We’re talking about the sports obsession of Pickleball. The sport, a combination of ping-pong, badminton, and tennis, has caught on in a big way, particularly in Florida where retirees seek to remain active. Pickleball experienced a surge in popularity over the past ten years in our area. Today over 2.5 million Americans play the game.
So how did it all begin? In 1965, three Bainbridge Island (Seattle), WA dads were in the backyard watching their sons play. The game was created out of boredom when both kids and dads thought it would be fun to invent a new sport. What would they name it? While the kids were hitting a whiffle ball, dad Barney McCallum’s cocker spaniel took chase to retrieve the ball. The name of the dog? Why, Pickles of course, thus the name Pickleball.
It’s a fun story and a good workout, however it may result in frequent injuries. Not a week goes by where we don’t see at least one Pickleball trauma from the game. The most common are ankle injuries, followed by Achilles tendon, heel, knee, hamstring, and shoulder injuries. Most of these are caused as with any other sport: lack of protection and improper warm-up.
If you’re an enthusiast, here are some tips to keep you safe on the court:
- Do not wear running shoes; opt for proper court shoes as in tennis.
- Avoid long pants that can trip you up; choose shorts or for the ladies, tennis skirt.
- Use protective eye-wear.
- Stay hydrated.
- Stretch and warm up for ten minutes prior to your game.
- Post play, do five minutes of walking to cool down.
- Know your limits
Pickleball provides a good cardio workout and improves agility which is great for maintaining balance. If you do experience sore muscles and minor strains, a simple ice pack and rest may do the trick for you to recover quickly. More serious injuries many require the attention of a physician. The sports medicine physicians at 360 Orthopedics treat injuries at all three of our locations and offer same/next day appointments when needed. Appointments may be made via the website www.360-orthopedics.com or by calling 941-951-2663.
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