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Why March Madness can be a problem for basketball players

Information provided on the blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or offer treatment plans.

First of all, Dayton?  Who guessed that?

Now, Imagine that you are sitting courtside during March Madness.  Players are flying shopparajumpers up and down the court–one drive after another.  Tempers are flaring, players are pushing themselves a little canada goose Expedition Parka bit harder–jump higher, run faster, shoot smarter.  It’s intense, right?

Now, there’s a drive to the basket, a spin, a shot, and when the dust settles, your star player is on the ground.  He gets up with help, but he has a distinct limp.  The athletic trainers help him to the locker room, and you’re wondering if he’ll be back to play this game, next week, or maybe if he’ll be out until next year.

Overuse injuries in sports are common.  Even elite basketball players are susceptible shopparajumpers to injuries with an increased load of games and a full season of competition, and this year’s March Madness 2014 has had its own share of injuries.

Willie Cauley-Stein from Kentucky suffered an ankle injury and Iowa State lost one of its stars, Georges Niang, to a foot injury in the NCAA tournament.  Arizona had already felt the impact of ankle injuries with the February injury to Brandon Ashley.

Regardless of the level of play, basketball poses a risk to a player’s ankles.  As seen in the previous examples, ankle injuries can sideline canada goose Expediton Parka even the best of players for a significant amount of time (and sideline our brackets at the same time).

So, what do you do if you are in the final four and you hurt your ankle playing basketball? The best advice is online to Rest, Ice, Compress and mobile Elevate.  After an injury to the ankle, the player should not put weight on the injured side. Immediately, put ice on the ankle and elevate it above the heart to help prevent swelling.  Compression can also help avoid significant swelling and speed the return to play.

However, each injury is different and each player may need differing amounts of time to recover, which we all know from last year’s horrific leg break. But unless you snap your leg during play, wouldn’t you want to come back right away?  Your team needs you shopparajumpers in the tournament.  Your fans need you.  Everyone needs you.  It’s not easy to be an injured online player during the biggest tournament of the year.

The not so glamorous, but best option

All that being said, the best and most effective policy is prevention.

It may not be as glamorous as practicing your favorite dunk or running through that killer play that no one will expect, but players will always be better off if they can prevent a serious injury from occurring.

Studies have shown that a basketball player can prevent serious ankle injuries by focusing on balance training.  A balance board, a foam pad, and one-leg standing are all examples of excellent exercises that have been shown to prevent ankle injuries.  In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine stated that a balance board program could help reduce the occurrence of ankle sprains.

What does that mean for players? It means they’ll be safer on the court, leading–fans hope–to a more successful team.

So while tournaments are great entertainment and a true exhibition of talent and prowess, they do also pose a risk to our beloved teams.

And no player is injury proof.  Accidents happen.  Bodies twist and move in ways they were never meant to, but at the end of the day, teams that ignore prevention training have a greater chance of suffering during elevated, intense March Madness gameplay.

If you’d like to know more about injury prevention, or you do happen to be injured, make an appointment with me.

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Geoffrey Van Thiel, MD

Dr. Van Thiel is an orthopedic surgeon, specializing in sports medicine, for Rockford Orthopedic Associates. He enjoys keeping his patients active as well as being active himself.


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