Sunday, June 26, 2005

Common Basketball Injuries

Common Basketball Injuries An inside look at the most common of basketball related injuries
By Pete Youngman
NUMEROUS PLAYER INJURIES occur as a result from the constant pounding and jarring night in and night out on the hardwood court. Studies done by my peers, other NBA athletic trainers, show that on average an NBA player runs four miles during a game which figures out to be 223 laps up and down the court. With this much time spent running, jumping, and side-stepping down the court, mishaps are destined to happen. Three of the most common injuries are ankle sprains, lower back strain, and patellar tendonitis.
Ankle injuries are among the most frequent suffered by NBA players and account for 25 percent of all athletic injuries. There are two types of ankle sprains. The most common involves injury to the lateral ligaments caused by supination and inversion of the foot and the latter involves the medial structures of the ankle. Inversion of the ankle usually occurs when a player comes down from jumping in the air onto another player's foot. Landing unevenly causes the foot to roll outward putting a great deal of stress on the anterior talofibular ligament.
Treating ankle sprains usually involves resting and taking pressure off the injured ligament, icing the ankle to relieve swelling, and elevating the leg above the heart. Trainers will usually tape the ankle to help prevent ankle sprains or the player will wear an ankle brace to help support the ligament. Isometric exercises and resistance training with rubber tubing are used to strengthen the ankle.
Lower back pain is also commonly suffered by basketball players. Among the general population 80 percent will sustain injury to the lower back at some time during their life. Running and jumping on the hardwood court produces much stress on the lower back even with well cushioned shoes. When a player comes down on the court from a jumpshot his knees and lower back or lumbar region absorb the shock. A majority of the players stand above six feet and may weigh between 200 and 300 pounds. This amount of weight may inflict a great deal of stress on the lower back. Lower back pain is usually caused by weakened abdominal muscles which assist the back muscles when lifting objects. If the abdominal muscles are weak and not conditioned, the lower back muscles will compensate for their weakness producing uncomfortable strain. Treatments for lower back strain include resting to alleviate the pressure on the lower lumbar region and heat compressions which loosen up the muscles and allow the back to heal. It is important that you always stretch your lower back after exercise. There are several abdominal and lower back workouts that can be done to help prevent back problems (please consult your physician for personal medical advice):
1. Lying on your back with your knees bent, bring your shoulders up off the ground using your upper abdominal muscles. Always make sure that your back is flat on the ground. Begin with 2 sets of 30 and work up to 3 sets of 30.
2. Again lying on your back with knees bent, extend both arms between your legs and lift your shoulders off the ground using your abdominals. Do the same but with your arms extended outside of your legs. Same repetitions as above.
3. Once again, lying on your back with knees bent extend one arm out to your side and lift your shoulders off the ground. And do the same for the opposite arm. Same repetitions as above.
4. Lying on you back lift your legs straight in the air and raise your buttocks off the ground using your lower abdominals. Pulsating 30 times.

1. Lie on your back and raise your pelvis towards the ceiling 30 times.
2. Lie on your stomach and bend your legs upward. Raise your knees off the ground using your lower back and gluteals. 2 sets of 30 repetitions.
3. Again lie on your stomach and raise your chest and torso off the ground using your lower back. 2 sets of 30 repetitions.

Patellar tendonitis is another frequent injury suffered by many basketball players. The patella (better known as the knee cap) lies in front of the hinge joint formed by the femur and tibia. The patella tendon connects the patella to the tibial tuberosity acting as a shock absorber. This tendon becomes inflamed when inflicted by the constant pressure of running and jumping. Kings forward Corliss Williamson suffers from patellar tendonitis. Corliss wears a thin band underneath his left knee called a "Cho-pat" which puts pressure on the tendon to deflect pain away from this joint. This band helps relieve the stress of jumping. Strength and conditioning coach Al Biancani works with Corliss to strengthen his quadriceps, which assist in supporting the knee. Stronger quads will relieve the strain on the patellar tendon and reduce the inflammation. Electrical stimulation and anti-inflammatories are alternative methods to relieve patellar tendonitis.

These basketball injuries are all preventable with strength training and conditioning. Reducing the chances of these injuries involves increasing the strength of supporting muscles, conditioning the entire body to avoid injuries due to exhaustion, and applying braces to weak regions to prevent further injuries.


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healthyblogger said...

Essential oils, roots and herbs can be used in a variety of ways to promote healthy living and stress management article. They are used to create natural remedies for treating ailments common to both people and animals, to add flavor to food, to make perfumes and to create environmentally friendly cleaning products.

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A reasonable guide to the purity of an essential oil is its price. Pure essential oils are generally more expensive. Common oils such as lavender and geranium are much cheaper than frankincense and carnation oil. It is advisable to become familiar with essential oil prices and then rely on this knowledge when purchasing oils from unfamiliar sources. Keep in-mind that you will generally get what you pay for. A price list from a reputable dealer is a valuable resource when purchasing essentials oils.

Usually, pure essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin and must be mixed in a base oil to reduce their strength. Base oils such as almond oil or wheatgerm oil are commonly used for this purpose. Base oils are generally derived from seeds, nuts or vegetables and allow you to create essential oil remedies that can be massaged into the skin.

So, what do you need to get started with essential oils and natural remedies?

Without a doubt, Lavender is one of the most useful and desirable oils. Not only does it work wonders on cuts, bruises and burns, it also aids sleep and helps with relaxation.

The Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oils are useful for treating a variety of respiratory ailments. These are excellent for the treatment of colds and coughs. They can be massaged into the chest or burned in an oil burner to help clear the airways and prevent congestion. Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and can be dabbed on cuts, bites and stings. It is often used to treat spots and pimples and when diluted with water, acts as a mouth gargle (keep in-mind it should never be swallowed).

Another basic antiseptic is Geranium oil. With its distinctive perfume and pain relieving properties, it is a necessary inclusion when starting out.

Peppermint oil should also be purchased as it treats digestive complaints and may be used in preparations for freshening breath.

For fragrant perfumes and establishing ambience in a room, buy some Patchouli and Ylang-ylang oils. Often combined in scented candles and air fresheners, a few drops of each in an oil burner creates a wonderfully perfumed home. Orange oil mixed with Cinnamon oil is a lovely winter alternative that evokes seasonal, holiday smells. Besides their perfume qualities, all four of these oils have other properties. Patchouli treats eczema and dandruff. Ylang-ylang is reputed to relieve stress, palpitations and high blood pressure. Orange is used in natural remedies for depression and nervous tension and Cinnamon is excellent for warts and viral infections.

The herbs, Thyme and Rosemary can be grown in pots and used when needed. To create essential oils from herbs, stew some large amounts in pure water, collect the steam and cool it. The oil will rise to the top of the drained water and can be collected with an eyedropper. Alternatively, a "flower still" can be purchased to make the job easier. Thyme and Rosemary are both antiseptics and can be used in skin care preparations. They are also delicious when used in cooking.

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Citronella oil is perfect in summer to keep the insects at bay. Another natural repellent is Garlic. Fleas will not bite a dog that has been eating garlic, so a few garlic capsules in the dog food are a cheap solution to your pet's flea problem. A soft collar soaked in Citronella will also do the job.

Garlic also helps to promote a healthy immune system when the weather turns cold and viruses begin to circulate. In fact, most of the oils and herbs listed above are effective in helping to prevent many common winter illnesses.

Whether you are looking for remedies or nature friendly products to use around the house, the oils and herbs suggested above should help get you started. You will be ready to make some healthy changes in your way of life!

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