Between the fast pace of play, the sudden stops and starts, and the frequent contact, it’s no wonder that basketball injuries are extremely common. And yet, basketball is extremely popular in the U.S., both with kids and teens, and with players of all ages.
Whether you’re playing in a local rec league or raising a young athlete, it’s important to be aware of the most common injuries, the symptoms associated with them, and the treatment you can expect if you visit a Pembroke Pines chiropractor.
4 Common Basketball Injuries
- ACL and MCL Sprains and Tears
Sprains can happen in any part of the body, when a ligament — the thing connecting two bones together — is injured. For basketball players, sprains are most common in the knees and ankles. Maybe you landed incorrectly after jumping for a rebound, or maybe you fell after colliding with another player.
Sometimes, a sprain can come from a motion as simple as trying to change direction quickly after a turnover. And sometimes, the ligament can tear, either partially or completely. In basketball, the knee is especially susceptible to these injuries, especially in the ACL (a ligament that crosses the center of your knee) and the MCL (a ligament on the inside of your knee).
Sprains will often heal over time with rest, but if you want to get back on the court faster, you may want to seek out help from your local chiropractor.
Tears, on the other hand, will often require medical care. Physical therapy and chiropractic can sometimes help a tear heal naturally, but sometimes, these injuries will require surgery.
It’s important to keep in mind that sprains and tears often have similar symptoms. This is why it’s so important to get an expert opinion when you’ve been injured; a chiropractor can help you understand the root cause of your pain and rule out more serious issues if your injury is mild.
In many cases, we can help heal your injury without surgery or medication, but we’re always willing to make referrals if other forms of treatment are necessary.
Tendonitis happens when a tendon — the tissue connecting muscle to bone — becomes irritated and inflamed. This condition can happen to any athlete, either because of wear and tear or because of irritation from repeating the same motion over and over.
For basketball players, patella tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis are especially common. Patella tendonitis, or jumper’s knee, affects the tendon connecting the knee and the shin. Achilles tendonitis occurs in the tendon that stretches from the back of the calf to the heel bone.
Sometimes tendonitis starts gradually, with symptoms of soreness, stiffness and swelling. Other times, tendonitis begins all at once, and the pain can even be burning or grating. Tendonitis will worsen overtime if left untreated, so it’s important to visit a chiropractor as soon as possible after your symptoms arise.
- Jammed Fingers
Most basketball players know the feeling of a painful “jammed finger,” but what’s really happening when a ball hits the end of your finger? In most cases, the swelling that occurs after a jammed finger is from a ligament sprain. But sometimes, your finger might be broken, and it can be hard to tell the difference.
Usually jammed fingers will heal on their own with rest, ice, and taping the affected finger, but if the pain doesn’t go away or worsens over time, a chiropractor can help you make sure you’re not dealing with a more severe injury.
At Rush Chiropractic, we’re careful to only take X-rays when necessary, but we do have the ability to take pictures of your finger if they’re needed to diagnose your injury.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Osgood Schlatter Disease is a condition that can cause knee pain in young athletes who have not finished growing. This inflammatory disease happens when the growth plate at the top of the shin/bottom of the knee becomes irritated, usually from a repetitive motion like running on a hard surface.
This growth plate will eventually harden into bone, but in young athletes, it’s still made of soft cartilage that can get inflamed. If your child or teen is experiencing knee pain, pain below the knee, and in some cases a hard bump below the kneecap, they may be experiencing Osgood Disease. In fact, one study suggests that 10% of all adolescents have this issue.
Fortunately, Osgood Schlatter Disease will often heal with rest. However, if the pain is severe or if you want to help your child get back to playing basketball faster, a chiropractor can help them find relief with treatments like chiropractic adjustment.
How Does a Chiropractor Treat Basketball Injuries?
Many athletes are quick to shrug off pain because it’s “just part of the sport,” or because they don’t think there’s an easy solution. But if you’re experiencing pain from a basketball injury, chiropractic care can help you find relief faster, prevent future reinjury, and get back to playing the sport you love as safely as possible.
For many injuries, we can use chiropractic adjustment or joint manipulation to adjust misaligned joints, take pressure off irritated tissues so they can heal faster, and improve your mobility.
At Rush Chiropractic, we have a wide range of other tools at our disposal, including:
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation
- Exercise and Nutritional Advice
- Hot and Cold Therapy
Don’t put off dealing with your pain until it’s developed into something more serious! If you’re experiencing pain from a basketball injury, give us a call today at 954-432-5006.
Dr. Rush is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.
Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000 where he was honored with magna cum laude. Dr. Rush was born and raised in South Florida where he returned after graduation. He currently practices in Pembroke Pines where he owns and operates Rush Chiropractic and Rehab.