Pickleball Injuries Statistics: Eye-Opening Facts for Players Safety

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Pickleball Injuries statistics

At 65, I’ve swung rackets and paddles in various sports over the years, embracing each game’s unique thrills and challenges. However, with age comes wisdom, and a keener awareness of our physical limits. This is especially true for pickleball, a sport I’ve enjoyed immensely. As a fusion of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, pickleball captivates with its dynamic play and skillful nuances. For those new to the sport, starting off with the right pickleball paddle is crucial for both enjoyment and injury prevention.

Understanding pickleball injuries statistics isn’t just a matter of numbers; it’s about recognizing the realities of our bodies as we age. In pickleball, where quick movements and strategic plays are commonplace, injuries such as strains, sprains, and fractures can occur. This is particularly significant for senior players, who may be more susceptible to these injuries. The statistics aren’t just numbers; they are reminders of our need to play wisely and take necessary precautions.

It’s not about diminishing our love for the game but enhancing our approach to playing it. By educating ourselves on the most common injuries in pickleball and how to prevent them, we can continue to relish the health benefits and joy this sport brings, while safeguarding our well-being. So, let’s dive into the world of pickleball, armed with knowledge and a commitment to safe play, ensuring a delightful and injury-free experience for players of all ages.

Key Takeaways

  • Pickleball’s rising popularity, especially among seniors, highlights the need to understand potential risks.
  • Investing in proper equipment, like high-quality pickleball shoes, can prevent common injuries such as strains, sprains, and fractures.
  • Balancing the health benefits and risks of pickleball will enable players to enjoy the sport safely and responsibly.

Understanding Pickleball Injuries Statistics


We find that pickleball appeals to a wide range of people due to its ease of play, social aspects, and the level of movement it involves. One of the key factors contributing to the sport’s popularity is its accessibility for players of all skill levels. Pickleball requires limited equipment compared to other racquet sports and can be easily learned and enjoyed by players spanning from novices to experts.

This sport’s appeal lies in its accessibility and social aspects, making it easy for anyone to pick up. However, to reduce injury risks, especially for newcomers or those stepping up their game, consider using training machines to improve skills and techniques safely.

However, as with any physical activity, there is potential for injuries. In fact, a study from 2021 estimated that there were around 19,000 pickleball injuries per year, with 90% of them affecting people aged 50 and older (source). As the sport continues to grow in popularity, understanding common injuries, their causes, and how they can be prevented becomes critical. By staying informed about the dynamics of this fast-growing sport, we can continue to safely enjoy its many benefits.

Injuries in Pickleball

Pickleball has gained significant popularity, especially among seniors. However, this fast-growing sport also comes with its fair share of injuries according to a study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Some common injuries in pickleball include sprains, strains, and fractures. The Achilles tendon can also be affected in this sport, as players frequently pivot and change direction. It is crucial for players and healthcare professionals to be aware of these injury risks and take appropriate measures in injury prevention.

The cost of treating pickleball-related injuries is substantial, as UBS estimates the healthcare cost to approach $400 million. This figure highlights the urgent need for robust prevention strategies and proper education for players on how to minimize the risk of injury and the importance of correct warm-up and cool-down routines.

Both acute injuries and chronic injuries can occur in pickleball. Acute injuries often result from a traumatic event such as a fall, while chronic injuries develop over time due to stress or overuse of a specific part of the body. Recognizing the various types of injuries and understanding their causes is essential in developing effective prevention methods.

In summary, the rise in pickleball‘s popularity has led to an increase in injuries ranging from sprains, strains, and fractures to issues affecting the Achilles tendon. It is vital for players to be aware of these risks and focus on prevention to minimize the financial burden on healthcare systems and ensure the well-being of participants in this increasingly popular sport.

Health Benefits and Risks

pickleball injuries statistics

As an increasingly popular sport, pickleball provides numerous health benefits to its players. One major advantage is that it’s a low-impact form of exercise, which makes it accessible to a wide range of individuals, including older adults and those recovering from injuries. Engaging in physical activity such as pickleball helps improve muscle strength, cardiovascular health, and overall well-being for its participants.

