New guidelines to prevent basketball injury

March 28, 2013


New guidelines to prevent basketball injury

With the excitement of March Madness, basketball is on center stage. The unfortunate setbacks caused by common basketball injuries, however, are also in the spotlight. 

On March 26, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons put out a press release noting the risks of basketball and what to do to prevent them. 

"Basketball injuries come in many forms, whether caused by overuse or traumatic circumstances," explained Douglas Alan Flory, M.D., a spokesperson for the AAOS.

According to the STOP Sports Injury Campaign, ankle sprains, jammed fingers, knee injuries and foot fractures account for many of the medical setbacks caused in basketball. 

Recently, Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah experienced one of these injuries. Noah has plantar fasciitis in his right foot. This is an ailment in which, through over-use, the tissue in the sole of the foot becomes inflamed. The pain associated with this injury is usually severe.

A 2013 Chicago Tribune article explains that Noah also had the condition in his left foot between 2009 and 2010. He played despite the issue, however. This is something that the AAOS warns individuals not to do in light of basketball injury prevention.

"In '09-10, I just tried to act like it wasn't there. That was a mistake," Noah said, reported by the Tribune. 

Though it means sitting on the sideline instead of playing, taking this precaution will only help Noah in the long run.

The AAOS specifically sites several safety tips to decrease the prospect of injury or re-injury in basketball. An athlete should only return to play once he or she has completely recovered from symptoms. This means no pain: In Noah's case, he was not cleared in this department. 

Among other measures, the AAOS advises players to only wear snug sneakers with good support, to warm up before hitting the court and to keep hydrated.

By following these guidelines, fewer individuals will end up sidelined by injury. 

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