Knee and Hip Injuries in Pickleball: MidAmerica’s Guide to Safe Swinging

As the popularity of pickleball continues to soar among all ages, but particularly among the older demographic, the courts are buzzing with enthusiasm and camaraderie. This low-impact sport, often dubbed as a mix of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, has captured the hearts of millions across the globe. However, with the surge in participation, there comes an inevitable increase in injuries, particularly to the hips, knees, and other vulnerable areas. In this blog, we'll explore the phenomenon of pickleball's rise, the common injuries associated with it, and how MidAmerica Orthopaedics is dedicated to providing comprehensive care and solutions for players seeking relief.

The Surge of Pickleball

Pickleball, once considered a niche sport, has now exploded into the mainstream, attracting players of all ages and skill levels. According to the USA Pickleball Association, participation in pickleball has grown by over 650% in the past decade, making it one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. What sets pickleball apart is its accessibility, requiring minimal equipment and offering a more forgiving pace compared to traditional racket sports like tennis or racquetball.

Injuries on the Rise

With its rising popularity, pickleball has also witnessed a corresponding increase in injuries, particularly among older players. The nature of the sport, which involves quick lateral movements and repetitive motions, puts strain on the hips, knees, shoulders, and wrists. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, pickleball players commonly experience injuries such as sprains, strains, and tendonitis, with hip and knee injuries becoming more prevalent, especially among older adults, accounting for 90% of all pickleball injuries.

Navigating Injuries with MidAmerica Orthopaedics

At MidAmerica Orthopaedics, we understand the importance of staying active and enjoying sports like pickleball while prioritizing joint health and injury prevention. Our team of orthopaedic specialists in our Sports Medicine Clinic as well as other clinics offer a range of services tailored to address common pickleball injuries, from non-invasive treatments to surgical interventions when necessary.

For players experiencing chronic hip or knee pain, our experts provide thorough evaluations and diagnostic imaging to pinpoint the source of discomfort. For mild to moderate cases, we offer conservative treatments such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections to alleviate pain and improve mobility. However, in cases of severe joint degeneration or injury, our orthopaedic surgeons are skilled in performing full knee and hip replacements, providing long-term relief and restoring function.

Preventing Future Injuries

While injuries are an unfortunate part of any sport, there are steps players can take to minimize their risk on the pickleball court. Incorporating proper warm-up and cool-down routines, wearing supportive footwear, using protective gear like knee braces, and practicing good technique can all help reduce the likelihood of injuries. Additionally, listening to your body, taking breaks when needed, and staying hydrated are essential for maintaining optimal performance and preventing overuse injuries.

To conclude, as pickleball continues to captivate enthusiasts worldwide, it's crucial to prioritize joint health and injury prevention to ensure a lifetime of enjoyment on the court. If you find yourself sidelined by hip, knee, or other pickleball-related injuries, know that MidAmerica Orthopaedics is here to help. With our comprehensive approach to orthopaedic care and a commitment to patient-centered solutions, we're dedicated to keeping you active, healthy, and thriving in your pickleball pursuits.

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