With the physical nature of basketball, players are always running the risk of injury. Rolled and sprained ankles, twisted knees, and jammed fingers are just some of the injuries that the physiotherapy team at bballnationals, has treated so far.
Marilyn and Guido Wisotzki, are the acting physiotherapists for bballnationals, and are responsible for treating injuries, and getting players healthy and back in the game.
“Ankle and knee injuries are the most common,” Guido said, “it’s just the nature of the sport, it’s a lot of pivoting and cutting, and those types of movements can be hard on the joints.”
Jumping, stopping, pivoting, and switching directions, all at top speed, are how players get hurt. The fast paced nature of the game also lends itself to injury, with players colliding, and falling, usually with both resulting in a trip to see a trainer.
Depending on the severity, girls can continue to play after they get hurt. In the physiotherapy room, buckets full of tape rolls line the back wall. Taping and ice help reduce swelling, and stabilize the injury allowing girls to stay in and play, with little disruption to their game.
The most serious injury that players suffer, however, goes unnoticed by most because it’s not a physical injury that anyone can see. The symptoms of a concussion include headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and noise, all of which can only be experience by the player who hit her head.
“The new concussion guidelines were just released last month, it’s always being updated,” Guido said, “there’s SCAT 5 which is a sport concussion assessment tool, and then there’s also recognize five which is given out to coaches.”
The tools are intended to educate and test for concussions, and are available to all players, parents, and coaches. If a player ever hits their head, a possible concussion should always be a consideration.
“If there’s a suspected concussion they should seek medical advice from a trainer, physio, or a doctor,” Guido stressed.
Due to the mystery surrounding the head injury, not everyone is familiar with the testing, and what’s required to make a full recovery. With more and more research being done, it’s being suggested that players stop play and recover with lots of rest, in a quiet dark room.
“People are returning to play way too soon after a concussion,” Marilyn said, “at a tournament like this, the players are lucky because they have first aid, but if they don’t, their coaches should take them to the walk in clinic to do baseline testing.”
Unlike other injuries, “there isn’t anything right now that prevents concussions,” Marilyn said, referring to headbands, and mouth guards, “your brain is still going to move inside your head which causes the injury.”
The best thing is that coaches are educating themselves, to ensure that players are getting the medical attention they need, Marilyn said, “we need to change the word from concussion to head injury, because they need to be treated more seriously.”
The physiotherapists are here all tournament long to provide care and advice to injured players.
Written By: Sarah Reid