Pickleball Injuries

Ehren Allen, DPT, COMT

Most Common Pickleball Injuries

  1. Ankle Sprain
  2. Knee Sprain
  3. Tennis Elbow

Of course there are other injuries that can occur but these are 3 of the most common.

Watch this YouTube Video on Pickleball Injuries from The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute to learn more, or read on.

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that is mostly played on hard courts.  Common pickleball injuries include ankle sprain, knee sprain, tennis elbow, and wrist sprain.Pickleball Injuries

What is Pickleball?

The quick answer is that pickleball is a paddle ball sport that is played on courts that look like tennis courts. The courts are half the size of a tennis court. 

Pickleball can be played with doubles or singles and the court is usually a hard surface. The ball is similar to a wiffleball.  

Pickleball has become very popular, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is because it can be played outdoors by people of all ages. It is so popular that many tennis clubs are converting some of their tennis courts to Pickleball courts. 

But, as with any sport, injuries can still occur.  Proper preparation and stretching is needed to help decrease the risk of hurting yourself. 

Is Pickleball Good For You?

The quick answer is yes, pickleball is good for you for several reasons.  Pickleball can help to improve:

All of these are especially important during the pandemic, but Pickleball will likely remain popular after the pandemic has passed. 

How Do You Prevent Pickleball Injuries?

Proper preparation for pickleball includes stretching, nutrition, hydration, and proper shoes and equipment. Woman stretching for exercise and pickleball

The quick answer is you prevent injuries by being prepared!  This includes:

  • Proper stretching
  • Proper nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Proper Equipment
  • Proper Athletic Shoes

Even with all of these preparations, there is no way to completely prevent injuries.  

Common Pickleball Injuries

Ankle Sprain - An ankle sprain can occur when a pickleball player pushes off to change directions.  The ankle can roll under causing a sprain of the ligaments in the ankle.

Changing directions with pickleball can lead to a sprained ankle.Image of the position of a lateral ankle sprain

Knee Sprain- A knee sprain can can occur with a twisting or pivoting movement with pickleball. This can stress or stretch the ligaments of the knee.  Other possible structures that may be injured include the meniscus and tendons around the knee. 

Tennis Elbow - Tennis elbow is inflammation of the tendons in the outside of the elbow.  They come together to form 1 large tendon called the Common extensor tendon.  This large tendon can get irritated by repetitive stress from back hand movements and forces.

Stretches to Help Prevent Pickleball Injuries

Calf Stretches - Lean against a wall or fence and lunge forward with the back heel on the ground.  Hold 30 seconds x 3 on each leg.  You should feel a stretch in the calf muscle in the back leg.  This can decrease the risk of ankle injuries.

Calf stretches can help prevent ankle sprains with pickleball.Calf Stretch

Hamstring Stretch - To stretch the Hamstrings, sit on the edge of a chair or bench and extend 1 leg.  Lean forward from the hips until you feel a stretching the muscles in the bac of the thigh.  Hold 30 seconds x 3 each side.

Hamstring stretches can help prevent knee injuries and knee sprains with pickleball.Hamstring stretch

Wrist Extensor Stretch  - Extend the arm out in front of you with the elbow straight.  Then grab the hand and flex the wrist down until you feel a stretch in the muscles in the forearm.  Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3x.

Stretching the wrist extensors can help to lengthen the common extensor tendon and decrease the risk of tennis elbow.Wrist Extensor Stretch

Where do You Go With A Pickleball Injury?

The quick answer is to go see an orthopedist or a sports medicine doctor if you have a pickleball injury.  In the Jacksonville Area, the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute offers the area's largest group of orthopedic and sports physicians to meet your needs and get you back in the game after an injury.  JOI also has 12 rehabilitation locations that specialize in treating sports injuries. To schedule with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045

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Book an Appointment with The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today!

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

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