He’s got the ball.. he’s running.. he jumps for the shot.. and he’s on the ground gripping his foot?!
With all the running, jumping and changing direction, it’s no wonder that the feet and lower limbs are prone to injury in basketball. These actions place a lot of force on the bones, joints, muscles and ligaments. This means that good muscle strengths, technique warm ups, cool downs and generally a good training schedule very important if you want to avoid injury. Some common basketball injuries include:
Any time you’re moving quickly from side to side and landing from jumping, there’s a chance of rolling out and spraining your ankle. Ankle sprains occur where your ankle ligaments are stretched past a point that they can normally handle and damage occurs. Many factors can increase the like-lihood of ankle sprains, such as unsupportive footwear, ankle weakness and instability.
Pain at the front of the foot can be caused by a number of things – even just from having another play tread or land on your foot! Because a lot of time is spent on the ball of the foot, the joint cap-sules can become inflamed (capsulitis), the cushion-like sacs between tendon and bone called your bursa can become inflamed (bursitits), the tendons across your forefoot can become inflamed (tendonitis) along with many other causes! Clinically speaking, general forefoot pain is called meta-tarsalgia.
Sesamoiditis is another cause of forefoot pain at the ball of the foot that typically presents under-neath the big toe joint. It describes irritation of the very small sesamoid bones which are in the ten-don below the big toe – the tendon itself can become inflamed too. Again it’s all to do with the time spent on the forefoot during the game – and may be more prevalent if you also have flat feet!
This refers to pain caused by your achilles tendon which inserts into the back of your heel bone from your calf muscles. This means that anytime you engage your calf muscles or move your heel (and foot) up and down, you’re activating and using your achilles. When certain repetitive move-ments overload the achilles tendon, it becomes painful and inflamed. Over time, this can cause long-standing damage to the achilles tendon referred to tendinopathy. It’s important to manage ad-dress any achilles issues and pains before they become problematic – especially in a run-ning/jumping sport like basketball!
Just like other sports that keep you active on your feet at a high pace, there’s a chance you can develop heel pain at the bottom of your foot, such as plantar fasciitis. Because your plantar fascia is a tissue that spans your arch from the bottom of your feet and into the toes, repetitive move-ments that strain the fascia can cause it to become damaged or inflamed. Often this is exacerbated by unsupportive footwear that don’t help keep the foot in a supported position that minimises strain of many foot structures and tissues. Certain foot types – like a flat foot – can also increase strain on the structures at the bottom of the feet and increase the likelihood of injury.
Pain to your shins, that is your lower leg bone (tibia) is often associated with fast-paced running and jumping sports and Basketball is no exception. Shin pain occurs from excess tension on the muscles at the front of the leg or from a bending force on the shin bone itself. It can become very painful and uncomfortable for the player and the pain can continue long beyond when the game finishes. Because technique and tight muscles like the calves can play a big role in the stress to the shins, it’s important to warm up and stretch well and develop good technique!
No matter where your pain or injury, the first thing you need to do is make sure it’s managed cor-rectly and effectively. There’s nothing worse than suffering through pain much longer than you have to, or creating further damage without even realising it. Here at Sole Motion Podiatry, we love helping our awesome basketballers with everything from their techniques, to training and building up their intrinsic strength to reduce their risk of injury even before their feet hit the court! When injuries do occur, we make sure to get you out of pain and back to doing the things you love as fast as possible!
So if you’re wanting to be at the top of your game – give us a call! 1300-FX-FEET. We’re on your team!