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Foot and Ankle Injury in Pickleball

Added: (Sat May 05 2018)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines parts of table tennis, badminton, and tennis. The game was played mostly by seniors in the 1960s and by 1990 it was being played by people of all ages in all 50 states. Pickleball quickly became very popular because it is an easy and fun game, requiring only a net, a pickleball and a pickleball paddle which is much like a tennis racquet, only smaller. For recreational games, no special apparel or clothing is required.

Naples is considered a premier location for pickleball, with numerous courts available. In fact, the East Naples Community Park is the home of the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships. It has 54 pickleball courts to accommodate people getting in line to get a game.

Pickleball is said to become the fastest growing sport in the U.S. So as pickleball continues to sweep the nation, more and more injuries of the foot and ankle are also seen.
1. The most common injury in pickleball is ankle strain. This is a slight tear or stretch of a muscle or tendon. Pain can appear immediately at the onset. It can also appear gradually as in the case of chronic ankle strain that develops over time because of overuse of the muscles in the ankle. The area at the site of the strain may exhibit redness, swelling, and inflammation. Depending on the degree of injury, there may be discomfort as you flex or rotate the ankle. For more severe cases, the ankle may go limp.

2. Ankle sprain is stretching or tearing of ligaments. The symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and limited movement of the affected joint. A “pop” may be felt in your joint at the time of injury.

3. Another common injury is Achilles tendinitis. This results from repetitive stress to the tendon. Risk factors include tight calf muscles and suddenly doing activities that put extra stress on the Achilles tendon. Sudden increase in activity without allowing the body to adjust can also be a cause. Symptoms include pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon in the morning, pain at the back of the heel that worsens with activity, severe pain after exercising, and swelling that gets worse through the day with activity.

4. Achilles tendon rupture, another common injury, is often misdiagnosed as an ankle sprain. This is a complete or partial tear that happens when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. Risk factors include sudden forceful pivoting or sudden acceleration in running, and also from falling or tripping. This is quite common in middle aged pickleball players, who only participate in the sports during the spare time or the so-called “weekend warriors”, playing only occasionally. Signs and symptoms include a snapping sensation, sudden pain in the back of the ankle or calf, swelling, difficulty walking especially uphill.

There are factors that can contribute to ankle injury. Improper warm up is the most common cause. Thus, it is important to appropriately warm up before a game to loosen the muscles and increase joint range of motion, making you less prone to trauma and tears.

Be sure to use properly fitting and well-maintained footwear. Shoes should provide stability on the inside and outside of the foot. Fatigue can also increase your chances of getting injured. So you must know your limits too.
Other factors that can impact your game are experience, physical condition, athletic ability, and age. Injury prevention is the key, so it is important to warm up before playing pickleball. After the warm up period, stretching is very important to increase flexibility. After play, be sure to cool down by taking a slow walk and doing a bit of stretching.

For more information on pickleball and foot and ankle injuries, visit www.NaplesPodiatrist .com or call (239) 430 3668 or the Self Service # 844-889-1725. Family Foot and Leg Center, P.A., a premier foot/ ankle practice in Florida, has five convenient locations – Southwest Naples, Downtown Naples, North Naples, Estero, and Cape Coral.

Submitted by:K Lam
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