Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world that is played both indoors and outdoors. A high level of fitness, optimal coordination and dynamic movement are required to excel at basketball.
This is because of the physically demanding nature of the sport that places a great amount of stress on the muscles and bones. The stress can increase the risk of lower body injuries from basketball. Understanding how the lower body works can help basketball players improve physical conditioning and reduce the potential for injury.
Lower Body Injuries
Basketball players are required to sprint, jump, and quickly change directions – all of which can increase load on the lower body, especially the ankles. In fact, the ankle is reported as the most common site of injury, followed by the knee and lower back.
In addition to ankle injuries, the risk of ACL injuries is also present in basketball because of the excessive load on the lower body from different movements. Elite players like Derrick Rose, Baron Davis and Kyle Lowry have all suffered setbacks due to ACL injuries in their respective careers.
The physically intense nature of basketball was reviewed in the Journal of Athletic Training. With the knee reported as the most frequently injured site, inflammation of the knee accounts for many missed practices and games. Another study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine classified the two main types of basketball injuries as:
A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine evaluated internal risk factors among elite basketball players both with or without a history of acute/recurrent ankle sprains. The authors determined that looseness in the ankle ligaments, loss of balance and abnormal foot movements were related to acute or recurring ankle sprains.
Impact of Weak Foot Posture
A weak foot posture such as flat feet may prevent a player from achieving the most out of their performance. With flat feet, the foot arch flattens on the ground, causing the shin and thigh bones to twist inwards. This produces more stress on the ankle, knees, hips and lower back.
As a result, the alignment of the lower body gets affected, leading to a host of abnormal movements. The added stress on the lower body, coupled with intense physical activity, may increase the risk of acute and/or overuse injuries in basketball.
Treatment and Supportive Care
Effective jumping and landing techniques should be practised to reduce load on the lower body. This can allow athletes to train and play games with a reduced risk of acute or overuse injuries. Stretching and strengthening exercises should be included in rehab programmes to improve flexibility and strength in the lower body.
If foot posture problems are present, then the foot structure, as well as walking stride, should be examined by a health care professional. MASS4D® foot insoles can be recommended as part of supportive care for basketball players.
These insoles support the feet in their most optimal posture and help promote alignment from the feet up to the knees, legs, hips and lower back. By supporting healthy foot posture, MASS4D® helps restore normal movement and function of the feet, allowing players to train and play to their full potential.
MASS4D® foot orthotics offer the greatest support to the feet and promote proper distribution of weight. This helps to reduce excessive load and to prevent abnormal movement of the lower body, which minimises the risk of injuries.
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Reference: Shahi P. H. M., Farzin H., Angoorani H., Mirshahi M., Mansournia A. M. (2016) P-80 Are selected intrinsic risk factors more prevalent among elite football and basketball players with history of acute or recurrent ankle sprain? British Journal of Sports Medicine 50: November 2016, doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-097120.133
Reference: Richie Jr. D. (2013) A Closer Look At Foot Orthoses For Chronic Ankle Instability. Podiatry Today: May 2013, Vol. 26, No. 5. Retrieved from: www.podiatrytoday.com
Reference: Cumps E., Verhagen E., Meeusen R. (2007) Prospective epidemiological study of basketball injuries during one competitive season: Ankle sprains and overuse knee injuries. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine: June 2007, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 204-211
Reference: McKay D. G., Goldie A. P., Payne R. W., Oakes W. B. (2001) Ankle injuries in basketball: injury rate and risk factors. British Journal of Sports Medicine: May 2001, Vol. 35, pp. 103-108
Reference: Starkey C. (2000) Injuries and Illnesses in the National Basketball Association: A 10-Year Perspective. Journal of Athletic Training: June 2000, Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 161-167
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