Some individuals who play basketball might end up with knee pain. Basketball is a sport that involves jumping, sprinting, pivoting and moving laterally to perform various movements that can significantly place a toll on the knee joints. The knee is the biggest joint in the body that makes it prone to injuries. The muscles, ligaments and tendons in the area can end up damaged from trauma or repeated wear and tear.
A sprain occurs once the knee sustains a direct blow or if the joint is overused. Basketball is a sport that involves significant legwork and jumping, thus it is likely to occur. The ligament can be torn or stretched which results to severe pain and diminished range of movement. The anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is typically affected while sprinting. A sprain develops once the tendon or muscle is torn or damaged while jumping and landing hard. In addition, the patellar tendon can become inflamed which results to pain.
Treatment for acute and long-term knee pain
If an individual experiences knee pain or develop a strain or sprain, he/she must stop playing basketball at once and utilize the RICE method. You have to apply an ice pack on the affected knee for 1-2 days to minimize the inflammation.
Apply a bandage around the kneecap and keep it elevated using a cushion or pillow. You can also provide the individual with anti-inflammatory and pain medications for a few days.
As for long-term knee injuries, the individual might be required to utilize crutches and undergo physical therapy to minimize scarring in the knee as well as help the individual achieve full range of motion.
Ideal exercise for knee pain
Stretching and strengthening of the thighs, calves and ankles can prevent and alleviate knee pain. The ankle is mobilized by placing the front half of the foot on a slightly elevated surface.
Keep the heel on the floor and drive it forward. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds and then repeat. It is recommended to perform 15 knee drives on every leg. The quadriceps flexibility exercise is performed by lying on the left side on the floor. The individual should hug the right lower leg with the left hand. Pull the left heel towards the buttocks utilizing the right hand. The movement should be repeated using the other side.
The individual should warm up and perform stretching exercises using the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves before playing basketball. Perform rotational and warming up exercises on the knees before every game.
Always use proper shoes that provide maximum cushioning and good traction. Wear shoes that properly fit and have adequate support especially those who have flat feet. In addition, utilize bands and bandages as needed to protect the knees as well as keeping the alignment in correct track.