The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in your body. It stretches from the bones of your heel to your calf muscles. You can feel it -- a springy band of tissue at the back of your ankle and above your heel. It lets you point your toes toward the floor and raise up on your tiptoes. This tendon is also known as the calcaneal tendon, is a tendon of the back of the leg, and the thickest in the human body. It serves to attach the plantaris, gastrocnemius (calf) and soleus muscles to the calcaneus (heel) bone.
Achilles injuries typically occur from trauma or overuse. One of the most common causes of Achilles tendon injuries is playing competitive sports such as basketball or running.
A minor Achilles strain is when you have hyperextended this tendon but it did not tear. Ian Mahimi of the Washington Wizards is a recent example of this. Mahimi will miss six weeks partly as a precaution as an Achilles rupture can have devastating effects.
Have you ever injured your Achilles? Any questions? Let us know in the comments.
As much intrigue as Zion Williamson holds for his athletic tools, his question marks spark just as much debate. At a height of 6’7” and weighing 285 pounds Zion’s measurements cause real concern about his non traditional proportions.
Although not obese to our knowledge his BMI of 32 puts him in that range. Let’s take a look at some of the high BMI and high weight risk factors and the research on how much more prevalent injuries become.
A study in the American Journal of Medicine showed a potential link between obesity or high weight and a higher prevalence of injuries. This includes anything relatively minor for sake of context. In another study it was shown shin splints and ankle sprains were more common to anyone with a high weight and or BMI.
My bigger concern however are Zion’s knees his dependence on his athleticism means a knee injury would be devastating. Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a key stabilizer of your knee and guides your tibia (shin bone) through a normal, stable range of motion.
The ACL is a broad, thick cord the size of your index finger with long collagen strands woven together in a way that allows it to withstand up to 500lbs of force.
A study in the Oxford journal of medicine shows that high weight can contribute to osteoarthritis a type of arthritis caused by heavy use of the joints and commonly seen in your 30’s. As far ligament damage ligament sprains seem to be more prevalent but could an ACL tear be more likely? Let’s keep digging.
Some risk factors that make ACL tears more prevalent are genetics, anatomy which can include weight and proportion, being female or obese. Zion is not female that we know of. Genetics definitely does play a role but for the purpose of this we don’t know Zion’s genetic profile.
It would seem his weight, proportions and the process of cutting, running and the strain playing basketball mean Zion is at a higher risk of an ACL tear. Zion’s weight is heavier than you would like for his height and it would seem increases his risk of a potential ACL tear.
We see a fairly strong chance Zion is injury prone. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Foot and Ankle Injuries:
The physical strain and the repetition that is involved up and down a basketball court commonly contributes to over use injuries in the feet and ankles.
Among these are Plantar Fascitis, and Ankle Sprains
The foot and ankle in the human body work together to provide balance, stability, movement, and propulsion.
This complex anatomy consists of:
• 26 bones
• 33 joints
• Blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissue
The most common points effected in this region are soft tissue, muscles and ligaments so we will focus on those.
The plantar fascia ligament is overstretched or partially torn causing inflammation and pain. Joakim Noah is a recent NBA example of this injury. Typically requires RICE which is the acronym for rest, ice,compression and elevation.
Ankle sprains are typically a strain of the talo-fibular ligament and the calcaneo-fibular ligament. The are also a overuse injury but can also be caused by torsion or trauma.
Knee and thigh injuries:
Thigh bruises are fairly common typically caused by trauma of inadvertent elbow or knee to the thigh region.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome -- pain felt behind the kneecap (Patella) at the point it meets the thigh (Femur) This is typically a biomechanical issue caused by the physical stresses of playing basketball with potential degradation of cartilage contributing. This also typically requires RICE (the acronym not the food).
Patella fracture- also known as a fractured knee cap this is when you have some form of fracture in the patella.
ACL tear- Anterior Crucial Ligament is the primary stabilizing ligament in the knee and one of the more severe potential knee injuries.
MCL tear- can be a grade 1,2 or 3 injury and is typically a 6-8 week recovery. The MCL is the medial cruciall ligament.
PCL tear- least severe and stands for pateller crucial ligament
Types of ligament strains:
Grade 1 is a hyperextsion with inflammation but no tearing
Grade 2 is a partial ligament tear
Grade 3 is a full tear of ligament
I hope this guide helped to clear up some of the more common basketball injuries and what they are.
First off a quick explanation, Machine Learning is the process of using data and advanced methodologies to teach a computer how to learn and improve on its own. Think advanced AI or Terminator light. (The mental part only)
There are two ways sports are using Machine Learning and its advanced AI. Injury management and ball trajectory.
In basketball a computer with the right data set can almost always predict if a shot will be a make or miss based on trajectory and the mathematical formula used. This is very useful in helping with analyzing shot selection and offensive efficiency. Allowing for only offensive plays with a higher probability of success.
Predictive Modeling is the defined process of using a data set to prevent and or predict specific outcomes. Injury management is one of the key focuses of this model.
For example a study in The American Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise looked at hamstring injury occurrences and the probability of reinjury.
The primary factors were:
A separate study placed a great deal of weight on genetic factors and injury risk. Certain genetic markers and inherited traits made injury risk more prevalent.
This field is growing and shows promise, it will be interesting to see where Machine Learning takes us in the future.