Basketball is a very physical game heavy contact can occur and injuries can happen. Few basketball teams have the services of a medical practitioner so coaches should develop some knowledge of first aid be able to recognize injuries and respond.
Common basketball injuries are sprained ankles, damaged knee ligaments, calf and thigh bruises, and dislocated finger. Occasionally injuries such as broken nose or cheekbone, or concussion occur through incidental contact Players should remember it is very dangerous to swing elbows aggressively when closely guarded and a technical foul, unsportsmanlike foul or disqualifying foul may be called. There is no place in the game for aggressive use of the elbows.
Muscle and ligament damage
Muscles can be injured by a direct blow, too much stress, over stretching, being exercised too vigorously, or not being warmed up enough. All except the first of these injuries are avoidable.
The well trained player will have developed his muscles through stretching exercises so they will not tear during normal competition. An untrained muscle is shortened and can tear when extra effort is made, particularly when sprinting.. The injured muscle shortens and swells with fluid and bleeding. If the muscle is rested the swelling subsides, but the muscle contracts and there is a good chance of tearing it again as soon as it is stretched. Immediate treatment for an injured muscle is to apply pressure to avoid further bleeding and swelling, followed by icing for five minutes. Then I start gentle gradual stretching exercises with Ice applied continually for 20 minutes.
Repeat the ice treatment every four hours. Continue stretching exercises to get the muscle back to full strength. The rest of the body must also be exercised continually to avoid retarding fitness so that when the muscle is fully recovered you can resume regular training without the fear of other muscular damage.
In the case of injured joints, prevention is better than cure. If damage has occurred fluid may accumulate. Apply ice immediately, then an elastic pressure bandage to allow the muscles to work and exercise. After the fluid is removed training may resume but take care to avoid recurrence of the situation which caused the injury.
When a ligament is damaged, check whether the injured player can stand. If he cannot he has probably dislocated a joint. This is relatively unusual and should be easily recognized. Apply ice and a pressure bandage and seek medical treatment.
There is really no reason why players should suffer blisters if proper care is taken, but they remain one of the most common sources of discomfort for players.
To avoid blisters, wash the feet thoroughly , dry and swab liberally with methylated spirits, then powder adequately. Make sure you wear properly fitting shoes and wear two, or even three pairs of socks that will not wrinkle or bunch up. The feet should be cushioned against the rubbing that causes blisters. But if you do get a blister, the following treatment will help alleviate pain and avoid infections.
Make one prick with a sterilized needle to release fluid. Apply methylated spirits. Leave the skin until it peels off while new skin is forming. If the old skin is torn off, cover the rawness with Vaseline and gauze, and strap the whole area so there is no movement of the blistered area.