Preventing Basketball Injuries
The first and most important thing you can do to help prevent injury during a basketball game is to ensure that you are in top physical conditioning before hitting the court. This includes maintaining a routine of cardiovascular and weight training throughout the year. Many amateur athletes find themselves sustaining injuries when they engage in “weekend warrior” games without proper training. A good level of physical fitness and strength will prevent many major injuries from occurring.
If you are going to be playing on an outdoor court in the summertime, make sure you take steps to protect against heat and sun-related illnesses such as heat stroke, dehydration, sun burn among others. If a player’s body is not in good conditioning, these heat related illnesses can take a serious toll on them and can result in serious symptoms such as difficult breathing, higher than safe body temperatures, muscle craps, nausea, tingling of limbs, and even death. Making sure you are properly hydrated can help keep heat related illness at bay along with mitigating the risk for muscle strains and sprains.
Every player should hydrate before the exercise period by drinking 16 ounces of water and continuing with approximately 4-8 ounces of water for every 15 or 20 minutes of physical exertion. For most sports activities plain water is great! If you are planning on exercising or playing a sport for several hours, then you might consider a commercially available sports drink which supplies carbohydrates, sodium and potassium. One interesting way to determine if you are keeping yourself hydrated during a sporting event is to weigh yourself before playing and then weigh yourself directly after finishing. You should aim to stay the same weight. If you find that you lose weight during play, you need to hydrate more frequently; if you find you gain weight during play, you can reduce your fluid intake.
Another way to guard against injuries during a basketball game is to wear braces or supports on any part of your body that has been previously injured or is weakened. The extra support that a brace or other support can give may be enough to prevent muscle strains and sprains from happening in the first place. A doctor will be able to help you understand where you may need a brace and can help fit a brace properly if you need one.