Is It Good To Ice Your Knees After Basketball?

It is good to ice your knees after basketball as it helps reduce the inflammation and swelling caused by the strain on the knees when playing basketball. Keeping your knees healthy and strong is essential because they are a big part of your overall jumping ability. 

Knee Replacement - Is Icing Necessa...
Knee Replacement - Is Icing Necessary?

When you play basketball, your knees take a beating. They bear the brunt of the pounding your body endures when you run up and down the court. Playing basketball is hard on your knees. It is one of the primary reasons why many people who play basketball stop doing it because of the pain. However, there is good news. It is not all doom and gloom. You can do something about this. You can keep your joints healthy and strong. This will go a long way in helping you avoid joint pain and injuries such as arthritis and other forms of joint deterioration.

Why ice your knees after basketball?

Icing your knees after basketball will help reduce the inflammation and swelling caused by the strain on the knees when playing basketball. This is especially so for players who play basketball every day and for long periods. Ice helps with this process because it has a cooling effect. When you have an ice pack or bag of ice on your knees for 10 to 20 minutes, it will reduce the swelling and inflammation. This means your joints will be less stressed, and you will suffer less joint pain and injuries as you get older. 

How long should you ice your knees after basketball?

It depends on how severe your injury was and how badly your body needs it. If you just strained a muscle or tendon, you can ice your knees for about 10-minutes, after which point the ice pack should be removed, and you can move about your day.

However, if you have damaged any of the cartilage in your knee, you should keep icing your knees for at least 20-minutes, after which point you should remove the ice pack and elevate your leg. This will allow the blood to flow to your injured area and start the repair process. You should keep your leg elevated for about an hour, after which point you should put weight on your leg to accelerate the repair process.

What is needed to ice your knees? 

You will need:

  • An ice bag or bag filled with ice 
  • towel or cloth to hold the ice bag or begin place on your knee

There is very little equipment needed to do effective ice on your knees. All you need is something to hold the ice bag or bag in place on your knee and a way to elevate your leg.

Before you decide to ice your knees after basketball, you should consider these facts.

Here are some pros and cons of icing your knees you should know: 

PROS:

  • 1. It is cheap. You can buy an ice pack or bag of ice for around $
  • 2. Therefore, icing your knees after basketball is very inexpensive. This means you get fast relief without having to spend a lot of money.
  • 3. It is easy to do. You have to put an ice pack or bag of ice on your knees for 10 to 20 minutes, and you are done.
  • 4. It is non-toxic. It is made up of water and therefore, it is good for you.

CONS:

  • 1. It is temporary. You have to keep doing it over and over again until your joints are no longer stressed. This means you will have to ice your knees 2 to 3 times per week.
  • 2. It does not cure your joint pain. It will only provide relief. You will still need to see your doctor get rid of the underlying cause of your joint pain.
  • 3. You may develop a tolerance for the pain relief provided by icing your knees.

Also, there are other things you can do to help your knees after playing basketball.

Here are some alternatives to icing your knees. 

  1. Elevate Your Knees – When you first get home from playing basketball, put a heating pad or an electric blanket on your knees for a few minutes. This will help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  2. Take An Anti-Inflammatory Medication – If you are prone to getting joint injuries, consider taking an anti-inflammatory.
  3. Heal Your Knees. After you finish playing basketball, put a heating pad or an electric blanket on
  4. Proper Cool-down – After you finish playing basketball, slowly lower your body temperature back to normal.
  5. Take rest days when needed – When you first start playing basketball, you probably won’t need a rest day, but as you play more, your body will begin to demand it. As your body accumulates fatigue, and thus you are more prone to injuries. Therefore, it is essential to give yourself rest and not over-exert yourself. 
  6. Proper Technique – When you first start playing basketball, it’s easy to get away with bad technique. However, the bad technique will eventually become embedded in your muscle memory if you keep doing it repeatedly, which will cause more injuries to accumulate in your body and knees. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, icing your knees after playing basketball can help relieve the pain but, it is only a temporary solution.

Over time, the repeated use of ice packs can cause more damage to your knees than the initial injury. Therefore, it is always better to do some rehabilitation to strengthen your muscles and tendons. Which will prevent future injuries and also make the healing process faster and less painful.