises such as range-of-motion and stretching exercises can help strengthen the muscles in an injured area. Endurance and flexibility of the area can be restored through strengthening exercises. If torn muscles and ligaments are not fully recovered with the physical therapy, one might need surgery to repair the damage and stabilize the affected area.
Call Happy Physio today on (08) 9272 7359 if you would like expert help for your injuries. You can also ask our Physios for advice on how to lessen the chances of getting injured.