Common Pickleball & Treatments

It's so easy to get injured in pickleball. Everyone is excited to compete and go our and play again and it's just so much darn fun. 

Here's some classic situations that can get you in trouble...

Situation #1- When you go to the courts, if it's crowded and you put down your paddle to get into the next game, you probably are rushing your warm-up time.

Situation #2-  You have played for three hours, and the dreaded "just one more game" plead happens.  Who can say no? they would only have three people, so you stay and play and what happens ... your over tired body is at the highest probability of an injury.

Here's some Common Pickleball Injuries:

  • Ankle Strain:  A strain involves a ligament and most commonly occurs on uneven terrain, stepping on a stray ball or another player’s foot. The pain is usually felt on the outside of the ankle and there may or may not be immediate swelling. Swelling is not a sign of severity.
  • Achilles Tendon Strain:  (back of the ankle) This involves a tendon or muscle group and the most common cause is a stop-and-go action or a sudden change of direction. This injury is very common in people over age 40. There is a sudden snapping feeling or a pain like being hit in the back of the leg. A rupture is obvious. There will be an indentation in the Achilles tendon area. The person cannot walk and needs immediate attention.
  • Heel Bruise:  Pain occurs on the bottom of the heel with every step. This is considered an overuse injury and usually occurs over a period of time. The best treatment is rest and using a heel cup or donut during play.
  • Knee Strain:  A sprain occurs by a twisting or rotation of the knee. The most common is a medial collateral sprain and the pain is on the inside of the knee, just to the side of the knee cap.
  • Hamstring, Groin or Quad Strain:  The most common is a hamstring, generally caused by over extending or reaching to return a ball. Again, the most serious will show a sign of an indentation where the tear occurred.
  • Wrist Fracture:  The most common cause is going backward for a ball, falling, and landing on an extended arm. Learning to roll out of a fall and not extending your arm to land can help avoid this injury.
  • Shoulder Strain:  This is often caused by overuse, too many overheads, playing too long, etc. It can also occur on a single overhead smash where the rotator cuff muscles (top of the shoulder) are strained.

Treatment:

  • Ice Therapy:  There is a misconception that you use heat for strains and ice for sprains. Not True! Use ice for all immediate treatment of injuries. Ice, compression and elevation should be used first for all injuries. Apply ice for a minimum of 15 minutes or until numb. Remove until the feeling is back and then replace the ice. Remember: Ice, compression and elevation for a period of 24-72 hours.
  • Heat?:  Heat should never be applied immediately to an injury (sprains or strains). It should only be applied after 24-72 hours.
  • Professional Care:  It is always best to seek the advice of a doctor for any injury, especially for fractures, head injuries, eye injuries, 3rd degree sprains and strains, etc. Call 911 for any serious injury.