Basketball Injuries


Article by John Miller


Preventing Common Basketball Injuries

Basketball players commonly experience two types of injuries: acute/traumatic injuries and overuse injuries. Acute or traumatic injuries occur due to a sudden force or impact, such as a fall or stumble, resulting in direct damage to ligamentous or bony structures.

The most common injuries in basketball are various types of ankle sprains, patellofemoral pain, and acute knee trauma (Drakos, M. et al, 2010). Lower limb injuries account for approximately 62% of these injuries, occurring more frequently than injuries to the trunk or upper limb. Among these injuries, the majority are acute and occur at a rate of between 6-14 injuries per 1000 hours played.

What is the incidence of basketball injury?

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

  • At least one time-loss injury was sustained each year by 22% of all male basketball players.
  • 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.
  • The most common type of injury was sprains (43%).
  • General trauma accounted for the second most common type of injury (22%).
  • 60% of the injuries occurred during practice, highlighting the need for warm-up and training precautions.
  • 59% of game-related injuries occurred during the second half of the game, identifying fatigue as a predisposing factor.

Strategies for Preventing Basketball Injuries

To help prevent basketball injuries, the following safety precautions are recommended:

  • Thoroughly warm up before playing a game or training.
  • Ensure excellent core control, proprioception, speed, strength, endurance, agility, and plyometric skills.
  • Wear supportive basketball shoes with skid-resistant soles.
  • Use proper technique.
  • Clean the courts before play, checking for slippery spots or debris.
Basketball Injuries
Basketball Injuries

What Can Reduce Injury?

Research continues to expand on identifiable risk factors and injury prevention, leading to various clinical measures that physiotherapists can use to assess and monitor the potential lowering of injury risks. These tests assess a player’s proprioceptive or dynamic balance ability throughout the lower limb in static and dynamic situations.

A systematic review published in 2015 concluded that “regardless of ankle injury history, proprioceptive training had a preventive effect on ankle sprains.”

Furthermore, two basketball-specific studies found that just eight weeks of proprioceptive and neuromuscular training (three sessions of 20-30 minutes per week) can significantly reduce the risk and total number of ankle injuries over the season (Taylor, J. et al, 2015). These exercise programs were especially effective for players with previous ankle injuries, suggesting the importance of addressing these deficits after resolving an injury.

Do Ankle Braces Work?

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

How do you assess your risk of injury? Thanks to advancements in research, physiotherapists now possess tools and clinical tests to assess your proprioceptive ability and implement client-specific training programs. These programs can also track improvements over time to continually evaluate your risk levels.

These assessments include:

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

These assessments are particularly important for individuals with previous ankle injuries, as they help reduce the likelihood of recurrence. If you have a current injury or would like a comprehensive assessment to potentially reduce your risk of injury, visit our clinic. We can provide you with guidance and a personalised strengthening and control program to enhance your athletic performance.

By measuring and identifying deficits, we greatly enhance our ability to prevent injuries.


In conclusion, understanding and addressing common basketball injuries is crucial for players and athletes to maintain their performance and prevent setbacks. By recognising the incidence and types of injuries, implementing preventive strategies such as warm-up routines, proper technique, and appropriate footwear, and incorporating proprioceptive and neuromuscular training, players can significantly reduce the risk of injuries, particularly lower limb injuries like ankle sprains.

The ongoing research in this field provides valuable insights and tools for physiotherapists to assess individual risks and design personalised training programs to enhance proprioceptive abilities and mitigate injury recurrence. By prioritising injury prevention and incorporating these measures into basketball training and gameplay, players can stay healthy, perform at their best, and enjoy the sport they love.


Article by Zoe Russell

Sports Physiotherapy FAQs

Sports Physiotherapist Brisbane

Sports Physiotherapy is the specialised branch of physiotherapy which deals with injuries and issues related to spokespeople. Practitioners with additional formal training within Australia are Sports & Exercise Physiotherapists.

What is Sports Physiotherapy?

Sports injuries do differ from common everyday injuries. Athletes usually require high-level performance and demands placed upon their bodies, which stresses their muscles, joints and bones to the limit. Sports physiotherapists help athletes recover from sporting injuries and provide education and resources to prevent problems. Each sports physiotherapist usually has sport-specific knowledge that addresses acute, chronic and overuse injuries. Their services are generally available to sportsmen and women of all ages engaged in sports at any level of competition.

Members of Sports Physiotherapy Australia (SPA) have experience and knowledge of the latest evidence-based practice, professional assessment and diagnosis of sports injuries, and effective hands-on management techniques and exercise protocols to assist recovery and prevent future damage. SPA members have access to the most recent advances in sports physiotherapy. You'll be pleased to know that most PhysioWorks physiotherapists and massage therapists are particularly interested in sports injury management.

General Sports Physio FAQs

Injury Management

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Understanding Common Muscle Injuries: A Comprehensive Guide

Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, can result from various causes and can affect different areas of the body. Managing and preventing discomfort requires a clear understanding of these common muscle injuries. This comprehensive guide aims to explore several sources of muscle pain, including injuries in the neck and back, strains in the lower limbs, conditions in the upper limbs, systemic causes, and more.

To provide valuable insights into the management of common muscle injuries, this guide offers answers to frequently asked questions and suggests products that can aid in your recovery. Access additional information about each specific injury by clicking the provided links.

Neck & Back Muscle Injuries

Lower Limb Muscle Injuries

Upper Limb Muscle Injuries

Haematoma-Related Myalgia

Fatigue-Related Myalgia

Systemic Causes of Myalgia

More Information: Myalgia

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Common Ligament Injuries

Ligament injuries are common in the human body, often causing pain, discomfort, and limitations in mobility.

Various body parts are prone to ligament injuries, such as the knee, ankle, shoulder, wrist, hand, and spine. Among the most prevalent are knee ligament injuries, which include ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) and PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries, as well as MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) and LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) sprains.

In addition, ligament injuries can affect other areas, such as the shoulder, leading to AC (Acromioclavicular) joint injuries and dislocated shoulders. Wrist and hand ligament injuries, including thumb and finger sprains, are also common. Furthermore, ligament injuries can occur in the spine, resulting in back and neck sprains and conditions like "text neck" and whiplash. Understanding these common ligament injuries is essential for prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment, enabling individuals to regain their functionality and resume their daily activities.

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Ankle Ligament Injuries

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