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Basketball is a sport with lots of overhead action of the arms, jumping, sudden changes of direction etc., which leads to a lot of injuries. Basketball injuries can be either acute/traumatic or due to overuse and repetitive actions. Acute or traumatic injuries are caused by sudden force or impact, such as a fall or a stumble, leading to damage of ligaments and bones.

Common Injuries

  • Foot and Ankle Injuries
    During the game, rolling an ankle, collision and being stepped on causes ankle injuries. It could be due to wearing the wrong footwear or by placing undue stress on a ligament. Some common injuries are Ankle Tendonitis, ankle sprains etc.
  • Hand Injuries
    Jamming of fingers when catching the ball unawares is a common injury, while other injuries like fractures, dislocations etc. are also common.
  • Knee Injuries
    The common knee injuries are Jumper’s Knee, where the patellar tendon below the kneecap degenerates and ACL, the main ligament of the knee gets tears.
  • Hip injuries
    Jumping, rebounding, pivoting and running around the court putting extra strain on the legs and hips causing injuries, like over-extending of muscles and ligaments.
  • Facial Injuries
    Banging heads and taking an elbow to the face accidentally are the major causes of face and head injuries. Concussion, dental injuries etc., are the common injuries.

Prevention and Treatment

  • Basketball Training tips & techniques
    • Focusing on strength-training squats, plyometrics and jumping drills.
    • Warming up before a game or training
    • Ensure an excellent core control, speed, strength, endurance and agility skills.
    • Wear proper basketball shoes with skid-resistant soles.
    • Use good technique.
    • Use of clean courts.
  • Helpful On-court Drills
  • Star Drill:
    Four cones are placed in a square, 8-10 feet apart. Player stands in the center and must sprint to a cone, touch it and then come back to the center. Repeat this with the cones selected at random for 30 seconds building up to a minute or 2. This helps to change direction quickly and aware of body position.
  • Zigzag Drill:

Six cones are placed in a zigzag pattern; cones should be 16 feet apart and at 450 angle. Start at the 1st cone, sprint to the 2nd then the 3rd till the 6th cone and then reverse this pattern. Repeat for 30 seconds, building up to 2-3 minutes. This helps in quick speed-bursts and direction shifting.

  • Medicine Ball Shuffle
    Use the medicine ball by passing it to your partner doing a sideways shuffle the whole length of the court. This helps in improving shuffling ability, balance, strength and ability to stay low.
Authored by Dr Banarji B.H - Shoulder Surgeon, Bangalore

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Baby Das

Last one year I was suffering from acute shoulder pain on my left shoulder. I went to several doctors, but not diagnosed.

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