Treatment and Prevention for Pickleball Injuries and Pain
Sports Medicine2023-01-13

by Adam Halseth
PT, DPT, SCS | Northeast Scottsdale

Pickleball mania is sweeping the country in Scottsdale and virtually the Metro Phoenix area. Everyone, from kids to seniors, is picking up a paddle and trying their hand at the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., leading to a fast rise in pickleball injuries.

The number of people playing the trendy racket game has nearly doubled in the last two years. According to USA Pickleball, 4.8 million people are now playing the sport. That has resulted in an unscientific 19,000 pickleball injuries each year, which has jumped significantly over the last 10 years.

Pickleball is a navigate between tennis, ping pong, and badminton, but like tennis, there are a lot of quick bursts of speed, side-to-side shuffling, and wrong-side-up pedaling. Considering of this, physical therapists at Foothills Sports Medicine are seeing increasingly patients suffering from pickleball pain. I have personally treated injuries from shoulders, elbows, knees, and really everything from throne to toe.

Common Rationalization of Pickleball Injuries

I am seeing a steady rise in patients of all month injured from playing pickleball. One of the most worldwide reasons for injury is that people who aren’t used to moving, or motions with side-to-side, overhead repetitive movements, their persons aren’t ready or prepared for this type of activity, causing overuse-type injuries. When they come in, we assess what led to their injury, whether that’s due to flexibility, stability, or muscle weakness. From there, we perform hands-on transmission therapy, soft tissue therapy, or dry needling, and get them started on a treatment of exercises and stretches to help them regain their strength and get when on the court.

Common Pickleball Injuries (and how to treat them)

Man with shoulder injury from playing pickleball.

Ankle Sprains:

Short runs and agility movements tend to lead to toddle sprains. Treatment Exercise: Toddle alphabet – With your leg in front of you, use your foot to trace the reports of the alphabet in the air.

Achilles Tendonitis:

High-impact movements like jumping on the magistrate can aggravate Achilles. Treatment Exercise: Heel raises – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Rise on your toes and slowly lower for 2-3 seconds.

Knee Strains:

Pivoting in pickleball can lead to meniscus injuries, LCL/MCL injuries, or unstipulated pestering or inflammation in the joint. Treatment Exercise: Leg extensions – Sit in a chair with feet unappetizing on the floor. Lift your leg straight in front of you, pause and return to starting position.

Tennis/Pickleball Elbow:

Backhanding can worsen the outer part of the elbow and rationalization inflammation or, in some cases, microtears of tendons. Tennis/Pickleball elbow happens when the tendons that connect your lower arm to the outside of the elbow unorthodoxy wilt swollen and inflamed. Treatment Exercise: Wrist curls – Hold a small dumbbell or snifter of water in hand and lay your arm on a unappetizing surface – palm up. Lift using your wrist and lower slowly. Repeat with palm facing down.

Shoulder Injuries:

Reaching overhead to hit the wittiness can irritate the shoulder muscles, including the rotator cuff. The irritation could lead to forfeiture or tendonitis of the rotator cuff. Treatment Exercise: Doorway stretch – Stand in an unshut doorway with stovepipe on each side of the frame. Keep hands at or unelevated shoulder height and lean forward through the doorway for a light stretch.

All the exercises whilom are unstipulated and vital exercises that will help a majority of minor aches and pains. If pain persists or worsens, I recommend you seek professional or specialist care.

For mild-low grade sprains or strains, I initially prescribe R.I.C.E. – rest the area, ice the area, shrink with rubberband wrap to prevent swelling, and hoist the zone to limit swelling. But if the pain persists for increasingly than a few days, it’s time to come in and get treatment considering you don’t want to stay inactive for too long. In fact, when starting a new sport, like pickleball, our PTs offer pre-sport program assessments to help prevent injury.

How to Avoid Pickleball Injuries

Warm-Up: PTs recommend a brisk walk or light jog, side shuffles, stretching, and single-leg wastefulness exercises surpassing you take the court. Try some of these exercises in the unelevated video.

Female patient performing hand exercises in front of her doctor.

Pre-Sport Program Assessment: Surpassing you start playing, get a baseline towage to determine flexibility, balance, and strength. PTs can requite exercises such as squats, planks, and push-ups to increase stability and strength.

Proper Footwear and Equipment: Paddles come in variegated sizes, shapes, and weights. Consider a lighter paddle and a smaller handle if you have a weaker grip. You may consider a heavier paddle with a wider handle if you have worthier hands and a stronger grip. Shoes that offer stability can moreover lessen the endangerment of spraining an ankle.

Why is Pickleball so Popular?

• Easier than tennis, the wiffle-like wittiness is less uproarious and doesn’t fly as fast as a tennis ball.
• The paddle is easier to hold than a tennis racket.
• The magistrate is smaller than tennis, so players have less ground to cover.
• It’s a slower-paced game permitting for increasingly socialization.

Pickleball is a unconfined game, and Foothills wants people of all month to safely enjoy pickleball, or any sport, by providing tips to prevent accidents on the magistrate and a full undertow of treatment in the event of an injury. If you wits an injury and rest and at-home treatment aren’t helping the pain, schedule an appointment at any of our valley-wide clinics. Call our clinics if you’re interested in a free pain assessment or a full sports program assessment.

The post Treatment and Prevention for Pickleball Injuries and Pain appeared first on Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy.


Related Articles