basketball

Ankle Injuries of Stephen Curry – Ankle Braces and Physiotherapy

Basketball ankle injuries are the most likely way that you’ll be hurt playing basketball. In fact, over 40% of injuries that occur when playing basketball are either injuries to the ankle or foot, and there any many factors which increase the rate of injury such as what type of footwear a player wears:

http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/35/2/103.full

The Problem

The problem lies with the fact that the foot and ankle is relatively weak compared with the rest of the body, and you are playing on a hard surface, changing direction constantly, and playing in close contact with other players who are constantly stepping on others’ feet.

Solution #1 – Ankle Braces

After you have had many injuries, you can wear an ankle brace. One of the best basketball players of all time wears an ankle brace every game because he has had so many ankle injuries – Stephen Curry, as you can see in the video above. He wears a stiff brace but there are also medium and light support braces that are effective (depending on your injury), like those at:

http://www.piranhasportsfitness.com/basketball/equipment/best-ankle-brace

He wears a stiff ankle brace that protects his ankle from injury while also allowing him the flexibility to play to the best of his ability.

Solution #1 – Strengthen Ankles

The best thing you can do for your game and your ankles is first to strengthen your ankles. You can do toe raises, and ankle circles, engaging the muscles that support the ankle. Even after injury, physiotherapy is effective.

To get the correct exercises, it is important to consult a health professional to make sure that your ankles are properly strengthened against the wear and tear they will encounter in a basketball game.

Injury Prevention for Basketball

According to the “European Network for Sports Injury Prevention” (http://www.eurosafe.eu.com), basketball gets the second share of injuries in team sports, with a percentage of 15.3. It might seem small, compared to the first position, football, which has a 45.8% of the injuries in team sports statistics. However, prevention is possible.

Not without implication and hard work, but understanding what injuries you are prone to, depending on your training level and role in the team and combined with your overall body health will help you manage your game and decrease the chance of getting injured in a basketball match.

Injury Situation and Mechanism

Men and women get injured differently when playing basketball, and this is due to their body’s musculoskeletal system and their ability to concentrate in the game’s ever changing focus point. Injuries can have different causes on the basketball court, but differentiating them based on the gender of the player is important, in order to take the proper course of action:

Body contact – Men: 36.8% / Women: 34.6%

Landing – Men: 24.2% / Women: 25.0%

Running – Men: 12.6% / Women: 15.4%

Fall – Men:9.9% / Women: 11.5%

Other – Men: 16.3% / Women: 13.3%

Injured Body Areas

Based on the same principle of the body being constructed differently in men and women, understanding these differences when it comes to the body part injured in the history of basketball is essential in order to seek professional help from an osteopath or a physiotherapist, which can help the player gain perfect function of his/her joints and muscles and determine if there are any abnormalities in his/her anatomy. At the same time, performance requires dedication and overuse can lead to the weakening of tendons and ligaments.

Knee Joint – Men: 24.9% / Women: 49.1%

Ankle joint – Men: 18.9% / Women: 17.0%

Hand/Wrist – Men: 14.1% / Women: 13.2%

Head – Men: 10.3% / Women: 7.5%

Shoulder – Men: 8.1% / Women: 3.8%

Preseason Screening

The most important aspect in injury prevention for basketball is taking action before something happens. No injury or, possibly, an increase in injury incidence should be the cause that leads to further investigation. Athletes, of any kind, should have regular screenings, during their training periods and most of all, before preseason ones, in order to determine the risk factors which can lead to basketball injuries:

  • Muscular imbalances;
  • Cardiovascular problems;
  • Athletic and neuromuscular deficits.

Osteopathy can be extremely helpful in conducting these screenings, especially if there is a certified osteopath monitoring the entire team, with the help of the club’s general doctor.

Having a close relationship with the patients can help him identify changes not only in the personal sessions, but also from watching training and game sessions and gathering information from both the players themselves, but also from the coach/coaches who are able to identify a small change in a player’s routine or performance, without knowing the cause. Communication in these situations is mandatory, in order to get the best results.

Early Injury Prevention for Basketball

Early injury prevention for basketball can never start too early. All teams require structured warm-up programs, which must focus on strength, balance, agility and playing techniques, concentrating on cutting and landing movement, balance training on mats or wobble boards, as early as 10-12 years of age, without interruption, even when reaching the adult, professional playing.

