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 Common Pickleball Injuries & How To Prevent Them

Pickleball was invented in 1960, and nowadays, it’s becoming a popular choice across the United States. It can be played indoors and outdoors and enjoyed by people of all ages, where the player uses a paddle to hit a ball over the net. That’s why there would be no surprise if you get prone to pickleball injuries. Although this game is fun and people of all skill levels can enjoy it, there are still chances of injuries. 

Sometimes when you are playing a game, you get injuries. Pickleball injuries are uncommon, but they can occur. Moreover, the players are also susceptible to sustaining concussions and other head injuries. Pickleball players need to warm up properly before playing. And use the proper Pickleball equipment to help reduce the risk of injuries.

Common Pickleball Injuries

Although Pickleball is a captivating sport, there is still the potential for injuries from falling or bumping into people. However, some accidents are more prone to happen to pickleball players specifically. 

A lot of these Frequently seen pickleball injuries are classified as overuse injuries. Which means they occur over time due to constant motion.

1- Shoulder Strain

One of the most common Pickleball injuries is shoulder strain. This can occur when the rotator cuff muscles and tendons become overstretched or torn. 

Symptoms of shoulder strain include pain and tenderness, weakness in the arm, and a popping or grinding sensation when moving the arm. Shoulder strain is usually treated with a combination of rest, ice, and physical therapy. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage. 

If you believe you have shoulder strain, it is important to see a doctor. Also, visit an orthopedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

2- Pickleball Elbow

It’s a common injury where the repetitive motion of the forearm causes it during play. 

The symptoms of pickleball elbow include pain inside the elbow, tenderness, and swelling. Pickleball elbow is treated with NSAIDs, ice, and rest. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

3- Heel Bruising

Heel bruising is caused by the constant impact of the ball on the heel of the foot and can be extremely painful. It can damage heel cells and tissues. 

Heel bruising can be prevented by wearing proper shoes with good arch support and cushioning. Heel bruises should be treated with ice and elevation immediately after the injury occurs. If the pain is severe, you may take ibuprofen for pain relief. 

Heel bruising usually heals within a few days to a week with proper treatment. Surgery is rarely necessary for this type of injury. 

4- Achilles Tendonitis

Another common injury among pickleball players is the Achilles tendon.

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that runs from the calf muscle to the heel bone. It occurs when this tendon becomes inflamed or irritated. Symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain and stiffness in the Achilles tendon. Especially when walking or running. Treatment for Achilles tendonitis includes rest, ice, and stretching exercises.

Pickleball players risk Achilles tendonitis because of the quick starts and stops. It can turn into stress on the Achilles tendon. 

How to Avoid Pickleball Injuries

As with any physical activity, you’ll want to use the proper exercise equipment and form to reduce your risk of injury. Given that Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports. 

And it looks like it will only rise in popularity, now’s a good time to invest in high-quality gear if you haven’t already. Plus, with so many newbies looking to jump into playing Pickleball, it’s crucial that we all take care to play using proper form.

1- Exercise Regularly

Exercise is essential for overall health, but avoiding injuries is also important. One way to help avoid injuries is to exercise regularly. 

Exercise helps to build strong muscles and bones, and it can also help improve balance and coordination. Furthermore, regular exercise can help increase your range of motion and flexibility. It makes you less likely to injure yourself. 

If you’re new to exercise, start slowly and gradually increase your activity level. Be sure to warm up before you Exercise and cool down afterward. By Exercising regularly, you can help avoid Pickleball injuries.

2- Hydrate Properly

You can avoid pickleball injuries by keeping yourself hydrated. 

Drinking fluids before, during, and after playing Pickleball is essential. This will help to keep your muscles and joints lubricated, preventing friction-related injuries. Proper hydration helps to regulate body temperature, preventing heat-related injuries. 

Finally, staying properly hydrated will help you to maintain focus and avoid making mistakes that could lead to injury. So next time you head out to the pickleball court, drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated. 

3. Stretch Beforehand

One way to help reduce the risk of injuries is to Stretch Beforehand. Stretching helps to warm up the muscles and prepare them for physical activity. It also helps to improve your range of motion and flexibility, which can help you avoid injuries. Before starting a game of Pickleball, take a few minutes to Stretch.

Focus on the muscles you use during the game, such as the shoulders, chest, and legs. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. You should feel a gentle pull, but not pain. If you feel pain, stop the stretch and consult a doctor or physical therapist.

4. Wear Supportive Shoes

“Wear supportive shoes that fit well and are appropriate for your sport.” The right shoe will help protect your foot and ankle from the impact of running and jumping. And sudden changes in direction while you are playing Pickleball. 

So, a good pair of shoes will provide the stability and traction you need to play safely on any court surface. When choosing a shoe, be sure to select one that is specifically designed for Pickleball or another racket sport. Avoid wearing running shoes or cross-trainers, as these shoes do not provide the same level of support and may increase your risk of injury. 

Final Thoughts:

Whether a beginner or a seasoned player, you’re susceptible to injury when playing Pickleball. The injuries can be painful, but there are ways to prevent them. 

One of the best ways to prevent injury is to warm up properly before playing. It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your intensity. Pickleball paddles should be of the appropriate size and weight for your height and strength.

If you experience an injury, it’s important to rest and ice the affected area. You may also need to take over-the-counter pain medication or see a doctor for a more serious injury. With proper prevention and treatment, you can minimize your risk of pickleball injuries.


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