In what is reportedly the first national study of injuries among paddle tennis players, 66% of respondents to an online survey of more than 1,000 players nationwide conducted by Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush say they have sustained an injury from playing the game.

The study also found that, among the players who reported an injury, more than half sustained two or more.

The commonly reported injuries were tennis elbow, calf strain, meniscus tear, ankle sprain, and rotator cuff injuries—60% of which were caused by overuse, and 40% were due to an incident that occurred during play.

“We knew it was a high-injury sport based on the number of paddle patients we treat. But until now, there wasn’t any research that showed this,” says Dr Lena Ghannad, a sports medicine physician at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, who coordinated the survey with approval from the internal review board at Rush University Medical Center.

“Paddle tennis requires a mixture of speed, agility, and quick bursts of energy, which makes athletes more susceptible to getting hurt. Many players are also middle-aged ‘weekend warriors’ who don’t strengthen or stretch their muscles and ligaments in-between games or practices,” adds Ghannad, in a media release from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.

Paddle tennis is similar to tennis but is played outside in the winter on a small, elevated court surrounded by a screen. Courts are heated from underneath to clear snow and ice. Most participants are between the ages of 40 and 65, per the release.

“[Paddle] tennis is a great way to get exercise in the winter, and I don’t want to discourage anyone from playing it,” Ghannad shares. “However, because of the high injury rate, it is critical to incorporate warm-up exercises and prevention strategies into your routine.”

[Source(s): Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, PR Newswire]