Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels and is taking Indianapolis and the surrounding areas by storm! However, like any physical activity, it can also result in injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Physical therapists, including ours here at F3, have seen a growing number of pickleball injuries and so we put together this list of common pickleball injuries and tips on how to avoid them.
Back + Shoulder
Back and shoulder injuries can occur in pickleball due to the twisting and turning motions involved in the game as well as the repetitive overhead motions involved in serving and hitting the ball. To prevent back and shoulder injuries, it is important to warm up properly before playing, use proper form when hitting the ball, keep the core engaged, and the back straight. Targeted exercises that work these muscle groups, like the Strength and conditioning class at F3, can also help keep you safe on the court
Elbow injuries, such as tennis elbow, can also occur due to the repetitive motions involved in pickleball. To prevent elbow injuries, it is important to use proper form when hitting the ball, keeping the elbow close to the body and using a relaxed grip on the paddle. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the forearm muscles can also help. Work with a personal trainer to develop a program that matches your active lifestyle.
Knees + Ankles
Knee and ankle injuries can occur in pickleball due to the quick lateral movements and changes of direction involved in the game. To prevent these injuries, it is important to wear proper footwear with good support and traction. Find a store, like the Indianapolis Racquet Club Pro Shop, that is knowledgeable in pickleball and can fit you for the correct shoes. Focused exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles can also help.
In addition to these tips, it is also important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are two other conditions that can occur in pickleball due to the physical exertion involved in the game, which can also increase your chance of injury. If playing in hot weather it is important to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after playing. Water is the best option, but sports drinks can also be beneficial for replacing electrolytes lost through sweating. To prevent heat exhaustion, do not play outside during extreme temperatures, or find a shaded or indoor court. Wearing lightweight, breathable clothing can also help.
F3 is here to help. Our gym-based therapy helps you get the best of both worlds all under one roof. We can create an individualized plan of care that seamlessly integrates physical therapy and personal training. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Pickleball is a great active sport to get the body moving, however, it is important to take precautions to avoid these common pickleball injuries. By stretching and warming up properly, using proper form, wearing the correct footwear, and staying hydrated, you can stay healthy and enjoy the game for many years to come. Now, go dink some balls!