Basketball, a widely loved game, is known not only for the adrenaline and fun of playing it but as a contact sports it’s a risky game as well: basketball is the forth cause of injuries among all team sports. In fact, there are more than 200 thousand injuries related to basketball every year that take young players to emergency rooms. We will take a closer look at the most common knee and leg injuries that basketball enthusiasts can be troubled by.
- Sprains and strains – As with any other sports, basketball is no exception when it comes to sprains. Strains and sprains can be the result of overuse which is rather common for many sports players as when playing a fun game it can be hard to pinpoint the right time to stop, hence the ligaments or tendons can get injured. These issues can occur also due to acute injuries. Usually, all it takes to treat sprains and strains, is a nice rest and cold compress.
- Jumper’s knee – Patellar tendinitis or commonly known as the Jumper’s knee is a condition that is rather familiar to those athletes who need to jump a lot – exactly like basketball players. The jumping and kicking movements put a lot of stress on the tendon which might get inflamed due to the overuse and start causing pain. Similarly to strains and sprains it’s possible to treat Jumper’s knee at home by just taking a bit time off from sports.
- Torn meniscus – A meniscus is a rubbery cartilage that softens the part between thighbone and shinbone, hence functioning as a shock absorber. The twisting motions however put the meniscus in danger and might cause it to tear. It’s possible to treat the meniscal tear at home by taking enough rest but on more severe occasions it might need surgery to repair the injury.
- Shin splints – Shin splints, also known as tibial pain syndrome, is a term used to describe the pain that occurs in the front part of the lower leg. This very common injury can present itself due to prolonged stress on the tibia and the result is pain, inflammation and irritation. It takes just some rest, compression and ice to treat this common injury as it requires medical help very rarely.
- Torn ACL – One of the most serious injuries one can get due to playing basketball is tearing the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). This can happen either because of constant twisting motion which puts too much strain on the ligament or by jamming the knee on the basketball court. The ACL injury can be treated either by surgery or by therapy and mild strengthening physical exercise. Unfortunately, on most cases ligament tears require a surgeon’s intervention.
Most of the injuries and problems can be avoided with just following one simple rule: avoiding overuse. Even if basketball is played on professional level it is essential to play sports moderately and give the legs enough rest so these nasty health issues wouldn’t come to bother you.