Prevention Tips for Common Basketball Injuries

prevention for basketball injuries

According to a report by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, a few injuries are more common to the game of basketball than others. It’s common knowledge that almost all sports expose players to vulnerabilities like general trauma, strains, sprains, etc. However, that doesn’t paint a clear picture. So, in this post by Lottabet we look at the commonest basketball injuries and how you can prevent them from happening.

Common Basketball Injuries

1. Foot/Ankle Injuries

According to the NATA report, injuries related to lower extremities (particularly ankle and foot) are the most common in basketball.

To prevent different ankle and toe injuries, you need to maintain adequate support. Wear the right kind of shoes before hitting the court. Go for indoor basketball shoes as they are slip-resistant on smoother surfaces. In general, also, be sure to invest in a quality pair of shoes with plenty of support around the ankle.

You may also try taping up with an athletic tape to go the extra mile in preventing ankle-related injuries.

2. Hip/Thigh Injuries

Movements like rebounding, jumping, running, and pivoting tend to put a lot of strain on hips and legs; thus exposing players to myriad injuries. Over-extending of ligaments, muscles, or contact with the ground may cause bruises and hip strains.

Prevention – Please note that most contact injuries are not preventable. However, it’s always good to stretch before the game. Flexible tendons and muscles are less likely to over-extend and cause injury in the process. It’s particularly important to stretch your hips during the warm-up before a big game.

3. Knee Injuries

Knee injuries like minor strains and sprains are 3rd commonest incidences to occur in the game of basketball.

Prevention: It’s good to strengthen your leg muscles to provide better knee support. To that end, gymming might really help. And, as always, stretching before the game is always the best. If you’re more susceptible to knee injuries, wearing knee braces is a great idea.

4. Wrist/Hand Injuries

Only 11% of injuries in basketball are related to the hand/wrist/forearm. It’s surprising because the game is primarily about hands.

Prevention – Keep your wrist and hands in good health. If the ball hits you wrong, it could jam your finger. So, always look for the ball right into the hands during a pass. The fingers should always be looking away. Try running less into other players on the field.

5. Head/Face Injuries

Head bumping or having another player elbow you in the face is never a pleasant situation. The situation is even worse when you are hit in the face by the ball. Besides being embarrassing, it could also cause a concussion.

Prevention – There’s not much you can do to avoid these situations other than being cautious on the ground. If you do happen to have contact to your head (via ball or elbow) be sure to look for symptoms of concussion. If the symptoms are worse, seek immediate medical help.

Strategies That Can Help Prevent Basketball Injuries

Ensure Fitness

Basketball demands a great deal of physical fitness. So, it’s important to stick with a fitness regimen even during the off-season. Incorporate strength training, flexibility exercises, and aerobics into your workout routine. If, at the beginning of the season you’re out of shape – start slow before gradually upping your activity level. Try to slowly get back into shape.

Warmup and Stretching

Stretching and warm-up are essential to all sports including basketball. According to studies, cold muscles are more vulnerable to injuries. A warm-up session could include walking, running, stationary cycling, or jumping jacks for 3-5 minutes. After that stretch slowly and gently for about 30 seconds for each movement.

Ensure Hydration

Lack of hydration can make it difficult for the body to cool itself through evaporation and sweat during the game. So, to maintain hydration aim for at least 24 oz. of fluid (non-caffeinated) two hours before exercise. Go for an extra 8 ounces of sports drink or water before the game.

Grab 8 oz. of water every twenty minutes during the workout.

Focus on Technique

Be mindful of your positions and others on the court to keep the odds of collision at a minimum.
Avoid holding, pushing, blocking, charging, or tripping the opponents.
Use correct techniques while scoring/passing
Use right equipment at all times
Wear snug, non-skid basketball shoes that offer adequate support.
Wear ankle braces to avoid sprains
Go for elbow and knee pads to prevent abrasions and bruises.
To protect mouth and teeth, wear a mouthguard
For players who wear glasses, glass guards and/or safety glasses are important.
Avoid wearing any kind of jewellery during the game.

Ensure a Safe Environment

If you play on outdoor courts, be sure to keep it free from any visible hazards like holes, rocks, water, etc. In the case of inside courts, keep it free of debris. Ensure good traction at all times by maintaining a clean surface.
Always consider environmental conditions while playing outside. Avoid playing in extreme or harsh weather conditions. Also, avoid playing when the lighting is inadequate.
Avoid placing boundary lines and baskets too close to the bleachers, walls, fountains, and other solid structures. Make sure the goal posts are well-padded.


Aside from taking preventive measures, it’s important to stay in your best shape. Hitting the gym and running a few extra miles could not only improve your odds of winning, but would also safeguard you from injuries.