Pickleball Elbow: Symptoms, Treatment & Elbow Prevention

Currently, many pickleball players have started to participate in competitions. During your matches, you often find players who don't escape injuries. Various injuries are found even though they only compete oppositely with their opponents. One of the specific injuries in pickleball is the pickleball elbow.

What Is A Pickleball Elbow?

Pickleball Elbow is also called similar to Tennis Elbow. An elbow pickleball injury is a condition or symptom of pain in the elbow produced by repeated movement and excessive use while playing.

It results in a tiny tear or micro-evulsions of the tendons and muscles at the exterior of the elbow and is brought on by overusing the forearm muscles. Also, this symptom is caused by overuse of groundstrokes, overhead smashes, and fast drives. These symptoms may develop in a gradual manner that is generally unrelated to a specific injury.

lateral epicondylitis or pickleball elbow

In addition, this condition can weaken the player because it affects the ability of the game to carry out its activities in hitting pickleball. Other pickleball elbow causes symptoms to include poor technique, wrong body position, late shots, weakened forearm muscles, and imbalance in wrist extension and flexion muscle strength.

Elbow Pickleball Symptoms

Technically, the symptoms of elbow pickleball occur in the forearm which has a lot of muscle that extends from the wrist. The muscles in question are the extensor muscles which are in the forearm. The most affected muscle is the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, which is the source of pain in pickleball players. These symptoms are:

  • Burning pain aka the outer elbow pain
  • And/or burning pain at the inner elbow
  • Occasional sharp twinges of pain at either location (from the tendons, usually)
  • Tension, weakness, soreness, and pain in the muscles of the forearm (on either side)
  • Stiffness, achiness, and soreness in those areas upon waking every morning

What Causes Pickleball Elbow?

The extensor muscles attached to the extensor tendons in the damaged elbow are the cause of elbow pain. There are several pickleball elbow causes such as the use of excessive activities, and forehand and backhand drive activities. Throughout your swing, the force generated by the compressive pressure of the paddle and the vibrating ball reacts and accumulates at the point of attachment of the lateral epicondylitis which also passes through the long muscle strings of the guitar.

Pickleball Elbow: Symptoms, Treament & Prevention

The connective tissue which joins the tendons to the bones in the elbow is agitated and physically stressed by the force of this vibration. The cellular injury occurs in the typical tendons connected to these extensor muscles. in the situation, Weakness and lingering agony are brought on by the rupturing of capillaries and blood vessels, the tearing of collagen fibers, as well as the twisting, compressing, and tearing of nerves entangled in the connective tissue. As a result, the tendons are attached to the exterior of the elbow which can become stiff and flex. This will result in pain, grip strength, and weak forearms.

Pickleball Elbow treatment

When you have pickleball elbow, don’t worry! We suggest several ways how you treat pickleball elbow:

Ask for a Break Immediately

When you have started to experience pain in the elbow caused by playing pickleball, you should ask for time to rest for a while. Even though pickleball can heal on its own, you need at least a little time to rest.

Put Ice On The Elbow to ease the pain

When you experience pickleball elbow symptoms and swelling occurs, you need to reduce swelling. Immediately take enough ice and compress it on your elbow area for 10-15 minutes every 3-4 hours to alleviate pickleball elbow. Before that, place a cloth or other material between the skin and the ice to be compressed.

Practice Your Wrist

This is a simple piece of training you can do before playing pickleball, or when you feel a pickleball elbow during a match. Pickleball Elbow pain can be effectively relieved by eccentric wrist extension exercises while reinforcing the structural integrity of the joints surrounding the finger, wrist, and elbow.

Physical therapy program

Ultrasound, cold laser treatment, electrical muscle stimulation, massage, acupuncture, and dry needling.

Lateral epicondylitis bracing for elbow pickleball

The brace will give you a little bit of tension across the irritated area. Use this throughout the day, and during your regular activities. This will help immobilize the wrist and keeps you from using and irritating either side of those tendons.


How Can You Prevent Tennis Elbow from Occurring?

Here are some methods to prevent pickleball elbow that you can apply before having a pickleball match:

Consider a suitable grip size with proper measurements, such as:

  • When you are holding the paddle (Try to use a lightweight paddle instead), make sure there is enough room for your index and other fingers.
  • Adjust the measurement of how far away the hand to the ring finger. This method of measuring grip size is the most precise.

Before competing, stretch your body first with warm-up exercises for pickleball and practice consistently. So that the muscles in the elbow and arms do not feel tense. While playing, concentrate on your swing method to make sure your wrist is not weak when you shot. The wrist and elbow joint, as well as the nearby soft tissue, are put under a great deal of stress when the wrist is used excessively the following impact. Get a trainer or professional player to monitor your game and offer input when you have issues you doubt the accuracy of your shot. To choose the comfy one that has the least effect and is most effective for you, try striking with other paddles from various materials.

Overall, you can use these 3 ways to prevent elbow pickleball symptoms:


Pickleball exercises strengthen your forearm muscle. Additionally, increasing your shoulder and upper back strength will likely help

Reduce backswing

Play short backswing is the best option. You will take a risk of hitting the ball behind yourself if your backswing is very strong as it will take you longer to finish it. Limiting your backswing will enable you to keep the ball close to your body and prevent overpressure on your elbows.

Swing your shoulder

You should also swing from the shoulder when playing pickleball, rather than the wrist and elbow. This will prevent elbow strain.

Keep the Spirit of Practicing!

As long as we like sports, the most important thing while doing it is to practice. By training your body, you will not only improve your skills but also avoid the various symptoms that can occur when playing this sport. You need to remember the restrictions on excessive use of pickleball paddles for tennis elbow or pickleball elbow.

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