Accessibility Tools

The Thrill and Peril of Pickleball for Those Over 50

The Thrill and Peril of Pickleball for Those Over 50
The Thrill and Peril of Pickleball for Those Over 50

Pickleball, a hybrid of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong, has seen a significant surge in popularity, especially among those above 50. This sport is not only fun but also serves as an excellent avenue for exercise. That said, as with any physical activity, it comes with its share of risks.

Understanding the Sport

Born in the mid-1960s, pickleball is a game for all ages, characterized by its low net and whiffle balls. It requires less running and has a slower pace than tennis, making it a good fit for older adults. However, this doesn’t mean it’s completely risk-free.

Common Injuries

Those over 50 are more prone to specific injuries while playing pickleball. Here are some common ones:

  1. Tendinitis

    Tendinitis, an inflammation or irritation of a tendon, frequently affects pickleball players, especially in the elbow and shoulder. The sport’s repetitive arm motions can exacerbate this condition. A case in point is Bob, a 55-year-old keen pickleball player, who developed severe tendinitis in his elbow, necessitating several weeks of physical therapy.

  2. Ankle and Knee Injuries

    The quick lateral movements required in pickleball can pose a risk to the ankles and knees. For instance, Susan, a 62-year-old player, rolled her ankle during a particularly vigorous game, leading to a sprained ligament.

  3. Falls and Related Injuries

    Slip-and-fall injuries are also common in pickleball, which can lead to fractures. Take the example of Gary, aged 58. He tripped while trying to hit a low ball, resulting in a broken wrist.

Prevention and Management

While injuries can occur, awareness and proper prevention strategies can reduce their likelihood. Regular stretching, strength training, wearing appropriate footwear, and learning the correct playing techniques can go a long way in preventing these incidents. And, of course, if you do sustain an injury, seek immediate medical attention to avoid compounding the problem.

Pickleball, despite its risks, remains a wonderful sport for individuals over 50. With the correct measures in place, it’s entirely possible to enjoy the game while staying safe and healthy.

Injure your ankle, foot, or knee playing Pickleball? Dr. Bagwe is a leading orthopedic surgeon specializing in ankle and foot reconstruction. If you are looking for an orthopedic surgeon near you then look no further. Dr. Bagwe is an industry leader when it comes to foot and ankle surgery doctors in St. Louis. Dr. Bagwe and his friendly and professional team is ready to welcome you and tell you everything you need to know.

Reach out and contact us today.

  • Saint Louis University
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • Center of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
  • SSM Health
  • Mercy