It seems like everyone is playing Pickleball these days. This fast paced outdoor game is part tennis, part ping pong, and a lot of fun to play. But while it can be a casual and social game, some take their Pickleball very seriously, the action can get intense, and Pickleball injuries are on the rise. Those quick stops, starts, and spins can lead to ankle sprains, pulled muscles, or worse.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, Pickleball injuries were on the rise even before the pandemic. One analysis, published in 2019 in The Journal of Emergency Medicine, estimated that there were 19,000 pickleball injuries in 2017, with 90 percent of them affecting people 50 and older.”
For minor sprains and strains, the R.I.C.E. method works best: rest, use ice on the injured area, and keep it elevated. This can help dull the pain, minimize the swelling, and help you heal and recover faster. You can also add an anti-inflammatory drug such as NSAIDs to help with pain and swelling.
But if you injure yourself and cannot reliably bear weight on a lower extremity or use your upper extremity for simple tasks like opening a door or carrying a book, it is best to have a physician evaluate that injury and take diagnostic x-rays to rule out the possibility of a fracture. Keep in mind that even though somebody may be able to move a joint, there may still be an underlying fracture and the only reliable method to determine this is with an x-ray and a physician evaluation.
“Since most of us are weekend/after work athletes, Lakes Urgent Care is open late, and we can be a great resource for all sports injuries,” said Dr. Haidar Al-Saadi, Lakes Urgent Care’s medical director. “We have digital x-ray capabilities on site, and we can quickly help determine if you just have a sprain or strain. If your injury is more serious, we can either treat your injury on-site or refer you to a specialist.”