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Doctors seeing more injuries as pickleball popularity rises

Del Teter
Posted at 12:19 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 15:55:09-04

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America, but as more people step onto the court, many players also have to step into the doctor's office.

Valley doctors say the issue is two-fold: more people playing naturally leads to more injuries, and while more young people have picked up a paddle, most pickleball players are seniors.

"More folks who are older, maybe they were tennis players, but now because of arthritis and other problems, you have less amount of court to cover with pickleball," said ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Shad Marvasti.

He says older players mean bodies that are more prone to injury. Ankle sprains are among the most common injuries.

"The sudden movements, you're going to one side then pivot suddenly and can twist your ankle," said Dr. Marvasti.

Over-worked shoulders, rotator cuffs, and wrist fractures are common.

"Lose your balance, then fall on your outstretched hand and break it," he said.

Foot problems such as plantar fasciitis can also develop in athletes who've been on the court for a few years.

Dr. Marvasti says prevention is pretty straightforward: lots of stretching before you play.

The doctor suggests stretching your arms across your body, bending down to stretch your hamstrings and calves, and tracing the ABCs with your heel.

He also advises using sports bandages to pre-wrap any area with known injuries like knees or ankles.

Nohelani Graf at KNXV first reported this story.