By: Dr. Trevor Stutz, PT, DPT
Basketball is a great game! The fast-paced, high scoring, team driven sport is one of the most popular games in America and the season is now in full swing for thousands of athletes across the country. Basketball requires a plethora of physical skills including strength, power, agility, speed, hand-eye coordination and endurance. I may be biased because I grew up in a house where basketball was a big deal, but I feel basketball requires the most well rounded athlete of any sport.
While it is such a great game, the stress playing basketball places on the body can cause injury. Consider that in 2009 an estimated 170,000 kids ages 5-14 were treated in emergency rooms following basketball injuries. While all sports carry some risk of injury, proper education and training can reduce the risk for injuries and missing game time due to injuries.
Many of the most common injuries related to basketball, such as patella tendinitis (jumper’s knee) are due to overuse and can be prevented with proper stretching, core strengthening, and monitoring intensity of playing time.
Other common injuries such as ankle sprains, ACL and MCL injuries (ligaments of the knee), and back strains can be also be reduced with proper core training and guidance to make sure muscles around these areas are strong and can handle the quick movement of basketball.
Whether it’s managing an existing injury, lowering the risk for a future problem, or maximizing performance, a physical therapist can help you stay on the court and excel this season. Physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts who have extensive training in the treatment and prevention of injuries and are movement experts who can help determine the best way to keep you moving and get you back to the sports you love. If you are dealing with an injury now, or are more interested in finding out how to prevent a future injury and maximize your performance and time on the court, see a Sports PT physical therapist today.