Pickleball is America’s fastest-growing sport, but its popularity is taking a toll on players’ bodies. A new report estimates that pickleball injuries could cost Americans up to $500 million this year.

The report, by investment bank UBS, found that pickleball injuries are most common among older adults. From 2010 to 2019, 86% of emergency department visits due to pickleball injuries occurred in people over 60 years old.

The most common pickleball injuries are sprains, strains, and fractures. Around 60% of pickleball injuries are in these categories. Twenty percent are contusions, abrasions, or internal injuries; and fewer than 10% are lacerations or dislocations.

The UBS report estimates that there will be around 67,000 emergency room visits, 366,000 outpatient visits, and 9,000 outpatient surgeries related to pickleball injuries this year.

The report also found that the cost of pickleball injuries is rising as the sport becomes more popular. In 2019, pickleball injuries cost Americans an estimated $250 million. That number is expected to reach $500 million by 2023.

The UBS report attributes the rise in pickleball injuries to a number of factors, including:

  • The sport’s growing popularity, which has led to more people playing pickleball without proper training or conditioning.
  • The sport’s fast-paced nature, which can put a strain on players’ bodies.
  • The sport’s use of paddles, which can lead to injuries if players swing too hard or improperly.

The report concluded that while pickleball is a great way to stay active, it’s important for players to take precautions to avoid injuries. These precautions include:

  • Warming up before playing.
  • Stretching after playing.
  • Using proper form when swinging the paddle.
  • Not overdoing it.

If you do suffer a pickleball injury, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Early treatment can help to prevent further injury and complications.

Tips for Avoiding Pickleball Injuries

  • Warm up before playing. This will help to loosen your muscles and prepare them for activity.
  • Stretch after playing. This will help to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness.
  • Use proper form when swinging the paddle. This will help to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Don’t overextend yourself. If you start to feel pain, take a break.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that provide good support.
  • If you have any pre-existing injuries, be sure to tell your doctor before playing pickleball.

By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of pickleball injuries.