Its that time of year again, March Madness. College Basketballs biggest tournament takes center stage. March also brings warmer weather and the inclination to head out to your local court and ‘shoot some hoops’.

We’ve narrowed down the most common injuries faced by basketball players. As with most sports, sprains, strains and general trauma account for almost all of the injuries suffered, but that doesn’t give you much information. Here is a closer look at what types of injuries basketball players most commonly experience and how to avoid them.

1. Foot/Ankle Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are the worst offender. Whether its rolling an ankle, getting hit while scrambling for the ball, or accidentally getting stepped on, basketball leaves athletes most open to these types of injuries.

Prevention: Preventing foot and ankle injuries is all about support. Make sure you are wearing the right footwear. Indoor basketball shoes help prevent slipping and they will also provide a higher profile and more support around the ankle.

2. Hip/Thigh Injuries

Pivoting, running, jumping, and rebounding all place extra strain on the legs and hips, leaving players open to a variety of injuries. Hip strains and bruises can occur from contact on the court or over-extending of muscles and ligaments.

Prevention: Some injuries suffered through contact just cant be prevented but stretching is always a good plan of action. The more flexible your muscles and tendons are, the less likely you’ll be to over-extend them and injure yourself.

3. Knee Injuries

Severe injuries like ACL tears are not as common in basketball as they are in high contact sports, but sprains and strains still have the third highest incidence of occurring in basketball.

Prevention: Strengthening the muscles in your legs will help build better support for your knees, so this is one where hitting the gym can really help.

4. Wrist/Hand Injuries

Wrist and Hand injuries aren’t extremely common in basketball, which is surprising considering the game is played primarily with the hands.

Prevention: Keeping your hands and wrist in health condition is about awareness.

5. Head/Face Injuries

Bumping heads with another player or taking an accidental elbow to the face is never a fun situation. Getting hit in the face with the ball is probably even worse but all possible injuries a basketball player could potentially experience.

Prevention: The most important thing to watch out for it concussion symptoms. Be sure to monitor any symptoms. If there is any sign of concussion at all, seek immediate help from a professional.

If you are suffering from any type of sports injuries, be sure to contact Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopedics for a consultation.