Basketball Injuries

Basketball Injuries


Article by J.Miller, Z.Russell, A.Clarke

Common Basketball Injuries

Basketball injuries are generally classified as either acute/traumatic or overuse injuries. Acute or traumatic injuries occur due to a sudden force or impact, such as a fall or a stumble, resulting in direct damage to ligamentous or bony structures.

The most common injuries in basketball pertain to various types of ankle sprains, and patellofemoral pain or acute knee trauma (Drakos, M. et al, 2010). The trend clearly suggests lower limb injuries, which account for approximately 62%, occur much more regularly than injuries to the trunk or upper limb. Of these injuries, the majority are acute and occur at a rate of between 6-14 injuries/1000 hours played.

What’s the Incidence of Basketball Injury?

According to a study of high school basketball players by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA):

  • 22% of all male basketball players sustained at least one time-loss injury each year.
    • 42% of the injuries were to the ankle/foot
    • 11% of the injuries were to the hip and thigh
    • 9% of the injuries were to the knee
  • Sprains were the most common type of injury (43%).
  • General trauma was the second most common type of injury (22%).
  • 60% percent of the injuries occurred during practice highlighting the need to warm up and strap for training.
  • 59% of game-related injuries occurred during the second half of the game, which identifies fatigue as a predisposing factor.

Basketball Injury Prevention Strategies

The following safety precautions are recommended to help prevent help basketball injury:

  • Warm up thoroughly prior to playing a game or training.
  • Ensure you have excellent core control, proprioception, speed, strength, endurance, agility and plyometric skills.
  • Wear supportive basketball shoes with skid-resistant soles.
  • Use good technique.
  • Clean of courts before play – check for slippery spots or debris.

Did you know…

There is continuing expansion in research surrounding identifiable risk factors and prevention of injuries. This has led to a number of clinical measures that physiotherapists can assess and monitor to potentially lower your risk of injury. These tests are based around testing a player’s proprioceptive or dynamic balance ability throughout the lower limb, both in static and dynamic situations.

A systematic review published in 2015 concluded that “irrespective of their ankle injury history status, there was a preventative effect of proprioceptive training on ankle sprains.”

To further strengthen this position, two recent basketball-specific studies identified that just 8-weeks (3 x 20-30 minute sessions per week) of proprioceptive and neuromuscular training can significantly reduce the risk and total number of ankle injuries over the season (Taylor, J. et al, 2015). These exercise programs were also a lot more effective in those players who had had previous ankle injuries, suggesting that it is even more important to address these deficits following a resolved injury.

Fun Fact!

External ankle supports and high-top basketball shoes have also found to be effective at reducing the incidence of ankle injuries in basketball players!

How Do You Identify Your Risk of Injury?

As a result of this growing field of research, physiotherapists have been equipped with the tools and clinical tests to assess your proprioceptive ability in order to intervene with a client-specific training program, and monitor improvements over a period of time to continually assess your risk levels.

These measures include such things as:

  • Basketball-specific testing,
  • Lower kinematic chain testing of static and dynamic proprioception,
  • Deep core and pelvic control.

These assessments are particularly important for those who have had previous ankle injuries to help reduce recurrence. If you have a current injury, or you would just like a thorough assessment to potentially reduce your risk of injury, join us in the clinic and we can provide you with guidance and a personalised strengthening and control program to assist your athletic endeavours.

If we can MEASURE it and IDENTIFY the deficits, we have a much better chance of PREVENTING injuries!

Arm Pain Causes

Arm pain and injuries are widespread. Arm pain can occur as a result of either sudden, traumatic or repetitive overuse. The causes can be related to sports injuries, work injuries or simply everyday arm use.

Arm pain can be a local injury, musculoskeletal injury or could even be referred from nerves in your neck (cervical radiculopathy). This can result in neck-arm pain.

Causes of Arm Pain by Region

Causes of Arm Pain by Structure

Neck-Related Arm Pain

Shoulder-Related Arm Pain

Elbow-Related Arm Pain

Wrist-Related Arm Pain

Hand-Related Arm Pain

Muscle-Related Arm Pain

Other Sources of Arm Pain

Common Causes of Arm Pain

The most common sources of arm pain include shoulder painwrist pain and elbow pain.

Referred Arm Pain

As mentioned earlier, arm pain can be referred to from another source. Cervical radiculopathy is a common source of referred arm pain. Cervical radiculopathy will not respond to treatment where you feel the arm pain. However, it will respond positively to treatment at the source of the injury (e.g. your neck joints).

Professional assessment from a health practitioner skilled in diagnosing both spinal-origin and local-origin (muscle and joint) injuries (e.g. your physiotherapist) is recommended to ensure an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment directed at the arm pain source.

Arm Pain has Diverse Causes.

The causes of your arm pain can be extensive and varied. Due to this diversity, your arm pain should be assessed by a suitably qualified health practitioner to attain an accurate diagnosis, treatment plan and implementation specific to your arm pain.

What Arm Pain is Associated with a Heart Attack?

Left-arm pain can be an early sign of a life-threatening cardiac issue. Based on this, a professional medical assessment that involves an accurate history, symptom analysis, physical examination and diagnostic tests to exclude a potential heart attack is important to exclude this potentially life-threatening source of arm pain.

For more information, please consult with your health practitioner, call an ambulance on 000, or visit a hospital emergency department to put your mind at ease.

Good News. Most Arm Pain is NOT Life-Threatening.

Luckily, life-threatening arm pain is far less likely than a local musculoskeletal injury. Arm pain caused by a localised arm muscle, tendon or joint injury should be assessed and confirmed by your health practitioner before commencing treatment.

Arm Pain Prognosis

The good news is that arm pain, and injury will normally respond very favourably to medical or physiotherapy intervention when early professional assessment and treatment is sought. Please do not delay in consulting your healthcare practitioner if you experience arm pain.

Common Arm Pain Treatments

With accurate assessment and early treatment, most arm injuries respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy or medical care, allowing you to resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living quickly.

Please ask your physiotherapist for their professional treatment advice.