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I Have Knee Pain From Basketball

author image Vanessa Arellano Doctor
Vanessa Arellano Doctor has more than 10 years of professional writing experience, specializing in business and finance, health and fitness and general interest subjects. She has been published in the "Financial Times," "European Banking News Network," "Entrepreneur," Urbanette.com and WealthBriefing Asia.
I Have Knee Pain From Basketball
The knees get a lot of action when playing basketball. Photo Credit Martin Poole/Photodisc/Getty Images

When playing basketball, you need to sprint, jump, move laterally, pivot and do a variety of other movements that can put a toll on your knees. The knee is the largest joint in the body, making it the most prone spot for injury. The muscles, tendons and ligaments in the area can get damaged from trauma or repeated wear and tear.

Sprain and Strain

I Have Knee Pain From Basketball
Because the knee gets stressed while playing basketball, there is a high risk that it will develop some sort of injury. Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

A sprain occurs when your knee suffers from direct trauma or if the joint is overused. Basketball involves a lot of legwork and jumping so this is likely to happen. The ligament is torn or stretched, leading to severe pain and limited range of movement. The ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is the usual part affected when you sprint then suddenly stop to change direction. A sprain occurs when the muscle or tendon is torn or injured when you jump and land hard. The patellar tendon can get inflamed, thereby causing pain.

Treatment: Acute and Long-Term

When you feel pain or develop a sprain or strain, stop playing basketball at once, then apply the RICE method. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Apply ice packs on your knees for one to two days to reduce the inflammation. Apply a bandage around the knee then keep your leg elevated on a pillow. You may need to take anti-inflammatory medications and pain-relievers for a few days. For long-term knee injuries, you may be required to use crutches and undergo physical therapy to prevent scarring in the knee and return to full range of motion.

Exercises to Conquer Knee Pain

I Have Knee Pain From Basketball
Preparing your knee by exercising and stretching will make it less prone to stress. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Stretching and strengthening your thighs, calves and ankles will help prevent and alleviate knee pain. To mobilize your ankle, put the front half of your foot on a slightly elevated surface. Keep your heel on the floor then drive your knee forward. Hold the position for three to five seconds then repeat. Do a total of 15 knee drives on each leg. The quadriceps flexibility exercise is done by lying on your left side on the floor. Hug your right lower leg with your left hand. Pull your left heel towards your buttocks using your right hand. Repeat the movement using the other side.

Prevention Techniques

Warm up and do stretching exercises on your quads, hamstrings and calves before you play basketball. Do rotational and warm up exercises on your knees and ankles before each game. Also, wear the proper shoes that offer maximum cushioning and good traction. Wear shoes that fit well and have proper support if you have flat feet. Use a kneecap, bands and bandages as necessary to protect your knees and keep the alignment proper and intact.

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