Ankle Injuries in Football and Basketball

Most athletes that play football and/or basketball know that these sports put their ankles at risk for injury. Yet so many football and basketball players, especially younger players, don’t do anything to protect themselves from injury.

Let’s put things in to perspective:

  • Tight end Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots limped off the field during their AFC Championship win on Sunday, January 22. Now he’s questionable to return for the Super Bowl. He might miss playing in the Super Bowl because of an ankle injury!
  • Center Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz recently had to sit out of another basketball game because of an inflamed ankle. This isn’t the first time he’s hurt his ankle. How many more times is it going to happen?
  • Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely due to a fractured left ankle which occurred after landing on another player’s foot.

Ankle injuries are very frequent in both football and basketball. Luckily there are ways you can reduce your chances of ankle injuries. For one thing, be sure to strengthen and stretch your ankles between games. Having strong ankle muscles means that you’re less likely to sprain your ankle.  Check your equipment. Be sure your shoes aren’t worn out. Include ankle braces as part of your usual gear that you wear on the court and on the field.

Although nothing can completely eliminate our chances for ankle injuries, they can significantly reduce them. Talk with your doctor or sports medicine professional for additional ways to help reduce your chances of ankle injuries from football and basketball. You can also check out these following resources for football and basketball ankle protection.

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What is Whiplash?

You may have heard of whiplash being a common cause of neck injury, but what exactly is it? Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy helps describe whiplash and some of the symptoms that come along with it. Here is an excerpt:

“Whiplash is a common injury affecting people involved in a car accident. In fact, whiplash is the most common traffic injury affecting approximately 83% of those people involved in a motor vehicle accident. For some, the condition resolves quickly. For others (10% according to the literature), whiplash can turn into chronic neck pain. According to some literature, some risk factors for developing chronic neck pain after whiplash have been identified. They are as follows…”

Check out the full article and learn more about whiplash. It’s important to see your doctor if you are experiencing neck pain or soreness, especially after a traumatic injury. If you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash, your doctor may recommend a cervical collar to help provide support to the neck and to help the area heal.

DonJoy ComfortFORM Back Support Helps Alleviate Lower Back Pain

The DonJoy ComfortFORM Back Support is one of the leading back braces to help alleviate low back pain, back strains or back spasms. It provides support and stability to the lower back to reduce pressure on your joints and abdominal area. It’s lined with comfortable foam and is easy to put on and use.

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Basketball Braces for Joint Protection

Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.

I don’t think I’ve ever participated in any competitive or recreational basketball league without seeing fellow players get hurt. Athletes are bound to get hurt with all the running, quick changes in speed, sharp turns, jumping, and landing in basketball. The most common injuries are knee injuries and ankle injuries.

The knee is susceptible to injury during basketball because of the pivoting involved with the sport. This positioning puts the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) at risk, especially if another player collides with you. I’ve also witnessed fellow teammates injure their ACL during layups or even when no other player is near them. Some medical professionals say that females are more likely to injure their ACL because of our anatomy. I’ve also known basketball players who experience patellar tendonitis, which means that their tendon in the kneecap is inflamed. This is usually caused by overuse to the knee.

You can help prevent knee injuries during basketball by wearing basketball knee braces. They reduce the amount of time your knee is at an “at risk” position for ligament tears and can be particular helpful in preventing non-contact ACL tears. Knee straps for basketball can also help prevent inflammation of the patellar tendon, which decreases pain in the kneecap and can keep you on the court.

The ankle is susceptible to injury during basketball because of all the turning and jumping in the sport. One simple misstep can cause the ankle to rollover, stretching the ligaments in your ankle and causing an ankle sprain. I still remember going up for a rebound and landing on another player’s shoe. This caused my foot to hit the ground on its side, sending a shock of pain up my leg. Luckily, my ankles are very flexible, so I was only slightly sore… but it showed me how close I came to injuring my ankle!

You can reduce your chances of spraining your ankle by wearing basketball ankle braces. They help bring stability to your ankle so you’re less likely to have a rollover incident. Most players I knew didn’t wear ankle braces until after they got hurt. I’d recommend wearing an ankle brace before you get hurt — especially because I’ve learned that spraining your ankle once makes you more susceptible to injuring it again in the future.

Ever since my injury I’ve really been more aware of how my activities affect my health, so wearing basketball braces is super important for anyone that wants to protect their joints while participating in sports. As with any injury, your doctor will be the best source of advice on the appropriate treatment for your situation.