Playing sports is one of the best ways to stay in shape, have fun with friends, and develop teamwork skills. If you are reading this, then there’s a good chance that you enjoy the game of basketball or some other contact sport and want to keep it that way by doing what you can to prevent injuries.
Even if you’re not a professional athlete, keeping your body protected is important because plenty of sports-related injuries can be debilitating. This is especially true for children, who often don’t have fully-developed bones or muscles and are more sensitive to injuries.
Some of the most common types of injuries that occur during contact sports are sprains, fractures, and concussions. Here’s how you can prevent them from happening altogether.
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A sprained ankle is a very common injury for basketball players because of the frequent changes in direction involving sudden acceleration and deceleration. Sprains often happen when a player or an opponent lands on your foot with their full weight or twists your foot in an awkward direction.
By keeping your eye on the ball, you can avoid sprains by not rounding out or over-extending yourself to where your foot is vulnerable. This is possible by keeping your core loose, bending at the knees and hips, staying low, and watching — not reaching for — the ball.
Wearing shoes with good arch support and ankle support can also prevent sprains. So, don’t skimp out on ankle braces and buy high-quality shoes to protect your feet. After all, you won’t play properly if you don’t have the correct footwear.
You also have to be wary of not tearing your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) as this can be very painful and prevent you from playing in the future. If you feel excruciating pain in your knee during the game, you might want to call for a medic immediately because there’s a big chance that you have torn your ACL and will require their assistance.
Another common injury that can happen during contact sports is a fracture, which is often the result of being hit with a powerful force or falling onto hard surfaces. To prevent fractures, you must land on your feet in a landing position that will decrease the impact of any force that may come your way.
For instance, when you are running, you should always keep your head up and focus forward so if anyone does make contact with you, it won’t be in the face area where you could break teeth or cause head trauma.
Plus, always make sure that you’re playing on quality surfaces with cushioned materials to soften the blow. Hockey rinks, football fields, and rugby pitches are too hard for any bones to be broken. So, if you have no other choice, at least wear enough padding on your knees and elbows to deflect the pressure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), A concussion is a traumatic injury in the brain that occurs when the brain is shaken or jarred. This can occur during sports, car accidents, violent acts like being hit with a bat or thrown against a wall, and falls.
By wearing a sports mouthguard during a game, you can reduce the risk of concussions by protecting your teeth. Your mouthpiece should be sturdy but comfortable. It is also important to replace it every few months because the taste of rubber can become intolerable over time.
Concussions can happen when there’s a sudden head movement, so wearing a helmet while playing football can also reduce the risk of this injury by protecting your skull. Of course, when you’re in the heat of play, it’s important to remember that your helmet won’t protect every inch of your head. That’s why you still have to be aware of your surroundings and protect yourself as much as possible.
Sports injuries are bound to happen, but by being educated on the best ways to prevent them, you can have fun while staying in shape. You won’t be able to predict or prevent accidents from taking place, but you can protect yourself from the mere possibility of them occurring.
So, always put your own safety first by wearing protective equipment that matches your sport. Not only can this prevent injuries, but it’s also good practice for people who plan to eventually play professionally. And if you have children who are playing sports, too, make sure to provide them with protective gear. This way, you can remain safe and injury-free while enjoying the moment.