OrthoVirginia Blog

Basketball Injury Prevention

Dr. Thomas Martinelli specializes in sports medicine and practices in our Alexandria and Springfield offices.

The fast-paced action of basketball can cause a wide range of injuries, most often to the foot, ankle, and knee. Sprained ankles and knee ligament tears are common. Basketball players are also at risk for jammed fingers and stress fractures in the foot and lower leg.

Proper Preparation for Play includes maintaining fitness, warming up and stretching and hydrating. Players should focus on their technique as indicated below as well as the proper use of equipment including mouth guards, ankle supports, and snug basketball shoes.

Focus on technique

  • Play only your position and know where other players are on the court to reduce the chance of collisions.
  • Do not hold, block, push, charge, or trip opponents.
  • Use proper techniques for passing and scoring.
  • Do not forget sportsmanship.

Ensure Appropriate Equipment

  • Select basketball shoes that fit snugly, offer support, and are non-skid.
  • Ankle supports can reduce the incidence of ankle sprains.
  • Protective knee and elbow pads will protect you from bruises and abrasions.
  • Use a mouth guard to protect your teeth and mouth.
  • If you wear glasses, use safety glasses or glass guards to protect your eyes.
  • Do not wear jewelry or chew gum during practice or games.

Read for more information on basketball injury prevention.

I personally think that basketball and other team sports offer elements that individual sports alone cannot. The sense of camaraderie in working toward a common goal, the pride you can take in a great shot or rebound even when it is not your personal play, and the friendships you can make transcend the actual time spent on the court. Each sport has its own unique risks, benefits, talent levels, time commitments, etc, but if you get involved with a group of basketball players of similar skill levels you can play into the senior levels at a high degree or competition. Having played at the college level as a high achiever (senior year captain, mvp, most improved, capital district all tournament) and now playing in an adult over 35 league, I can tell you that some of my most enjoyable times in basketball have happened since I became active in the over 35 league in Burke.