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The 4 Common Pickleball Injuries and 7 Ways to Prevent Them

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Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America and for good reason.  It’s a great way to get your heart rate up with a little friendly competition in a fast paced game that is easy to learn and extremely fun. But with more people than ever picking up the sport more people than ever are developing pickleball injuries.  Sometimes this just slow you down for a couple of days (if it is more than that you need to start to seek some help resolving your issues), sometimes you may be forced to enjoy your friends playing from the sidelines for even longer, or maybe you are playing, but just not at the level you are used to. 

No matter what your injury, a background knowledge on the most common areas of injury and what can cause them can be helpful.  Here are some of the most common injuries:
 

Shoulder

  • Shoulder problems, including rotator cuff irritation, tendonitis, bursitis, or tears are common in pickleball due to reaching overhead with a lot of force, as well as repetitive motions hitting the ball, however rotator cuff injuries can also be caused by everyday activities. 

Lower back & sciatica

  • Lower back problems may be common throughout the lifespan, however disc irritation or muscle strains can occur with pickleball, especially when not being sufficiently warmed up and suddenly cutting or reaching for a ball, often forward bending or repetitive trunk rotation.  It is important to make sure you get your heartrate up and warm up your muscles before getting on the court to play. 

Elbow

  • Tennis elbow, or rather “pickleball elbow”, otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis, is an overuse injury common with racket sports.  This can be caused by giving the muscles insufficient rest, or just placing higher demands on “under-strong” muscles to where they cannot keep up with the demands. This is why it is important to take rest days and gradually progress in duration and frequency of playing pickleball.

Ankle and Foot

  • Ankle sprains and Achilles strains/tears can be common in pickleball due to the cutting and pivoting, as well as prevalence of tripping and falls, especially in players of advanced age due to the tendency for decreased balance and reactive muscles. Plantar fasciitis and bone bruises to the heel can often occur due to repetitive pressure on a hard surface

pickleball injuries

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