The game of basketball is said to have been invented in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith. He supposedly developed the game as a less injury-prone alternative to American football. While his intention was to reduce injuries, the fact is that over 200,000 young people under the age of 15 end up in the emergency room or urgent care from basketball-related injuries each year.
In fact, basketball is the fourth leading cause of injury in team sports. Don’t get the wrong impression; all of us at Pain Resource are huge basketball fans. We’re even considering creating our own March Madness brackets in hopes to take advantage of Mr. Warren Buffet’s generous (although highly unlikely) offer to win $1 million a year for the rest of our lives if we just so happen to correctly guess every single game outcome during the tournament. Hey, it’s worth a shot. That being said, we’re also very much aware of the dangers of the sport.
In honor of March Madness, we’re going to discuss common basketball injuries and treatment. Whether you have suffered an injury yourself, or are just curious as to injuries and recovery time for your favorite players, we hope that you find this information to be helpful and informative. Let’s dive in.
Common Basketball Injuries
Sprains and Strains
The good news is that basketball injuries are typically minor, most commonly sprains and strains. Ankle and knee are the most common injured areas, followed by the lower back, hand and wrist. Jammed fingers are another common injury.
Treatment for Ankle Sprains
Treatment for an ankle sprain involves a combination of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). Sometimes your doctor might want to take x-rays, depending on the severity and location of the pain. Doctors should take special consideration when evaluating a young person’s ankle to determine whether or not damage was done to the growth plates.
Eye injuries typically happen when a person is hit in the eye with a finger or elbow. Along with baseball, basketball is one of the leading causes of eye injuries in children.
Treatment for Eye Injuries
If you received a blunt blow, like an elbow to the eye, you might get a black eye. You can reduce swelling by applying a cold pack to the area. If you feel like you have a scratch on your eye, which might feel like there’s something stuck in your eye, don’t rub it, which could cause further damage. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical help right away:
- Loss of vision
- Intense pain
- Blood in your eye
- Pus or fluid coming from your eye
- Cut on your eye, eyelid or area around your eye
- Object in your eye
- Eye swollen shut
Mouth injuries are also common among basketball players. In a recent survey of professional and semi-professional basketball players, 80.6 percent of professionals and 37.7 percent of semi-professionals reported dental and oral injuries during practice. The difference in percentage is likely the length of time spent practicing.
One option to help protect yourself against sports injuries is to use a mouth guard, which can be custom made. However, while many players are aware of mouth guards, most players do not use them.
Treatment for Mouth Injuries
The treatment depends on the type of injury. A mouth laceration may require stitches, or may just need time to heal. Any trauma to the teeth should be checked out by your dentist. Even if the trauma is to baby teeth, it can still affect adult teeth. A dentist can take a look, and possibly x-rays, to help determine the best treatment plan.
While basketball injuries happen, it’s important to remember that any sport is going to put you at risk for an injury. However, playing basketball brings the benefits of exercise, camaraderie and honing a skill. These are things that add to your quality of life. If you choose to play basketball or another sport, take precautions to stay safe, but just as important, enjoy the moment and have a good time.