While many are tuning in to watch the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament this weekend, cheering on their favorite team to win, accepting an unexpected loss or even inspired to hit the basketball court themselves, experts from UC San Diego Health are available to offer tips for injury prevention and treatment for common basketball injuries, such as ankle sprains, jammed fingers or torn ligaments to stress management.

Playing sports, especially basketball, is great for cardiovascular fitness, as well as increasing strength and sharpening agility, but the key is to stay injury-free, says Sarah Merrill, MD, primary care and sports medicine physician at UC San Diego Health.

For injury prevention and stress management, sports medicine physicians and cardiologists at UC San Diego Health recommend:

  • Warming up and stretching before each basketball session
  • Wear gym shoes that fit snugly, are non-skid and have high topsPlay on a clean, dry surface
  • Use a mouth guard and safety glasses, if needed
  • If you are injured or sick, take the time needed to heal before you return to playing
  • Deep breathing practices during stressful events
  • Limiting, or even eliminating, alcohol intake as this can act as a stimulant and worsen symptoms of stress or anxiety
  • Getting adequate sleep to help manage the physical implications of stress

UC San Diego Health Experts Available:

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