Like any sport, there is a risk of musculoskeletal injury in basketball. Most injuries in basketball can be either classified as overuse or traumatic. In basketball the majority of injuries are acute in nature, which refers to an injury that occurs suddenly, for example an ankle sprain (Drakos, et al. 2010). The second type of injury; the overuse injury, is caused by repeated activities, and is often associated with a sudden dramatic increase in exercise.
Due to the high impact, fast paced nature of basketball, injuries to the lower limb are the most prevalent, with most injuries occurring around the ankle and knee joints.
Reducing the risk of injury in basketball players
Effective player conditioning and warm-up protocols
The risk of musculoskeletal injuries in basketball players can be significantly reduced through appropriate training methods. Both FIFA and Netball Australia have implemented training programs that aim to reduce injuries to the lower limb through improving player proprioception and neuromuscular control.
To put it simply, these training techniques aim to improve player technique and optimise targeted muscle activation in order to reduce injury (FIFA, 2017). These interventions have been widely celebrated as successful; with some studies quoting a reduction of up to 50% of ACL injuries and 39% of all injuries in soccer players.
Furthermore, these benefits aren’t restricted to soccer, with a study identifying significant reductions in lower limb, trunk, hip, and groin injuries in basketball players who regularly performed the FIFA 11 plus warm up program (Longo, et al. 2012).
There are 3 Components to the FIFA 11+ warm up and these are:
- Running Exercises
- Strength, Plyometrics, Balance
- Further running exercises
If you would like to view this protocol, please click here
Foam rolling works by placing direct and sweeping pressure on the soft tissue targeted. Foam rolling helps to increase range of movement, reduce pain, and reduce the severity of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) (Cheatham, Kolber, Cain & Lee, 2015). Foam rolling has been shown to be particularly effective in the first 1-2 days following exercise (Pearcey, et. Al. 2015).
Taping and Bracing
Taping and bracing helps to reduce risk of injury by providing support to an injured joint. Depending on the type of bracing or taping applied, is dependent on what type of benefit is achieved. Different benefits include improving proprioception, decreasing mobility and increasing stability of an injured or unstable joint.
Finally, if a player has suffered an injury during training or a game, there may be further contributing factors that your physiotherapist can address. Reviewing with your physiotherapist following an injury will help to ensure the fastest and safest return to sport!
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Cheatham, S. W., Kolber, M. J., Cain, M., & Lee, M. (2015). The effects of self-myofascial release using a foam roll or roller massager on joint range of motion, muscle recovery, and performance: A systematic review. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy,10(6), 827-38. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4637917/
Drakos, M., Domb, B., Starkey, C., Callahan, L., & Allen, A. (2010). Injury in the national basketball association: A 17-year overview. Sports Health, 2(4), 284-90.
FIFA (2017). FIFA 11+. Retrieved from http://www.footballfedvic.com.au/fifa-11plus/
Longo, U., Loppini, M., Berton, A., Marinozzi, A., Maffulli, N., & Denaro, V. (2012). The FIFA 11 program is effective in preventing injuries in elite male basketball players. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(5), 996-1005. doi: 10.1177/0363546512438761
Pearcey, G., Bradbury-Squires, D., Kawamoto, J., Drinkwater, E., Behm, D., & Button, D. (2015). Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(1), doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.1.01.