Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world due to its dynamism and numerous benefits it brings to mental and physical health.
Suffice it to say that according to an American survey published in The Guardian, basketball has overtaken baseball and football over the years in popularity, being practiced by over 26 million people, above all very young.
In Italy, according to Istat data, it occupies the third place of the most practiced sports after soccer and volleyball, involving over 800 thousand people. A passion that unites amateurs of all ages and celebrities who, before entering the world of the star system, decided to play basketball during college: from George Clooney to Brad Pitt, from Kevin Hart to Snoop Doog, up to the ex President Barack Obama.
But practicing this sport without the right precautions increases the risk of injuries: according to a study published by Sports Illustrated, 45% of basketball players suffered injuries to the Achilles tendon, a problem that forced forced NBA’s stars like Kobe Bryant, Wesley Matthews, Maurice Taylor and Mehmet Okur to stop. Just think that the outcome of the 2019 NBA Finals was compromised by the injury that struck Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors champion.
What are the expert advices, then?
Prevention starts at home with the choice of sports footwear suitable for the conformation of the foot and continues on the field with regular stretching exercises alongside training aimed at strengthening the calf muscles. Finally, to reduce the recovery time from injuries experts recommend relying on laser therapy.
For this reason Theal Therapy, a made in Italy laser therapy created by Mectronic, has been patented, which, taking advantage of the mix of its different wavelengths, adapts the treatment based on physiological parameters such as age, phototype and type of tissue.
"Basketball is one of the most practiced sports in the world but, like any physical activity, the risk of injuries and physical problems is always around the corner especially if the athlete does not respect certain rules such as proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle –
explains Dr. Marco Longafeld, massophysiotherapist for Scaligera Basket Verona
– I believe that training should be as personalized as possible, specific for the game of basketball and should aim to find the balance of the muscular system, all supported by the help of an athletic trainer. During my experience in basketball, I was able to find out that the most frequent injuries were traumatic in origin, localized in joints, such as simple or complicated sprains of the ankle and knee, and "overuse" wear, from inflammation to tendonitis, above all the patellar and the achilles to continue with diffuse pains in the knee (gonalgia), all due mostly to repeated stresses and excessive loads. For these problems the help of Theal Therapy becomes a valid ally in the prevention and treatment of injuries. Laser technology emits a light beam that penetrates the tissues causing a biochemical response on the cell membrane and inside the mitochondria. Among the main actions are the pain-relieving effect, due to the increased threshold of perception by the nerve endings and the release of endorphins, and the anti-inflammatory effect due to the increase in blood flow resulting from vasodilation.
What are the other most common injuries in the world of basketball besides those that affect the Achilles tendon?
According to a study by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, most injuries occur in the lower limbs, both due to stress-related causes and traumatic causes: 38% of injuries are related to the knees, 27% to the hip and legs, 35% the feet. That's not all, because 60% of injuries involve the range of young people between 15-24 years old who practices basketball at an amateur level during college. And again, in the world of basketball there may be lesions of the rotator cuff or episodes of dislocation due to physical contact with other players, and trauma to the fingers due to incorrect control of the ball. There are also injuries that affect the face, especially the eyes, chin and mouth.
Finally, here is the decalogue of experts to prevent and treat the most frequent accidents in basketball:
• 1 •
SUBJECT TO A CUSTOMIZED TRAINING REGIME
Always perform scrupulous physical preparation and the most personalized training possible. The balance of the muscular system and the reinforcement of the districts most at risk are important for prevention.
• 2 •
FOLLOW A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND A CORRECT ALIMENTATION
Prevention starts at home with the contribution of a correct caloric requirement and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, without exceeding in any way.
• 3 •
WEAR SUITABLE SPORTS SHOES
It is necessary to have shoes that avoid slipping on the playing surface and offer good stability also thanks to a medium ankle support. To prevent recurrent distortions, it is also advisable to use a bandage with a taping tape.
• 4 •
PAY ATTENTION TO STRETCHING AND POSTURAL EXERCISES
Carrying out a good warm-up is important to prevent the risk of injuries, but so are all the stretching exercises and postures designed to maintain a certain elasticity in the muscular districts.
• 5 •
HYDRATE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE MATCHES
Maintaining proper hydration is the main warning to ensure optimal athletic performance, reducing fatigue and stress. Even drinks loaded with mineral salts are useful because they regulate the salt and water balance, allowing a good state of health of the cells and tissues.
• 6 •
STRENGTHENING THE MUSCLING OF LOWER LIMBS
Muscle strengthening, neuromotor control exercises and the balance between agonist and antagonist muscles are fundamental for improving performance, protecting ligamentous structures, and countering trauma to the joints and any relapses.
• 7 •
UNDERGO DECONTRACTING MASSAGES
The basketball puts the muscular apparatus under constant stress: to avoid contractures, strains and tears it is useful to undergo periodically massages that allow the relaxation of the different muscular areas.
• 8 •
AVOID DAMAGE FROM FUNCTIONAL OVERLOAD
The player must learn to listen to his body and dose workloads during training to avoid overloading stress.
• 9 •
CHECK THE CONDITIONS OF THE PLAYING FIELD
Do not underestimate the conditions of the field, both outdoors and indoors: make sure that there are no cracks, presence of debris, wet and that the surface is suitable for the correct course of the game.
• 10 •
IN CASE OF ACCIDENT USE LASER THERAPY
The use of the Theal Therapy laser has proved extremely useful in the cure and recovery in the shortest time of acute-chronic pathologies linked to the world of basketball.