Man playing basketball in an indoor court. He is wearing Bauerfeind's NBA knee support to protect against common knee injuries in basketball

Basketball isn’t as high-contact as hockey or Rugby. But all the jumps, sharp turns, and overhead throws still leave you open to several nasty injuries, So, if you’re a pro, recreational player, or were just inspired to pick up the sport after the FIBA world cup, here are 5 common injuries in basketball and how to avoid them. 



Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries in basketball. They develop when you overstretch, partially tear, or completely rupture one or more of your ankle ligaments. These bands of tough, fibrous tissue are responsible for stopping your joint from moving too far in any direction. But you can overload and injure them when you land badly after a jump, twist too sharply, or even change direction too quickly. If you do injure a ligament, you’ll usually get some swelling, pain, stiffness, and instability (though the severity of these symptoms will depend on the severity of the sprain.)


Woman in the woods doing calf raises on a tree stump. Calf raises are one of the best ways to strengthen the legs against the shin splints basketball injury

Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid spraining your ankle entirely. But you can take a few steps to minimise your risk of getting one (and to minimise severity if you do). 

  • Strengthen. Your ankle ligaments are tough, but they rely on your muscles for help. Add some Calf Raises, Resisted Ankle Flexions and Extensions, and the Single-Leg Balance to your training routine to take some of the pressure off. 
  • Stretch. Tight muscles can pull on the ankle joint, making your ligaments’ job harder. So, keep your ankle flexible through Ankle Rotations. 
  • Shoes. Sneakers have an expiration date. Wear a pair too long, and the sole won’t support your foot sufficiently, making painful rolls more likely. 
  • Support. Our Sports Ankle Support will protect your ligaments through a combination of compression knit and a figure-8 support strap. The knit warms up and activates key muscle groups, helping them support your ankle better. The strap, meanwhile, provides extra external support to your hard-working ligaments.




Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome is a broad term for a dull pain that crops up around the kneecap and worsens with physical activity. It can result from a couple of things: 

  • Some soft tissues around the patella (like the patella tendon, synovial lining, or the fat pad just behind the knee cap) get agitated.
  • The patella itself pops out of alignment, stops tracking properly, and starts rubbing against the trochlear groove in the femur. 

Usually, players develop this condition from overuse. But muscle tension, muscle weakness, and even lousy footwear can increase your risk. 



  • Strengthen your legs. Your quads play a huge role in stabilising the knee cap, with your hamstrings, calves, and glutes providing additional support. Hence, exercises like Wall Squats, Lunges, and Hamstring Curls will be great additions to your routine.
  • Keep your leg muscles flexible. Tight leg muscles can pull at the patella, causing it to track incorrectly. They can also pull at and rub against other structures in the joint, leading to irritation. So, try the Butterfly Stretch, Quads Stretch, and the other exercises we covered in our Leg Day article.
  • Get basketball-appropriate shoes. Proper cushioning and arch support can save your patella and surrounding structures from a lot of shock absorption.
  • Brace. You should also aim to play in a compression knee brace. Compression knit activates your knees’ muscle support network to manage abduction and adduction (inward and outward tilt) and help the joint track correctly. Some braces, like our NBA Sports Knee Support, have sewn-in patella padding to help stabilise the knee cap. 


Basketball player dribbling a ball. He is wearing a black and white basketball uniform and Bauerfeind's NBA Basketball knee support to help avoid common basketball injuries like Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

NBA Sports Knee Support





Shin Splints is a repetitive stress injury, meaning it develops with overuse. When you run and jump a little too much for your legs to handle, you can overload the shin bone and the muscles and tendons surrounding it. Over time, they develop microtrauma. And when the trauma stacks up, it causes inflammation and pain to shoot up along the shin bone or just to the sides of it. 



  • Rest. The first step to avoiding repetitive stress injuries is to let your body heal the microtrauma. 
  • Strengthen the calves. Your calves are the primary support for your lower leg bones. So, the stronger they are, the better off your shins will be. Calf Raises are usually your best bet to do so, but you can also try walking on sand. 
  • Make sure your shoes have enough cushioning. Good cushioning means less impact stress on your shins. You can also add in a pair of sports insoles for good measure. They’ll help cushion heel strikes and support the roll of your foot as you run.
  • Get some sports compression calf sleeves. These will reduce muscle oscillation (the vibrations shooting up your leg when your feet hit the ground), minimising microtrauma to the muscle. Keep in mind, though; your sleeves should be of medical-grade stock and fit you perfectly. Otherwise, they won’t be effective.

 Woman running across a beach wearing Bauerfeind's Sports Compression Calf Sleeves, a good way to prevent the common basketball injury of shin splints

Sports Compression Calf Sleeves





Shoulder tendonitis (AKA Swimmer’s Shoulder) is an overuse injury affecting the muscles and tendons in your rotator cuff. They develop microtears as you move these tissues through shooting and overhead throwing. And as a result, they inflame, stiffen, and start causing pain that worsens with pressure and movement.



  • Strengthen and stretch your shoulder. Banded Rows and Lat Pull-Ddowns are an excellent way to build your shoulder’s support network. Meanwhile, the Doorway Stretch and Lats Stretch will improve your shoulder mobility.
  • Take it easy. That means gradually increasing your training and playing time to give your shoulders enough time to get used to it. It also means fitting rest days into your schedule to let your muscles and tendons heal. 
  • Try a brace. As the Sports Ankle Support does for the ankle, our OmoTrain S will improve how you activate your rotator cuff and boost oxygen and nutrient delivery to hard-working muscles and tendons. 




A back strain is a less common injury in basketball, but it still affects plenty of players. A back strain is an injury to one of your back muscles, tendons, or both. It can come from overuse or an acute injury (for example, when you twist too far, bend too fast, or fall). As the lower back has to deal with much more pressure and movement than the upper back, it’ll usually be the lumbar affected. With a lumbar strain, you’ll likely get some pain, swelling, redness, cramping, spasms, and stiffness around the affected area. 


  • Think ergonomically. As back strains often pop up from overuse, you should start weeding out bad habits that might be straining your lumbar off the court. Always lift heavy objects correctly, try not to slouch when upright, and invest in a supportive office chair. 
  • Strengthen your core. Your core muscles are your lumbar’s support network. The stronger they are, the less stress your tendons and finer muscle groups get. So, try out some deep-core exercises like Dead Bugs and Planks.
  • Stretch. Tight hamstrings, hip flexors, and glutes restrict your lumbar’s mobility and make the muscles and tendons there more prone to injury. Add some stretches for these muscle groups (like Sitting Forward Bend and Downward Dog) into your cool-down routine. 
  • Brace. With compression knit fabric and gel pad, our Sports Back Support will help improve your posture and protect your lumbar on the court.

 Woman doing a side plank at the gym while wearing Bauerfeind's Sports Back Support. Both are good ways avoid back injuries in sports like basketball

Sports Back Support 




Basketball injuries are easy to get. That’s not so surprising, considering all the jumps, fast movements, and sharp turns required to play a good game. Luckily, though, by letting your body recover, strengthening and stretching your muscles, and mixing in a brace or two into your training sessions or games, you can avoid them.


If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.

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