Learn to Play & Love Pickleball

What Are the Most Common Pickleball Injuries?

by Stacie Townsend 4 Comments

What Are the Most Common Pickleball Injuries? | Pickler Pickleball

Have you ever been injured playing pickleball? According to a recent study of pickleball-related injuries treated by emergency departments in the United States, pickleball injuries have been on the rise in recent years (Forrester, M., "Pickleball-Related Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments", The Journal of Emergency Medicine, November 30, 2019, pp. 1-5).

    Year Annual Estimated Number of Pickleball-Related Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments
    Pre-2013  Between 0 and 462
    2013 688
    2014 1391
    2015 4359
    2016 4712
    2017 6072

    This rise reflected in the above table could be attributed to the rapid rise of the sport of pickleball in recent years - in other words, more people playing pickleball equates to more pickleball-related injuries.

    Of these pickleball-related injuries, the most common was a strain/sprain (28.7%) or a fracture (27.7%), and the most common area of injury was to the lower extremity (32.0%). Injuries related to the upper extremity accounted for 25.4% of injuries, and injuries to the head/neck accounted for 16.9% of injuries. Further, the vast majority of pickleball-related injuries treated in emergency departments resulted in the patient being released after examination and treatment (88.0%), which shows that the majority of injuries were not serious enough to cause hospitalization.

    Like most sports, there is a risk of injury when playing pickleball. Have you ever been injured on the pickleball court? What precautions do you take when playing pickleball to prevent injury? Share with us in the comments below!

    Stacie Townsend
    Stacie Townsend


    4 Responses

    Tom Schwalbach
    Tom Schwalbach

    April 27, 2020

    Taught pickle ball in PE class many yrs ago.I think the injuries are due to inexperienced players thinking “I know I can play this,it’s like ping pong” and they aren’t athletic enough to handle the game yet!

    Krazy Tyrone
    Krazy Tyrone

    April 27, 2020

    I played on a slightly wet surface late December. And my opponent hit the ball to my right as I ran to my left and I tried to change directions - groin pull. Seriously pulled. Doctor said no play for months. I hope people learn not to play on a wet surface.

    Bruce Howe
    Bruce Howe

    April 25, 2020

    I went racing back to chase down a well-placed lob (of course I got it!). When I slammed on the brakes, instead of stopping, my shoes skidded and I rammed into the fence. The ball was still in play however, so I pivoted and launched myself back into the court. Unfortunately, my foot did not come with me! It was wedged between the fence and the court. Oh but wait, there’s more! A week later, as I was filling up my large metal water jug at home, it slipped through my fingers and came crashing down on top of same bare foot… Being a true recently-converted PB fanatic, I (unwisely) played on it for there more months. In hindsight, not worth it! Even with therapy, it’s been 6 months since I last played (or danced – my wife’s not too happy about that part, but she’s patiently waiting).

    Kathy Cameron
    Kathy Cameron

    April 24, 2020

    Hello, while playing pickleball I went after the ball, hit a bench that was too close to the court and fell backwards. I got the ball, yeah ! however my left wrist was broken in the fall . I had to get 3 pins put in. They said it was for three weeks then they would take them out and put a cast for another 3-4 weeks. My love of pickleball was interrupted for a week , couldn’t stand staying at home so I went to play with my one good arm. Everyone thought I was crazy. True sometimes I would get like a shock electric in my wrist while playing but it was more fun playing…..better then sitting at home feeling sorry for myself . Once they put the cast on there was no stopping me. 💕

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