- What are the most common injuries when playing basketball?
- What are the benefits of compression socks for basketball players?
- What characteristics should you take into account before choosing the best compression sock for playing basketball?
- Do compression socks really work to improve performance and recovery in basketball?
Basketball players are at risk of foot and leg injuries. They are also more likely to suffer from venous insufficiency. One way to protect your legs and feet is with compression stockings, here are the health benefits of wearing these garments.
Playing sports where there is a lot of contact, such as basketball, can be the main risk factor for suffering different injuries that weaken the physical well-being of the players. But, nowadays, there is the possibility of preventing them thanks to the use of compression stockings and in this post we will show you why.
What are the most common injuries when playing basketball?
Basketball is a sporting discipline that involves sudden movements and displacements, jumps, repetition of gestures that can cause a variety of injuries. In order to learn more about the traumas that basketball players suffer, a summary of these injuries is given below:
Bone oedema in the ankle
This is the accumulation of fluid inside the bone, as a consequence of a fracture on the inside. This type of injury occurs due to a fairly strong impact or repetitive contusions that cause severe pain, swelling and difficulty when walking.
In basketball, it is usually caused by falls on the player’s own leg after a few jumps. They also occur due to not so serious but repetitive blows during sports practice which, as they are not strong impacts, are not taken into account until the injury is manifested by the great pain that characterises it.
Injury to the meniscus
The meniscus is an important part of the knee, as it is the shock absorber or “cushion” between the tibia and the femur. This type of injury instantly causes sharp pain, accompanied by inflammation and swelling, in some cases limiting mobility.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
This condition occurs when the ligament in the knee that connects the femur to the tibia is torn; its function is to provide stability. This type of injury usually occurs during sports practice. At the time of injury, there is a kind of popping sound in the knee with a sharp pain, an almost immediate oedema formation in the joint.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue covering the sole of the foot. This inflammation can occur from a variety of causes such as impact to the sole of the foot from recurrent pounding, e.g. dancing, jumping and running. Although the inflammation is all over the lower part of the foot, the pain is concentrated in the heel.
In basketball players, it is due to jumping when shooting the ball which, together with the athlete’s full weight, becomes plantar fasciitis. Also the running from one side of the court to the other while the game is in progress.
What are the benefits of compression socks for basketball players?
Compression stockings are those garments that are responsible for exerting pressure on the muscles to facilitate the pumping of blood in an upward direction and prevent the veins from dilating excessively. Nowadays, in the world of basketball, they are widely used to obtain the different benefits they offer and for this reason, players, whether professional or amateur, have joined the use of this type of textile garment.
High compression socks guarantee the following benefits:
- They increase the blood circulation flow and contribute to the optimisation of the circulatory system.
- They ensure better support for the muscles.
- They reduce muscle pain and fatigue, as well as the possibility of pain and inflammation.
- Minimise the effect of the impact of each stride.
- They protect the limbs from numerous sports injuries.
- Improve the endurance and performance of the athlete during play.
- They speed up the recovery process after a match or training.
- They prevent the loss of body heat during performance.
- They provide great stability which also translates into comfort.
What characteristics should you take into account before choosing the best compression sock for playing basketball?
When choosing compression socks for basketball, it is important to choose the right compression, size and model according to your particular needs, so that you can get the best results and continue with your sporting routine.
Here are some characteristics that will help you to make a better selection:
According to your function
- Minimise pain: when we have an injury, the discomfort, accompanied by pain are not long in coming; in these cases it is quite appropriate to use these compression socks; these garments will allow, among other things, to keep the heat in the affected part, will favour the circulation decreasing the inflammation and all this will result in the reduction of pain.
- Guaranteed protection: these socks are made of resistant materials that protect the affected part of the body in case of injury. And at the same time it gives the security of providing the compression that your feet and lower legs need while you move on the court during your sports activities.
- Stabiliser: compression garments give you the stability, providing you with a range of mobility that allows you to continue with your sporting practices, or provide you with the therapeutic benefits that help you recover from the condition you may have; such as the thermal stabiliser that provides you with a suitable temperature, helping you in your recovery.
- Support: Basketball is a sport where constant movement is required; the player moves from one side of the court to the other, so you need protection that contains ideal support for the joints of the foot.
It is important to take into account what material the compression stockings are made of, as this will directly affect the satisfaction of the buyer’s needs. When selecting, you should choose one that adapts to what you are looking for, that are made of soft and breathable fabrics such as polyester and nylon; they can also be found in lycra which is a fabric that is characterised by its elasticity and resistance.
Breathable fabric facilitates an adequate temperature which results in better performance. Choose flexible ones such as polyester and nylon fabrics that can stretch in such a way that they can offer you better mobility. What you should keep in mind is to avoid any type of material that could cause an allergic crisis.
Type of support
Basketball is a sport that requires constant movement, jumping and physical contact between one player and another. For this reason, a good support is required to prevent the garment from slipping and sliding out of place during sports practice.
To avoid this type of uncomfortable situations, here are some of the most recommended ones:
- Silicone bands: these bands have silicone dots, which will prevent the sock from slipping, which provides security to the player while doing sports. It is a quite discreet edge, which can go unnoticed, ideal for men.
- Rubber bands or pressure elastics: this is an elastic band that lacks silicone, indicated for people with sensitive skin. This elastic band is almost imperceptible, which is why the player can feel comfortable and at the same time be sure that his garment will be in place.
- Zips: these are resistant zips of 15 to 20 mmHg, which do not allow the garment to be out of place; as the zip allows the sock to be adjusted without major complications. They were created for jobs that require standing for long periods of time, such as nurses; they are also recommended for sports activities such as running and basketball, without the risk of slipping.
It is important that when selecting the size, you are sure that it is the correct one, if the purchase is in person , it is advisable to take the measurements of the calves and ankle, in this way you will adapt to what you really need. The sizes in which this type of garment is presented are identified with letters: S, M, L, XL, XXL.
When choosing a garment, we do not only stop to see what we want it for or what fabric it was made of; it is important to look at its aesthetics, the comfort it offers and how good it makes us feel. In the case of compression sports socks, it is no different.
The market offers a range of sock designs in a wide variety of colours; ranging from beautiful pastels to more sober colours such as black and grey. You can get socks with different motifs, some very fun and colourful; others more conservative; giving you the opportunity to find one that suits your personality.
The cost of compression stockings varies depending on their brand, design and function. However, on average, short and long basketball socks are priced at over 30 euros, while compression socks can cost between 20 and 30 euros. It is appropriate to purchase socks from a recognised brand to ensure their originality, as imitations are of poor quality and their effectiveness is poor.
Do compression socks really work to improve performance and recovery in basketball?
As we have mentioned, basketball is a sporting discipline that requires players to be in constant movement, often performing a series of repetitive gestures, in other cases jumping and falling with strong impact. In many cases, this leads to a series of ankle and foot injuries.
One way to protect these parts of the body is with the use of compression sports socks and stockings. This garment provides a double function; a preventive and a corrective one. The first because it provides the protection that the player needs to move safely on the court, as it gives him the stability and support he needs.
And the second function is more therapeutic, as it is the care it provides when an injury has been suffered. In these cases, thanks to the compression it provides, it allows the regulation of blood flow to the heart. It also minimises inflammation and swelling, relieving pain and discomfort. And thanks to the materials with which they are made, they maintain the heat which helps the player to recover more quickly.