How to avoid Ankle Injuries while playing Basketball

playing basketballLet’s face it, suffering a serious injury to either your ankle or foot is the worst thing that can happen to a basketball player at any level. With all the running up and down the court, the impact from crashing down after a jump, quick starts and stops in either direction or even just harsh contact with other players there’s a lot that can go wrong. Sure your hands are making the all-important shots, but you still need to get up and down the court day in and day out. The amount of pressure put on your ankle and feet is enormous.
A large percentage of basketball injuries stem from inadequate warm-up, older shoes that have become worn out or even the players conditioning not being up to par.
The types of foot and ankle injuries that from from basketball vary from minor to chronic. There are however two very common foot and ankle injuries players can expect to encounter no matter how often they play:
Ankle Sprain – Occur due to rapid shifting movements with a planted foot. The foot turns inward while the ankle rolls outward resulting in tears in the ligaments on the outside of the ankle.
foot’s 26 small bonesFractures – The high-impact and repetitive motions make basketball a high risk game for fractures. Trauma to the bone such as falling, twisting, objects landing on the foot and collisions with other players can result in a fracture to any of the foot’s 26 small bones. The most common bone to be fractured in a basketball game however is the metatarsal, which is a part of the midfoot.
If you get hurt during a game, you should always leave the court immediately and seek medical attention if available. If you are on your own, elevate the foot, place ice on it, compress and then rest. If the pain does not decrease significantly within a few days, you should contact a doctor.
To protect your feet and ankles, look for a pair of sneakers that offer high ankle support. A few examples of the best basketball shoes for extra ankle support:
Lebron 11 – The design is higher in the front than it is in the back, which means that your ankle is not only supported, but gives you room to flex at the same time.
Nike Hyperdunk – A favorite among NBA players, the Nike Hyperdunk offers responsive cushioning, and a complete inner sleeve to ensure maximum ventilation. The articulated heel collar will allow for quick moves while still protecting your ankle firmly where it needs to be.
Others to consider would be the Under Armour Charge BB with it’s extreme high ankle, theAir Jordan XX8 from Nike and the Adidas Crazy Light 3.
Where you play counts as well. Everyone has fond memories of playing on the black-top asphalt. Unfortunately, concrete and asphalt courts are very hard and offer little to no shock absorption for your feet. If you are playing in a league or regular pickup games, it is best to play on an indoor hardwood court. Indoor courts offer the most shock absorption.
So next time you hit the court, come to the court prepared. You can still play hard but try to keep in mind these potential injuries so you can ready in case of a foot or ankle injury.

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