At the same time, knee and ankle injuries can be prevented by involving strength, jump, coordination and balance exercises in the training, especially with female players, the “knee over toe” technique being extremely efficient. (Learn more about training exercises: http://www.piranhasportsfitness.com/basketball/jump-training-increase-vertical/equipment/)

Knee and shoulder stabilization and coordination are mandatory elements in the warm-up routine before training. It must involve proper jumping and landing technique, coordination practices and balance and stabilizing the core and shoulder girdle.

Preventing ACL injuries, especially in training elite female teams through neuromuscular training is essential, depending on the player’s understanding of the importance of respecting the training schedule (Learn more about ACL injuries: http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/STOP/STOP/Prevent_Injuries/ACL_Injury_Prevention.aspx). There are different ways to make this possible:

  • Plyometrics exercise, which include balance and strength exercises;
  • Performing training sessions multiple times each week;
  • Keeping a minimum of 6 weeks in length of training schedule.

From a medical point of view, having a correct knee joint position is vital in order to follow through the training routine and osteopathic manipulation techniques, combined with kinesio tapes will prove effective in correcting position mistakes or joint imbalances.

At the same time, diminishing the importance of external support for the players can prove to be a fatal mistakes. From mouth guards, which prevent dental injuries on contact, to ankle and knee braces, orthoses or kinesio-tapes, these are all helpful, especially when the history of the player has proven a predisposition for joint injuries in basketball.

Even if all of the above should be mandatory in any basketball club, depending on the area, experience and budget, some of the above recommendations might not be possible for your team. It might be up to you to take the required measures in order to ensure you are properly trained and fit to play basketball, especially if you desire to make a career out of it. Do not give up and keep training. Results will show up and, if injury prevention for basketball is done properly, with as few injuries as possible.

Plyometric Training for Basketball

basketball-jump

The lower body is emphasized when an athlete is taking plyometric training for basketball. The person who is in training works on the following depth jumps, rim jumps, cone hops, lateral cone hops, and the ability to pass with a jump and reach motion. The training is vigorous because now today’s athlete must strive to reach heights that our past athlete’s did not do.

Plyometric Training For Basketball

Plyometrics for the basketball athlete requires several in-depth procedures to help them increase their ability to jump higher and to jump sideways, and most importantly learn how to get a higher vertical. The athlete must achieve a depth jump of 180 degree turn while being able to pass or reach the basketball. The following is part of their training program:

  • The depth jump requires a box that is 12 inches so the basketball athlete can stand with the toes on the front edge of the box to enable them to step and drop to land on both feet. This must be done as quickly as possible.
  • Next the athlete needs a high object such as found on a football goal post to enable them to stand with their feet shoulder width apart. The object is to jump in a continuous motion reaching out alternating the hands. They must be able to reach the goal post with each jumping motion.
  • Cone hops are another important part of plyometric training to help the athlete with his ability to change direction while in a jumping motion. The athlete will need a partner and about six cones placed three to four feet apart so as to form the figure Y. Spread the feet shoulder width apart facing the first cone. The partner will be at the top of the Y. Then you must do two-footed hops as you go over the row of cones. At that point your partner will point to a cone that is far away in which you are expected to sprint to that cone.

Here are a few quickness and explosiveness drills for professional basketball players:

Specific Jumps for the Sport

These jumps are completed by the athlete using a medicine ball or a basketball depending on the strength of the basketball player. When this type of training is performed the athlete should always have a partner with them for safety. It is not good to do any type of drill alone because of the possibility of an accident.

The following types of plyometric training is part of the basketball player’s regime:

  • Low Post Drill where your partner throws you the basketball in the low position, you catch it, pivot, and jump to touch the rim of the basketball.
  • The Catch and Pass with Jump and Reach is where the athlete will step off the box landing on both feet going upward and forward in the same motion. At this point the arms go forward to make the catch then pass to the partner.

Plyometric Training is necessary for the basketball athlete but it is very demanding requiring the person to keep a ridged schedule. Ballistic training, or explosiveness training, should also be incorporated for best results. The basketball athlete keeps track of foot contacts, specific amount of jumps achieved in each session and their progress.