However, several research studies have highlighted the injury risks associated with the sport. While the epidemiology of pickleball injuries is still being explored, it is clear that medical costs related to these injuries are on the rise in the United States. Forbes reported in 2023 that pickleball injuries cost Americans nearly $400 million, with seniors being the most affected demographic.

Common injuries that can occur while playing pickleball include:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendon strains
  • Knee pain
  • Lower back pain

To mitigate these risks, we recommend seeking advice from a physical therapist or a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program, especially for those with pre-existing conditions or concerns. Many physical therapy professionals can provide guidance on proper form and technique to prevent injuries during play.

In addition, it’s crucial to invest in proper equipment such as quality shoes, use the correct form during play, and engage in warm-up and cool-down routines to minimize the risk of injury while playing pickleball. Giving adequate attention to injury prevention can help ensure this low-cost and enjoyable sport remains accessible and beneficial to all.

Pickleball Equipment and Technique

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As pickleball enthusiasts, we know that having the right equipment and using proper technique can significantly reduce the risk of injuries. In this section, we’ll cover some essential tips related to pickleball equipment and technique.

Firstly, using the appropriate paddle is crucial to a player’s performance and injury prevention. While tennis rackets are strung and have a larger surface area, pickleball paddles are typically made of composite materials and have a smaller surface. It’s essential to find a paddle that feels comfortable in your hand, has the proper grip size, and offers a balance of power and control.

In addition to the paddle, investing in the right footwear is equally important. Court shoes specifically designed for pickleball can provide the support and stability required for lateral movement on the court. They can also help distribute the force across your feet more evenly, reducing the likelihood of strain on your ankles, knees, and hips.

Pickleball is known to be easy to learn, making it an ideal sport for people of all ages and fitness levels. Despite its accessibility, mastering proper technique can significantly contribute to injury prevention. When learning how to play, it’s crucial to focus on the fundamentals – proper grip, stance, footwork, and swing mechanics. An incorrect grip, for example, can lead to elbow and wrist injuries over time. Proper footwork and balance can reduce the chances of falls and sprains during lateral movements.

Bottom Line

Finally, remember that practicing good sportsmanship and following the rules can also reduce the risk of injury. We highly recommend attending camps / clinics or participating in lessons with experienced players or certified coaches to ensure you’re learning safe and effective pickleball techniques. By adopting the right equipment and honing your skills, you’ll be better prepared to avoid injuries while enjoying this fantastic sport.

For a deeper dive into the world of pickleball, don’t forget to check out our main article on Pickleball Statistics, packed with insights and fascinating data.


What are the most common injuries in pickleball?

In pickleball, the most common injuries include shoulder injuries, elbow injuries, knee injuries, ankle sprains, and Achilles tendonitis. Sprains and strains, which involve stretched or torn ligaments and muscles or tendons, respectively, account for about one-third of the injuries in this sport “source“.

How can pickleball injuries be prevented?

To prevent pickleball injuries, we recommend proper warm-up, wearing appropriate footwear, learning proper technique, maintaining overall fitness, staying hydrated, and avoiding overexertion. Regular stretching and strengthening exercises targeting muscles involved in playing pickleball can also reduce the risk of injuries.

Is pickleball safe for seniors to play?

Pickleball is generally safe for seniors to play, but it is crucial to be mindful of their physical condition and injury risks. Many of the injuries in pickleball occur in players aged 50 and older source. Nonetheless, with proper modifications, warm-up, and technique, seniors can safely enjoy the sport.

How does pickleball compare to tennis in terms of knee injuries?

We could not find a direct comparison between pickleball and tennis regarding knee injuries. However, both sports involve quick movements and changes in direction, which could potentially result in knee injuries. It’s important for players in both sports to prioritize proper technique, warm-up, and conditioning to reduce the risk of injury.

What is the cost of pickleball injuries in 2023?

Forbes reported in 2023 that pickleball injuries cost Americans nearly $400 million, with seniors being the most affected demographic.

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Ken Kochman is the founder and chief editor at mypickleballauthority.com. His aim? Very simple. Cut through all the hype and misleading advertisements so you can make the best decision for your pickleball needs based on your level of play.

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