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Doctors are seeing an increase in pickleball-related injuries. Here how to avoid them

The No. 1 way players can be injured during a game is by tripping and falling, which could result in fractures in the wrists, shoulders, ankles or hips.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

Apr 27, 2024, 2:14 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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As pickleball continues to grow in popularity, sports medicine doctors say they have seen a steady increase in people being injured.
Dr. Carl Cirino of the Hospital for Special Surgery tells News 12 that he and his colleagues have seen a tremendous rise in pickleball injuries since 2020. These include torn tendons and rotator cuffs.
Dr. Cirino says warming up first can help prevent injuries.
"Our muscles and tendons are at risk when they're tight. Stretching and flexibility helps with getting the blood flow to these areas so our muscles are ready for the activity, ready for that sudden move," he says.
The No. 1 way players can be injured during a game is by tripping and falling, which could result in fractures in the wrists, shoulders, ankles or hips. Wearing the wrong shoes can also increase your risk for falling.
"The running shoe is going to have a rolled bottom and it's for runners so it helps propel you forward. For pickleball, you want a flat bottom, helps get that lateral movement," says Dr Cirino.
Dr. Cirino does have advice for players with shoulder issues who want to attempt overhead shots.
"I think its safer to play the game below your shoulders and every once in a while if you want to go for that finishing shot above the head it's not a big problem," he says.
Dr. Cirino says people who sustained injuries and are prescribed physical therapy need to complete it because it will help them avoid being re-injured and get them back on the court sooner.


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