How to Prevent Ankle Sprains in Basketball | Infographic

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prevent ankle sprains in basketball

More in-depth:

What is the most common lower limb injury? Ankle Sprains

What is the most common basketball injury? Ankle Sprains

With ankle sprains being as prevalent as they are, it’s handy for basketball players to know what helps and what hinders their continued playing. Luckily, there are some brilliant studies that have looked into just that and today we have summarized a large study from the BJSM.

Main study components:

  • 10, 393 basketball players were observed for the study
  • 3.85 players injured per 1000 players
  • 45% were injured when landing

What are the risk factors for ankle sprains in Basketball Players

A previous ankle sprain is a massive risk factor due to a couple of reasons:

  • Large sprains can leave some laxity on the ligament and joint
  • Athletes not fully rehabilitating sprains back to 100%

Ankle sprains are too often brushed aside with a week or two off sport and rest before getting back to it but the trouble is then that there is normally some muscle weakness that needs to be addressed.

It is very interesting to see a massive 4.3 X risk of ankle sprain in those that wear air cell shoes (can be the more expensive shoes) compared to those that don’t. This is part of the reason there has been less of these type of shoes on the market recently.(1) This could be down to the fact that the air cell makes you slightly higher off the ground and also the fact that it takes away feeling and proprioception, worsening you muscles reaction time.

In terms of a warm-up, we find a lot of people think they get injured because they haven’t stretched but it is actually more likely to sprain your ankle if you don’t warm up – with dynamic stretches or game-like drills.


This is fairly straightforward:

    1. As you have probably guessed, an easy one is to warm up well. You can use a guide such as the FIFA 11+ which has been shown to be effective for basketball as well as football(2) or this one from Jeff Haefner at Breakthrough Basketball
    2. Rehab injuries fully – challenge you dynamic balance until both limbs are even at least
    3. Use a lace-up ankle brace for up to 12 months after injury such as the DonJoy Ankle Brace


Rehab well, protect injured ankles and don’t take them lightly.