March Madness action heats up and busts brackets in its wake

by Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation, March 23, 2017

If you’re a college basketball fan, no other time of year comes remotely close to this current two-and-a-half week span. March Madness is an event of grand proportions that arguably has no equal in any other sport on any level of play, and so far this year, the tournament has lived up to its nickname.

With the first two rounds of action already in the record books, there has been no shortage of excitement with some nail-biting finishes, shocking upsets and an overall high level of competition. Both the #1 and #2 seeds (Villanova and Duke) of the East region have been eliminated from the tournament, while #11 seed Xavier inched its way closer to the Final Four with a decisive 25-point win over Florida State. As a result, many brackets have already been busted.

Two other teams that advanced to the Sweet 16 worth mentioning are #3 seed Oregon and #4 seed Florida. Both teams have lost a player to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), with Oregon’s senior forward Chris Boucher sustaining the injury in the Pac-12 semifinals against California and Florida’s center John Egbunu doing the same in mid-February. Both players required surgery and missed the remainder of the season, but their respective teams were still able to claw their way into the Sweet 16 despite their losses.

ACL tears are serious injuries that usually occur from cutting movements, which are very common in basketball. This is why these types of injuries occur so frequently. As physical therapists that see ACL injuries on a regular basis, we’d like to remind you that although it’s impossible to prevent all injuries, there are several steps any basketball player can take to improve their fitness and reduce the chances of an injury. We recommend the following:

  • Stay in good overall shape to help prevent general aches and pains
  • Work on strengthening the core, which will provide more stability
  • Perform dynamic warm-up movements and joint mobility exercises
  • Cross-train with lower-impact exercises (e.g. biking or swimming)
  • Perform exercises for single leg stance/balance to improve ankle stability
  • Don’t over-train and know your limits to avoid overuse injuries

With play picking back up today, we hope you enjoy the rest of March Madness. If you’d like to reduce your risk for injury on the basketball court, contact Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation in Washington, DC at 202-223-1737 or e-mail and schedule an appointment today. For more information on ACL tears, click here.

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