Monday Motivation (Week 17): Basketball Injuries

 In Fitness

In this week’s edition of Monday Motivation, I am going to dig into lower-body injuries that deal with basketball players. I mentioned at the end of last week’s MM that poor ankle mobility is a root cause of having anterior knee pain. Basketball players get their ankles taped all the time and also wear braces to protect their ankles. You would think this is always a good thing, they are protecting their ankles from rolling and getting sprains. The thing is, they are protecting the ankle, but they don’t have any mobility in their ankle because of the tape or brace and that causes the injury to go up the leg and the next spot for an injury is the patella-femoral area aka a lot more knee injuries. They are protecting the ankle joint, yes, but that has led to a higher dose of high ankle sprains and patella injuries which are more severe most of the time than a roller ankle. Soccer sees fewer ankle/patella injuries and they use low cut lightweight shoes on the grass. The problem is that basketball players are getting their ankles taped too much and not letting their ankles gain any strength. Training with less artificial stability at the ankle joint actually protects the ankle and the knee. We need to train our athletes’ proper landing mechanics from the hip down. Hip control and combining single-leg ply work to address eccentric and stability components to allow for long-term relief. The last part of this week’s MM is that Boyle found almost a 100% correlation between knee pain and glut medius tenderness. This tenderness can be solved by foam rolling on a daily basis. I have said it before, foam rolling is how we should start out every session of exercise. Why? Because things that are important should be done every day. We need to strengthen the hip stabilizers so that the knee doesn’t have to do more work. If the knee is doing too much work because the hip isn’t stable or strong enough we are bound for an injury at some point, it’s just a waiting game to see when it happens. Single leg exercises cause the hip stabilizer muscles to work harder to stabilize in the frontal and transverse planes. As a progression for the single-leg squat, its more about the range of motion than the load. When you are able to get fully down to your femur parallel to the ground you know you are able to progress to the next variation. That’s how you know this is a great exercise, when you can do it with NO RESISTANCE well we can advance. Reduce the resistance and we will reduce the prevalence of injury. They will happen because injuries happen. We are going to do everything we can to reduce that incidence rate. That’s it for this week.  

In Good Health Always,

Sean Maloney and the ToneUp Club Team

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