Basketball is fun for everyone, from young kids
to grown-ups. As with any sport, there is a risk
of injury when you play basketball. Here are
some tips to help you prevent injuries. If you
do get hurt, this article also explains how to treat
some of the more common injuries at home.
Injury Prevention Tips
- Wear gym shoes that fit snugly, are non-skid
and have high tops.
- Use a mouth guard, ankle braces and safety
- Warm up and stretch before each session.
- Use proper technique and follow the rules.
- Do not wear jewelry.
- Play on a clean, dry, safe surface.
- If you are injured, take the time needed to
heal before you return to sports.
Ankle sprains occur most often when you land
on another player’s foot. In most cases, the ankle
turns inward. Pain around the bony bump on
the outside of your ankle is normal. You may
have swelling and/or bruising. Your ankle may
Treat ankle sprains with the R.I.C.E. method.
- Rest the injured area.
- Ice the injured area for 20 minutes every
- Apply a Compression wrap (like an Ace
bandage) to reduce swelling.
- Elevate the injured area to a level above
Knee sprains can be caused by a sudden stop
or change in direction. They can happen with
or without contact from another player. Your
knee may feel like it popped or gave out and
may feel unstable after injury. The pain may be
in one small spot or throughout the whole knee.
Swelling may occur within the joint, feeling like
pressure behind the knee cap or in the joint
itself. Swelling may or may not be visible.
Treat knee sprains with the R.I.C.E. method.
If your knee is very unstable, you have a lot of
pain or your knee is popping or clicking, see
a doctor to make sure you don’t have serious
Head and Face Wounds
Head and face wounds often occur due to a
direct blow from another player. The eyes,
mouth, chin and nose are easy to injure. Head
and face wounds bleed a lot.
Apply direct pressure to the site of the injury
to control the bleeding. Wounds that are jagged,
gaping open, very deep or wide, or won’t stop
bleeding may require stitches. In these cases, go
to the emergency room right away.
Coaches, trainers and players should make
sure that clothing and the playing surface are
cleaned well before play continues.
Muscle injuries can happen from overuse or lack
of flexibility. Some muscle injuries may come
with swelling, bruising and a visible indent in
Treat muscle injuries using the R.I.C.E.
method. For a minor overuse muscle injury, also
try light stretching.
Bruises are caused by a direct blow or collision with another athlete.
Treat bruises using the R.I.C.E. method. Light
stretching and use of the joints above and below
the injury can help prevent stiffness and pain.
To Learn More
- Talk to your child’s healthcare provider
You may also download this information in English and Spanish (PDF).
Seattle Children’s will make this information available in alternate formats upon request. Call Marketing Communications at 206-987-5205 or 206-987-2280 (TTY).
This handout has been reviewed by clinical staff at Seattle Children’s. However, your child’s needs are unique. Before you act or rely upon this information, please talk with your child’s healthcare provider.
© 2009 Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Washington. All rights reserved.