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Deflate Your Risk of Ankle Injury

If you play basketball, you’ve probably suffered at least one ankle injury before while on the court. Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries in basketball, accounting for over half of the time missed by players.

A recent study evaluated injuries in amateur basketball games to determine the primary causes of ankle injury.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, evaluated possible links to basketball ankle injuries, including history of injury; use of ankle tape/ braces; type of shoes; lack of warmup; and position played. Over 10,000 players in one elite and three recreational indoor basketball competitions in Australia were observed; players injured during the study period were asked to complete a questionnaire about their injury.

The odds of ankle injury were 1 per 250 games (per person), and nearly half prevented players from returning to competition for at least one week. The three primary risk factors discovered are listed below, with corresponding increased odds of injury:

  • air cells in shoes (four times more likely);
  • history of previous ankle injury (five times more likely); and
  • not stretching prior to the game (three times more likely).

Always seek some form of treatment for an ankle injury (at a minimum, use an ice pack or other cold treatment), even if the injury seems minor. Over half of the injured players did not seek professional treatment, which made them more prone to future ankle injuries. Avoid shoes with air cells while on the court - they may decrease your foot stability. Also, use ankle tape and stretch adequately prior to your game. Contact your doctor of chiropractic for more information.


McKay GD, Goldie PA, Payne WR, et al. Ankle injuries in basketball: Injury rate and risk factors. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2001:35, pp. 103-108.

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