Chronic Pain

Navigating Chronic Pain in Pickleball: Common Injuries and Strategies for Players

Pickleball has rapidly gained popularity as a recreational and competitive sport, drawing players of all ages and skill levels. However, like any physical activity, Pickleball is not without its risks, and players may encounter chronic pain and injuries that can affect their performance and overall well-being.

Common Injuries in Pickleball

Shoulder Injuries
Pickleball involves frequent overhead motions, particularly during serves and smashes. As a result, players may experience shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff strains or tears. The repetitive nature of these movements can contribute to chronic pain and reduced shoulder mobility.

Elbow Tendonitis (Tennis Elbow)
The constant gripping of the paddle and repetitive arm movements can lead to overuse injuries, such as lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow. This condition can cause chronic pain on the outer part of the elbow and may impact a player’s ability to maintain a strong grip during matches.

Lower Back Strain
The dynamic nature of Pickleball, involving quick lateral movements and sudden accelerations, puts stress on the lower back. Players may experience chronic pain due to strains, sprains, or other musculoskeletal issues affecting the lumbar region.

Knee Injuries
Fast-paced lateral movements and abrupt stops can contribute to knee injuries, including strains, sprains, and conditions like patellar tendonitis. Chronic knee pain can hinder a player’s agility and overall performance on the court.

Ankle Sprains
Quick changes in direction, sudden stops, and lateral movements increase the risk of ankle sprains in Pickleball players. Chronic pain from recurrent ankle injuries may affect a player’s ability to move confidently on the court.

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Strategies for Managing Chronic Pain

Proper Warm-up and Stretching
Implementing a thorough warm-up routine before playing Pickleball is crucial. Focus on dynamic stretches that target the major muscle groups involved in the game, promoting flexibility and reducing the risk of injuries.

Strength Training
Building strength in key muscle groups, such as the shoulders, core, and legs, can provide additional support and stability. A well-rounded strength training program can help prevent overuse injuries and contribute to overall fitness.

Correct Technique
Ensuring proper technique in strokes, serves, and movements can significantly reduce the strain on joints and muscles. Seek guidance from experienced coaches to refine your skills and minimize the risk of chronic injuries.

Rest and Recovery
Adequate rest is essential for preventing chronic pain and promoting overall well-being. Allow time for recovery between intense matches or practice sessions, and listen to your body’s signals to avoid overexertion.

pickleball player active play

Get Relief with Pickleball Physical Therapy

While Pickleball is a fantastic sport that promotes physical activity and social interaction, players need to be mindful of potential injuries and chronic pain. By incorporating proper warm-up routines, strength training, and seeking professional guidance when needed, players can mitigate the risk of chronic pain and enjoy a healthier, more sustainable Pickleball experience.

If chronic pain persists, consult with our physical therapists at La Mesa Rehab. We can assess your condition, provide targeted rehabilitation exercises, and offer personalized strategies for pain management and get you back on the court!