Pickleball is a sport that has been growing in popularity among older adults in recent years due to its ease of learning, competitiveness, healthy lifestyle promotion, and socialization benefits. Similar to tennis, this low-impact racquet sport can be played both indoors and outdoors, in singles or doubles. Pickleball players use a paddle to hit a hard plastic ball, and the objective of the game is to hit the ball within the boundaries of the court. However, unlike tennis, serves must be made underhand, and paddle contact with the ball must be made below the server’s waist, making it an attractive option for older adults.
According to recent reports, pickleball has seen a 29% growth rate from 2015 to 2018, which is remarkable when compared to the 1% growth rate of tennis. This growth can be attributed to the increasing number of core players who are transitioning from tennis to pickleball.
The rise of pickleball in our area of St. Petersburg, FL has been notable, to say the least. Our city even has a new pickleball athletic club coming to St. Petersburg at some point in 2023. Until then, you can play at the many different courts located throughout pinellas county – a great list here!
As a sports medicine practice right in downtown St. Pete, we’ve noticed the high amount of excitement present by talking with our patients. Some are new to the game and many are just starting out! We couldn’t be more excited, as pickleball players ourselves! But, we have noticed that there has been a rise injuries happening on the pickleball courts!
Preventing Pickleball Injuries
While pickleball is a fun and healthy sport, it can also result in injuries, especially among older adults. Common injuries associated with pickleball include extremity strains, sprains, and fractures, tendonitis or tendon rupture, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries, and blunt trauma to the head, face, or eyes.
To mitigate the risk of pickleball-related injuries, it is essential to take pregame measures. Players should engage in warm-up exercises and stretches, wear proper eye protection and footwear, use wrist, knee, and ankle braces, stay hydrated, and take frequent rest breaks. These simple precautions can help players minimize the risk of injury during the game.
Take Home Points
Pickleball is a growing low-impact racquet sport that offers many benefits to aging adults, including fun, exercise, and socialization. However, to enjoy the game safely, players must take precautions to prevent injuries. By educating players on pregame measures, we can help reduce the risk of pickleball-related injuries among older adults and all of those enjoy this sport for exercise and fun! As this sport continues to grow in popularity, it is essential to encourage safe playing practices to ensure its longevity as a fun and healthy sport for all ages.
Don’t let pickleball-related injuries hold you back from enjoying this fun and competitive sport. If you do experience an injury, the team at Alliance Regen & Rehab in Downtown St. Petersburg has developed a specialized pickleball injury treatment program to get you back on the court as soon as possible.
In addition, we have you covered with online and in-person training to help reduce risk of injuries by helping you gain strength, agility, coordination, and balance for the pickleball court. Our Pickleball Injury and Performance Plan has you covered for an entire year!! Check it out for
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