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Pickleball injuries increase as the sport's popularity grows

It's not that it's a dangerous sport, but as more people play, more people are getting hurt.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — As pickleball grows in popularity, injuries with the sport also are increasing. 

"Pickleball is the fastest growing sport and it's definitely noticeable," said Steve Lewis, an orthopedic surgeon at Corewell Health. 

He is seeing more pickleball injuries in his practice. He said they have now surpassed tennis injuries. 

"It's a very close court," said Lewis, "So, a lot of the injuries are when patients or players are backpedaling, and they catch their foot and they trip and fall, and they're not wearing the right shoes."

It is not that it is a dangerous sport. The increase in injuries correlates with the increase of players. 

Plus, it's a sport for any age.

"The key to a long life, or really the focus more so in mainstream media, is longevity," said Lewis, "How do you live a healthier, longer life? And so obviously, cardiovascular fitness and pickleball is a great sport for it. It's incredible. And so, it's great that the older population is getting into it. But absolutely, that's understandably a risk factor for increased injuries, for sure."

To prevent injury, Dr. Lewis suggests to first make sure you are fit to play the sport. Then, make sure to stretch and wear proper footwear. 

RELATED VIDEO: Caledonia 14-year-old training to become pickleball pro

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