Ankle Sprains and RICE
The most common basketball injuries are ankle sprains which can occur because of the rapid directional changes of the game along with the continual jumping and landing. While many people believe that ankle sprains are not serious injuries, they can be seriously detrimental to the athletic well being of either a professional or an amateur player on the court. The most common type of ankle sprain in basketball is the inversion sprain which is most commonly caused by one player landing on another player’s foot, with the first player’s foot rolling on to its outer edge. This can tear or stretch the ankle’s outside ligaments and cause significant pain and weakness in the ankle.
Minor sprains and strains can be treated using the RICE method which includes Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This will help to limit the amount of pain, bleeding, and swelling in and around the ankle joint.
When an athlete receives an injury, the player should stop playing immediately in order to reduce the chances of further injury. This also gives professionals a chance to evaluate the injury and ensure that it is not something more serious like a muscle tear or a bone break.
An ice pack should be applied immediately following injury to reduce swelling of the injury and reduce pain. Ice should be applied hourly in intervals of 15 minutes over the first four hours and then once every four hours over the next two days.
The injury should be bandaged in conjunction with the icing and elevation in order to support and compress the joint. This will help to reduce swelling and bleeding.
Elevation of the injured limb (in this case the ankle) will help to reduce the flow of the blood to the ankle and encourages drainage. It, like the other steps of RICE, will help to reduce swelling, bleeding and pain.
RICE can be used to treat all manner of other injuries including jammed fingers, which can occur if a player’s finger makes contact with the ball in an unnatural way. This can cause the joint to swell along with significant pain. In most cases the application of ice and taping or splinting the finger to an adjacent finger will provide relief. If the finger is broken, it is recommended that you see a doctor and have an x-ray of the finger if deemed necessary. Additionally, if a player experiences deep thigh bruising (which may occur during a collision with another player), RICE can be used to treat it.