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101 Critical Days: Basketball injuries most reported Class C mishaps

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Basketball, a sport played by a large number of Airmen, is also the one activity that results in the most reported Class C mishaps. During the 2012 Critical Days of Summer, there were 40 Class C injuries reported that resulted in lost work days.

While it is incumbent upon each Airman to stay physically fit, it is their responsibility to prepare for participation in every sports activity. The week 10 Tinker Take Off article (last week's issue) explains how to prepare yourself for sports and basketball is no exception. Without proper preparation, the risk for injury increases.

Last year during the 101 Critical Days of Summer, 30 percent of all off-duty basketball mishaps were ankle injuries. Be sure to wear the proper footgear.

Basketball injuries are generally defined as either cumulative (overuse) or acute (traumatic) injuries. Both types of injuries may result from overuse, lack of proper rest, lack of proper warm-ups or poor conditioning.

The following safety precautions are recommended to help prevent basketball-related injuries:
· Warm up thoroughly prior to play.
· Wear supportive basketball shoes with skid-resistant soles.
· Use protective equipment such as mouth guards, knee and elbow pads or eye protection.
· Use good technique and play by the rules.
· Clean the courts before play -- check for slippery spots or debris.
· Have a first aid kit on hand.
· Get adequate recovery.
· Stay hydrated.

Everyone who enjoys playing basketball reaps many benefits, both physical and mental. However, injuries can result in lost work days not to mention time away from the sport. Below is more information to help you "stay in the game!"

· http://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/basketball-injury-prevention.aspx#common
· http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/ basketballinjuries/a/preventbbinjury.htm  
· http://www.hughston.com/hha/a.basket.htm
· http://www.hughston.com/hha/a_16_4_2.htm