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Pickleball fever has swept the nation! With pickleball being so widely played and more and more new athletes and weekend warriors testing their skills comes a myriad of musculoskeletal injuries. Learn more about the sport of pickleball, common associated injuries, and what to do if you sustain an injury.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the nation and has held this title for the last few years. According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals, 48.3 million U.S. adults (19% of the adult population) have played at least one game in the last 12 months.

Although reasonably easy to play for most adults of a wide range of age groups, it is not without injury risk. It is estimated that game-related injuries will cost Americans about $250 to $500 million in medical costs in 2023!

What are some common injuries associated with pickleball?

  • Knee sprain
  • Meniscal tears/ injury
  • Muscle strains– including hamstring and quadriceps
  • Tendonitis and tendinopathy – most commonly lower extremities
  • Achilles tendon tears and ruptures
  • Ankle sprains
  • Shoulder Injuries, including bursitis, impingement, and rotator cuff tears
  • Knee, Hip, ankle, wrist, and hand arthritis flares

What should I do if I have a pickleball-related injury?

Almost all these issues can be managed non-surgically. At Sellers Sports Medicine, we have a musculoskeletal ultrasound! Ultrasound can diagnose many soft tissue injuries in real-time and on-site at our clinic. Static (stationary) and dynamic (movement) pictures and videos can be taken with the ultrasound to get to the root of the injury and diagnose the exact issue. Ultrasound is quick and much less expensive than an MRI. This can cut the patient’s medical costs and be used to diagnose the problem more quickly. Given that most pickleball injuries above can be managed with no surgical intervention, you can avoid an orthopedic specialist referral that can take time to make an appointment. Not only can patients save time and avoid expensive imaging, but they can also save time with treatment and be back to playing faster!

Although warming up and strengthening the lower extremities is essential for preventing injuries, injuries can happen during competitive play. We want to keep you from being sidelined at Sellers Sports Medicine and Family Practice, so shorten the time it takes to get diagnosed and treated at Sellers Sports Medicine.

Pickleball continues to grow, and more and more people are playing. It is even said to become an Olympic sport in the upcoming years. Make sure you see a doctor who specializes in these injuries.

Key Points

  • The most common injuries in pickleball are soft tissue injuries or flare-ups of arthritis. 
  • Most pickleball injuries can be managed without surgery
  • Visit a Sports medicine specialist to avoid primary care or orthopedic specialist visits.
  • Ensure your sports medicine doctor has an MSK Ultrasound so they can diagnose your injury in the clinic without needing expensive MRI diagnostic testing.
  • A sports medicine physician can help you return to play sooner while ensuring you are safe and ready to pickle!
  • Sellers Sports Medicine can get you an appointment quickly (often the same day) and offers in-depth history taking, physical exams, and in-house diagnostic ultrasound. 

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