How To Avoid Pickleball Injuries

Common pickleball injuriesPickleball has gone mainstream today. In fact, The Economist has dubbed it “America’s fastest-growing sport.” A combination of tennis and ping pong, it uses paddles and a whiffle ball on an outdoor court which makes it a social sport that’s relatively easy to learn and great exercise for anyone who does so. However, just like with any other sport, there’s always the risk of injury, such as muscle strain.

What are some of the most common injuries?
Since this sport is seemingly easy to learn and play, many players tend to overexert themselves. Additionally, because pickleball is so easy to play, it can result in players picking up some bad habits (e.g., not putting enough emphasis on proper technique). Both things will predispose you to acute overuse injuries.

The most commonly experienced injuries doctors see have to do with a person’s knees and lower back. There are a few reasons why these areas of your body are especially prone to suffering from injuries. These include the game’s fast start-stop nature, frequent bending over, and sudden changing direction.

Upper body injuries (e.g., elbow, shoulder, wrist) are also quite common. These are caused by swinging the paddle that’s used to play this game. Some of the most commonly seen injuries to these parts of the body include tears to your labrum and rotator cuff. Tendinitis is also quite commonly seen in the elbow, forearm muscles, wrist, and rotator cuff.

Although your shoulder is also vulnerable, it’s less vulnerable here than if you were playing another racket sport such as tennis. This is because, in pickleball, you serve underhand, not overhand. Therefore, many people who’ve found other racket sports intolerable due to pre-existing issues with their shoulders have found that they can still play pickleball. It’s important for such players to exercise caution, though. They need to not use other parts of their body to overcompensate here. Otherwise, doctors don’t discourage them from playing pickleball.

How do you minimize the need for injury treatment?
While pickleball is a great way to improve upon your physical and mental well-being, it’s important to take some steps so you won’t need injury treatment for things like muscle strain. Some of the best things you can do for yourself include:

  • Recognizing your own physical limitations
  • Making sure you have time to warm up before you start to play (This is especially important if you don’t want to need injury treatment for a muscle strain.)
  • Using the correct equipment
  • Practicing good form
  • Knowing what the proper injury treatment is for things like a muscle strain

What should you do if you sustain an injury while playing pickleball?
The best injury treatment for a muscle strain that stems from playing pickleball is rest. However, if your symptoms persist, you’ll want to reach out to us at Williams Rolfing in Tampa, FL. Rolfing has been proven to be beneficial for anyone who gets injured playing sports. So, if your injury persists and doesn’t improve, reach out for our help.