Are you fond of playing pickleball sports? Ever experienced any injuries? We all love to enjoy this game. But sometimes, we end up having various common pickleball injuries. Even if you are pretty careful while playing the game, you still have certainty of experiencing injuries in various ways.
After all, it is a high-involving racket sport, which requires you to run and move back and forth quickly. You may accidentally have injuries in your legs, feet, hands, or other areas of the body.
In this post, we will share 4 common pickleball injuries and how you can avoid them. Let’s jump in!
4 Common Pickleball Injuries
1. Pickleball Elbow / Tennis Elbow
Players often face pickleball elbow injuries when they bend and flex their elbows rapidly and frequently. Due to the inflammation, it causes harm to the highly organized connective tissue, named “tendon.”
The tissue is a joining muscle to bone by making a connection between the forearm and the elbow.
Since pickleball elbow mainly arises from long-term repetitive motion in the game, it is often considered a chronic sports injury.
The injury isn’t caused by one action. Instead, your repeated actions for the elbow area put pressure, and after a particular time, it becomes intolerable.
When you have a tennis elbow problem, you may have soreness, achiness, or stiffness in your elbow. Moving the elbow may give a feeling of pain or unease. Usually, the injury is fully healed within six to eight weeks.
You can reduce tennis elbow by using a pickleball paddle for tennis elbow which reduces vibration absorbs shock waves, torque, and vibration. You can also use a pickleball elbow brace.
2. Heel Bruise
Heel bruise or heel contusion is another typical injury, which develops gradually. You may experience this injury if you repeatedly cause an impact on your foot while running, moving, or jumping.
Besides, it can happen from a one-time injury like you have jumped from a massive height onto your heel. So, fat pads that protect the heel bone are injured when the heel is bruised.
You can recover from a heel bruise within 2 weeks if you get treated properly. When you have a bruised heel, you will feel pain in the heel when you put pressure on it or normally walk.
3. Shoulder Strain
Do you know you have 20 muscles in your shoulder area to support turn and rotate in various directions? Having a shoulder strain injury means you have stretched these muscles.
Playing pickleball games means you require a lot of effort, energy, or strength to hit the ball powerfully. This often leads to excessive strain on your shoulder area because of playing shots like overhead swings.
When you have a shoulder strain injury, you will notice having reduced motion, pain, or swelling issues in the shoulder area. You may take 4-6 weeks to recover from this injury completely.
4. Achilles Tendonitis
Gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantaris are the 3 muscles, which makes up the Achilles tendon. When these muscles are overused or tear several times while playing pickleball, it causes Achilles Tendinitis.
Achilles Tendinitis is divided into 2 types: non-insertional and insertional. The non-insertional injury means you have an issue at the centre of your tendon.
On the contrary, the insertional injury means you have an issue at the bottom area of your tendon.
When you have Achilles Tendonitis injury, you will notice pain, swelling or stiffness problems in your heel or tendon area. You may take 6-8 weeks to recover from this injury fully.
How to Avoid Pickleball Injuries
Injuries come accidentally. Though you can’t 100% avoid it, the more careful you are, the less certainty you have to experience injury. We have some research to find pro tips for avoiding pickleball injuries. Here is what we have found.
Warm-up is a common thing every professional player does before starting their game. It is also true for pickleball games.
You can do butt kicks, shadowing, jumping rope, knee lifts, jumping jacks, dynamic stretches, and a few static stretches.
Read more “Best knee brace for pickleball“
These types of warm-up activities quicken your cardiovascular system and decrease muscle soreness. Thus, you have less chance of having risky injuries.
Wear Perfect Shoes
Wearing well-fitted shoes is crucial. Pickleball games involve a lot of speed movements. Choose a pair of tennis shoes or court shoes from a reliable brand.
Make sure the shoes you choose can support your feet, ankle, and heel area enormously. It should provide a much-needed grip along a soft cushion to feel comfortable for an extended period.
Remember, every product has a limited lifespan, and so do pickleball shoes. You can play for around 45-60 hours with a pair of high-quality pickleball footwear. You will have to replace the shoes after 4-6 months of usage.
Do you play pickleball regularly? How many times do you play every week? Giving enough recovery time is necessary to heal your body if you have pain or have faced minor injuries.
Playing with minor injuries may lead to severe injury. So, don’t rush. Take enough time to heal. Take your physician’s recommendation on how much time you should take rest to recover from the current injury fully.
Drink a lot of water if you play in hot weather. Since you will lose a lot of water through sweat, drinking enough water will save you from dehydration.
Focus On Your Fitness
Your fitness plays a crucial role to save you from unwanted injuries. Professional pickleball players practice various types of exercises and activities to improve their fitness.
Apart from saving themselves from injuries, it improves their play abilities.
You can do exercises such as strength training, spinning, strengthening, stretching, yoga, etc.
Instead of focusing on a particular exercise, do cross-training — which is a combination of several exercise activities. It improves whole body parts.
Whether you are a nonprofessional or professional player, keeping yourself safe from common pickleball injuries is crucial. If you overlook the issues, you may end up having severe injuries, which will take several months or even a year to recover.
This article already covered 4 common pickleball injuries you may encounter and how to prevent them. Happy pickleballing!