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Soccer vs Basketball Showdown: Which Sport has More Sprains?

Posted by Dr. Serge Lanoue on 9 July 2024
Soccer vs Basketball Showdown: Which Sport has More Sprains?


Ah, the thrill of competition; giving it your all trying to outplay and outmanoeuvre your opponents to score and win!

Whether you're a fan of the beautiful game lacing up your soccer cleats for a mid-week game, or a weekend hoops enthusiast perfecting your jump shot to earn respect on the court, recreational sports are a fantastic way to stay active and have fun at the same time. But with all that movement comes the potential for injury, most commonly muscle sprains.

But which sport reigns supreme when it comes to sprains?

Let’s explore the similarities and differences between the potential injuries in each sport, and how chiropractic care may be a valuable tool in your recovery toolbox, potentially helping you to get back on the court or the pitch faster.


What are Muscle Sprains?

Your muscles are essentially bundles of fibers connected to your bones through tendons, which are a tough type of tissue. A sprain occurs when a tendon gets torn or stretched beyond its normal range of motion. This can easily happen after a sudden twist, a fall, or a forceful landing.

The pain you feel after a sprain is a result of inflammation and microtears in the tendon. Depending on the severity, you might also experience swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the affected joint.


Soccer vs. Basketball: A Tale of Two Sprains

Both soccer and basketball involve a lot of running, jumping, and quick changes of direction. This puts significant stress on your lower body muscles and joints, making them prime targets for sprains. Although there are common types of injuries associated with both sports, there are also a few differences as well. Let’s have a look!


Common Injuries




The most frequent sprain in soccer. A sudden twist or landing on an uneven surface can stretch or tear the ligaments around the ankle joint.

Common basketball injury due to quick movements and potential landings on rolling ankles.


Sprinting and kicking put significant strain on the hamstrings. Overextending during a high-speed run or a powerful kick can lead to a hamstring pull.

Quick acceleration and deceleration, as well as jumping, can overstretch the hamstrings. Hamstring injuries are common when players suddenly change speed or direction.


Running and sudden bursts of speed can lead to calf muscle strains. The explosive nature of sprinting and stopping can cause calf sprains.

Frequent jumping and quick changes in direction can strain the calf muscles. The constant up-and-down movement on the court stresses the calves.


(Anterior Cruciate Ligament)

Caused by sudden direction change, typically while defending or tackling, or during contact with opponent

A forceful pivot or landing can cause an ACL sprain, which can be a more serious injury requiring medical attention.


Powerful kicking and sprinting can overexert the quadriceps. The quads take a beating with every kick and sprint.

Jumping and running up and down the court place heavy demands on the quadriceps. Dunking, rebounding, and sprinting are all hard on the quads.

Differences in Sports Injuries




The kicking motion and lateral movements often lead to groin sprains. Stretching for a ball or making a sharp cut can overstretch the groin muscles.

Less Common

Hip Flexor

Sprinting and kicking put significant strain on the hamstrings. Overextending during a high-speed run or a powerful kick can lead to a hamstring pull.

Less Common


Less Common

Reaching for rebounds, blocking shots, and falls can lead to shoulder sprains. The upper body is more actively engaged in basketball.

Lower Back

Less Common

Jumping, twisting, and collisions can strain the lower back muscles. The dynamic movements and physical contact make lower back injuries more likely.


How Chiropractic Care May Help in Sports-Related Sprain Recovery

Chiropractic care may play a crucial role in managing and recovering from muscle sprains. Here’s how:

·       Pain Management

Chiropractors use various techniques that may alleviate pain from muscle sprains. Adjustments and manipulations may help reduce tension and inflammation in the affected muscles, aiming for immediate pain relief.

·       Improved Mobility

Chiropractic adjustments may help restore proper joint function, allowing you to move your injured joint more freely as you heal.

·       Faster Recovery

Chiropractic care may improve blood flow to the injured area and reduce inflammation, potentially promoting faster healing.

·       Preventing Future Injuries

Regular chiropractic adjustments may help maintain proper spinal alignment and improve overall balance, which could reduce the risk of future sprains.


Better Health May Be for You

While there is no clear-cut winner as to which sport has more sprains, we want to encourage people and athletes to engage in their favourite sport in a safe and healthy manner that works for their bodies.

By incorporating preventative measures like proper warm-up stretches, strengthening exercises, and good form, you can significantly reduce your risk of sprains. However, if you do experience a sprain, chiropractic care may be a powerful tool for accelerating your return to the court or the field. Don't hesitate to contact us to see if chiropractic care should be part of your recovery plan.

Also please contact us anytime for any sports-injury related questions.

Better Health may be for you: Call Dr. Lanoue

Dr. Serge LanoueAuthor:Dr. Serge Lanoue
About: Since 1990, Mississauga chiropractor Dr. Serge Lanoue has been helping patients feel better through time-tested chiropractic techniques. Dr. Lanoue and his team have worked with patients on a number of physical issues from back pain to rheumatoid arthritis to tennis elbow to migraines. Our patients are looking to live healthier lifestyles without relying so much on prescriptions or surgeries to heal injuries. Chiropractic therapy is a more natural treatment option.
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