Survey finds many people ignore sports injuries, including those who play pickleball

Dr. Frank McGeorge says he sees pretty significant sports injuries while in the ER

Pickleball is one of the fastest-rising sports in the country. It’s a mix of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. But insurance analysts warn it’s causing an increase in hip, knee, and other injuries, especially in people over 60.

Now a survey finds many people are ignoring pickleball and other sports injuries.

In the ER, the injuries Local 4s Dr. Fraank McGeorge sees are usually pretty significant.

But often, they’re the result of more minor manageable problems that people simply ignored for way too long or didn’t know how to manage properly.

In the case of sports injuries, if it’s a sport you actively engage in improper treatment will affect your enjoyment and your healing.

Ten years ago, Robbin Murray fell in love with the game of pickleball.

“I would play as long as I could all day long,” said Murray.

That eventually caught up with her when she experienced shooting pains in her knee.

“I thought I could make it go away,” Murray said. “I thought I could work it out with, you know, hardcore massage therapy.”

That’s not uncommon, as a new national survey from Orlando Health found while a third of Americans report avoiding participation in a sport or hobby because of a nagging injury, about half thought it’s not worth seeing a doctor for a sports injury they believe will heal on its own.

About 44% believed making an appointment for an injury that is not too painful is too much work. But putting it off is a bad idea, according to Dr. Luis Gandara, a sports medicine physician.

“In some situations, it can be some inflammation,” said Gandara. “In some situations, it can be something worse like a muscle injury or tear that needs to be addressed and examined and then properly treated.”

The sooner someone is properly evaluated, the more likely they can be treated with less invasive options.

“Any injury that doesn’t seem to be getting better in a matter of few days and the person cannot put weight, or there’s a lot of bruising, there’s a lot of swelling, it is very important to get that checked,” Gandara said.

Murray worried that she’d need a knee replacement, but Gandara found that anti-inflammatory injections, a specialized brace, and physical therapy could help keep her in the game.

The field of sports medicine has grown considerably in recent years, and most large medical centers have sports medicine programs with orthopedic surgeons and other board-certified sports medicine physicians from a variety of other specialties.

Evaluation in those clinics can more quickly optimize your performance and get you on the right path to recovery.

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.