Every sport has its injuries and risks, and pickleball is no exception. Here are the primary conditions afflicting picklers and ways to avoid them.
Tennis elbow — Sometimes called pickleball elbow, this injury is caused by the repetitive swinging motion that can put a strain on the tendons in the elbow. To help keep these tendons safe, warm up before playing, and use proper form to avoid overexertion.
Rotator cuff injuries — Affecting the shoulder, these injuries can be serious. Avoid overuse or playing while in pain. Do stretches and warm-up exercises prior to playing and be careful with overhead swings.
If you’re feeling any strain or instability, take a break and check in with a doctor before hitting the court again.
Ankle sprains — Running and pivoting on the court can lead to ankle sprains, so be sure to wear supportive shoes and pay attention to your footing. Practicing some footwork drills slowly can help condition you and give you better agility when playing.
Knee injuries — The sudden stopping and starting involved in pickleball can put excess strain on the knees, which can mean sprains, cartilage damage, or even ligament tears. To help reduce your risk, wear supportive shoes and try some knee strength training exercises off the court.
Back pain — Repetitive motions with poor posture and form can lead to back aches, strains, and sprains. To avoid this, use proper technique when swinging, and keep good posture throughout play.
Dehydration — Pickleball can make anyone sweat heavily, which can lead to dehydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after playing.
Heat exhaustion — Playing in hot weather increases your risk of heat exhaustion. On those very hot days, try to play during cooler times of the day, and take breaks in the shade to cool down.
By warming up, wearing supportive shoes, staying hydrated, and learning and using proper techniques, you can enjoy your matches while minimizing the risk of things that aren’t so fun.
Injuries can still happen to anyone, anytime on the court (or off). That’s why you need to make sure you seek treatment right away from an expert who knows how to get you back to doing what you love quickly and safely. To find the right doctor near you, click here to use our guide now.