Pickleball Injuries on The Rise: How to protect yourself on the court!

Pickleball has become quite a popular sport in recent years among all age groups. It combines the elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. It is played on a smaller court with a lower net to make it easier for people of all ages and genders to play this sport. However, whenever there is a sport, there are bound to be people getting injured, and such is the case with Pickleball.

Although Pickleball is a less intensive game than Badminton and Tennis, players can still get injured if they are being reckless and the game gets competitive. Pickleball injury statistics published in The Journal of Medicine state that there were over 19000 Pickleball related injuries in 2017 alone, with over 90 percent of them being people over the age of 50.

However, even though Pickleball injuries have been on the rise in recent years, it’s important to note that most of these injuries can be avoided if the players just take certain precautions and stop playing carelessly. This is why we have written this article to inform you about all of the possible injuries that can occur while playing Pickleball and how to avoid them.

Common Pickleball Injuries And Why They Happen

There are too many injuries to count that can happen while playing any physical sport, and such is the case of Pickleball. However, there are certain injuries that are the most common. These injuries are as follows:

Shoulder Strain/Sprain

One of the most common injuries while playing Pickleball is that of the shoulder. This happens because players tend to put a lot of stress on their arms while hitting the ball. However, in order to generate proper force while putting as less stress on your body, you need to use your legs as well, specifically your hips. Your power needs to come through your hips into your arms and then onto the ball.

Besides back and knee pain, Shoulder pain is one of the worst experiences any human being can have in their life. So, in order to avoid it, use proper form and generate power from your hips.

Wrist Injury

Since Pickleball requires the participants to do a lot of wrist movements with their paddles, their wrists become susceptible to injuries. These injuries are usually caused by a sudden jerk in the hand while trying to hit the ball. This is also a problem that can be simply fixed by using the proper technique.

As previously stated, the correct way to hit the ball in Pickleball is to use the movement of your whole body including your legs. This puts very little strain on your entire body instead of putting a lot of strain on just a single part of your body.

Another reason for wrist-related injuries is the paddle. If you’re gripping your paddle too tight or if your paddle is too heavy, this can cause unwanted strain on your wrist that can stop you from enjoying your favorite sport.

Knee Injury

In addition to shoulder and wrist pain, knee pain is also quite common among Pickleball players. This happens because the knee is quite vulnerable while making sudden movements with your legs on the court. Old age and already weakened knees are very susceptible to knee injuries. Plus, if you don’t work out and your leg muscles aren’t strong enough, it makes it so that your knee alone has to bear all the load that is being put on your leg. So make sure you work out and develop those quads of yours.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle Sprains pickleball

Ankle sprains can be caused by a sudden movement of the ankle or putting it in an uneasy position while under pressure. However, simply warming up yourself by doing certain movements/stretches can prevent or at the very least minimize your chances of injury.

Wearing a good pair of shoes that support your feet is also an easy way to make sure that your ankle is never put under stress to begin with.

Pickleball Elbow

Just like Tennis Elbow, Pickleball Elbow is also caused by improper form/technique. It can also be caused by over usage of one’s elbow. Small tears can be created in the elbow tendons and it can cause a lot of pain.

In order to avoid this, use proper technique and make sure the paddle you’re using is not too heavy in your hand. Choosing the correct paddle can go a long way in preventing certain injuries from occurring

Achilles Tendonitis Rupture

Achilles Tendonitis can be caused by the overuse of one’s lower leg muscles. If they get overworked or put in an uneasy position while they are under pressure, it can cause small tears in the tendons. Two forms of  Achilles Tendonitis exist.

  • Non-Insertional Achilles Tendonitis
  • Insertional Achilles Tendonitis

Non-Insertional Achilles Tendonitis is caused in the center of the tendon, however, Insertional Achilles Tendonitis is caused in the lower part of the tendon. The symptoms usually include pain in the calves and heel stiffness.

achilles tendon problems

A good way to avoid this would be to spend some time in the gym and strengthen your calves muscles. Weighted/Non-Weighted Leg Raises are a good way to increase the size of your calves as well as strengthen them to take more pressure in the court.

How To Avoid Pickleball Injuries

Although Pickleball helps you keep fit and healthy, there are chances of injury. So in order to minimize these chances, follow the following steps:

Work Out Consistently

Even though Pickleball keeps your body active, it’s not a strength-based sport. So in order to have more strength in your muscles, you need to work out regularly. Stronger muscles help give better endurance to your body which can help in reducing the chances of injury.

For example, a lot of pressure can deviate from your knees if the supporting muscles of your legs (Quads, Hamstrings) are strong, and the same goes for other parts of your body.

“Dont know where to start? Here are Some Pickleball Exercises that might help”

Know Your Limits

Although we humans like to think that we can do anything if we put our minds to it, our body disagrees. Our bodies have physical limits to them and playing for too long under high intensity can cause damage to your muscles. This is not as much of an issue when you’re younger, however, in older folks, this can be a serious problem.

Stretching Before Playing

It’s important to stretch your muscles and warm them up before doing any physically demanding activity. This is important because our bodies are cold and our muscle fibers are not properly ready for the heavy use that we’re about to give them. So make sure to stretch your main muscle groups such as legs, shoulders, etc. before playing.

What To Do If You Experience a Pickleball Injury

Well, we’ve talked about all of the things that you can do to prevent injuries. Now, let’s talk about some of the things you should do if you’ve experienced an injury.

Stop Playing!

It’s no joke, injuries at any age could be serious. If you experience uneasiness or pain in any area of your body while or after playing, you need to immediately stop playing. If the issue is not as serious, take some rest. And if the issue still persists, get some medical attention.

Have Your Pain Checked By An Orthopedic Doctor

Orthopedic doctors are those that deal with problems in bones, joints, ligaments, etc. They can provide the most optimum solution for you whether it be medicine or physiotherapy. Don’t try to prolong this procedure because small pains can turn into a lifetime of agony if they are not treated soon after they were caused.

Follow The Doctor’s Treatment

Remember that whatever your medical professional suggested for you is probably the best. Follow their treatment and make sure to get plenty of rest in the meantime. And remember to stay away from Pickleball during your resting period!

Related Articles:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top