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How a Chiropractor Can Help Treat the Ankle and Knee Injuries of Basketball Players

Published Date: 
March 1, 2017
A Chiropractor treats an ankle sprain.

Basketball players, especially those who play in amateur or professional leagues, are prone to particular injuries due to repetitive and forceful physical movements. An intensely competitive contact sport like basketball exposes players to ankle, foot, and knee injuries. Many of these injuries do not need surgery, but may require immediate rehabilitation. An experienced chiropractor can help affected patients by reducing pain and improving movement.

Chiropractic Treatment for Ankle and Foot Injuries

Lower-extremity injuries are the most prevalent problems of basketball players. As they run, shoot, or collide with other players, they may roll an ankle, get stepped on, or trip, which all typically result in foot injuries. A chiropractor can perform manipulation of the ankle to diminish pain and enhance recuperation. Manipulation may be effective on its own or added to other medical modalities for enhanced outcomes.

A recent study showed that manipulative therapy (MT) combined with rehabilitation is better than just rehabilitation in treating ankle sprain with functional instability (RASFI). The study included 33 subjects who participated in a daily program that lasted for four weeks. At the end of the treatment, patients reported less pain and improved joint mobility, although disability had not been fully addressed. It is possible that a longer treatment may be needed to respond to disability or that changes in the program beyond one month of treatment could be necessary.

For other kinds of foot injuries, a chiropractor can perform foot adjustments. Manipulating the bones and muscles of the foot may relieve pain, decrease inflammation, and restore function.

Chiropractic Therapy for Knee Injuries

Apart from foot problems, basketball players are vulnerable to knee injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. Repetitive knee movements can wear and tear this body part as well as expose it to constant blunt forces from other players. Ligaments and tendons of the knee may also be damaged during practice or games.

Although a chiropractor may not cure all of these health concerns, he or she can provide important complementary services for proper rehabilitation and avoidance of future injuries. Chiropractic manipulation of affected body parts, plus relevant exercises, can diminish pain, strengthen the muscles, and restore function.

Chiropractic care can also be combined with physiotherapy and exercises, as one successful case showed. After three months of multimodal treatment, including chiropractic therapies, the patient was able to return to playing sports without further complications.

A chiropractor can look into these common basketball injuries and offer treatment that can make a significant impact, especially on pain and functionality. Through expertise in handling sports injuries, chiropractic care can provide important rehabilitation and injury prevention advantages.


“Manipulative therapy and rehabilitation for recurrent ankle sprain with functional instability: a short-term, assessor-blind, parallel-group randomized trial,”
“Multimodal and interdisciplinary management of an isolated partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament: a case report,”

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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