Paspa Physical Therapy

How To Prevent Pickleball Injuries

We all love to find ways to stay healthy by participating in an activity that we enjoy. For many, pickleball has become the activity of choice. Perhaps you are among the thousands who have been captivated by this sport.

Knowing how to prevent injuries can help keep you on the court. Our experts at Paspa Physical Therapy have many years of experience helping athletes with injury prevention, pre-season conditioning, and recuperating from sports-related injuries. If you would like more information, schedule a physical therapy appointment at our facility in Manhattan, NY today!

What Is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that has been described as a combination of ping-pong, tennis, and badminton. It can be played both indoors and outdoors on a pickleball court, which is a badminton-size court with a modified tennis net. People of all ages can play pickleball regardless of their athletic ability.

A man trying to prevent a pickleball injury in NYC.

How People Get Injured While Playing Pickleball

While pickleball generally isn’t a dangerous sport, without the proper preparation or technique, some have gotten injured while playing a pickleball game. Since this game requires a lot of stopping, starting, and quick movements, injuries are quite common.

What Are the Most Common Injuries in Pickleball?

The most common injuries in pickleball include the following:

  • Strains (including major muscle groups in your lower extremity, such as your hamstring muscles)
  • Sprained wrists and ankle sprains
  • Fractures
  • Knee injuries (it can also aggravate knee arthritis)
  • Tendonitis in your wrist, elbow, and/or shoulder
  • Overuse injuries
  • Injuries that occur from falls and more

Tips to Prevent Getting Injured When Playing Pickleball

Below you will find helpful tips to prevent getting injured when playing pickleball:

  • Warming up and stretching before you begin playing
  • Incorporating strength training exercises into your workout routine
  • Incorporating mobility and agility exercises into your pickleball routine
  • Giving yourself a rest day
  • Focusing on your form while playing
  • Cross training
A woman stretching her hamstrings before a pickleball match in Manhattan, NY.

Exercises and Stretches for Pickleball

There are several exercises and stretches that you can perform to prepare your body and help prevent any injuries from occurring while playing pickleball. Below you will find a detailed list of different pickleball exercises you can add to your routine.

Hamstring stretch- This stretching exercise can be used to stretch your calves and hamstrings to help reduce your chances of pulling your hamstring muscles.

Single-leg balance- During this exercise, you will lift one leg off the ground while standing with one foot on the ground. You will balance for up to one minute on each side without holding onto anything. This will help to improve your balance and prevent falls. 

Heel raises- During this exercise, you will stand with your feet about hip-width apart, keeping your toes pointed forward. You will slowly raise your heels as high as you can and then slowly come back down. You can repeat this process several times to help strengthen your ankles. 

Side-lying leg lift- This exercise is used to help prevent knee strains by strengthening your overall leg muscles.

You will lay on either side of your body to begin. For example, if you lay on your left side, you will lift your left leg, keeping your knee straight and positioned slightly behind you. You will want to keep your hips stacked on top of each other and really engage your core.

You will then slowly lower your leg and then lift it again. You will repeat this several times, switch legs, and do the same thing on your other side.

Planks- Planks help improve your upper body strength and strengthen your core, resulting in better stability and balance. This is extremely helpful for pickleball players who rotate their hips and upper body with each swing. 

Squats– This exercise helps increase your thigh and leg strength. There are also different variations of this exercise so that you can perform it in a way in which you do not injure yourself.

Glute bridges- This exercise requires that you lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor with your arms straight at your side. From there, you will lift your hips off the ground while squeezing your backside as you push upward.

You will hold your stomach in the air for a few seconds before lowering yourself to your original position. You can repeat this exercise 6-8 times.

Standing hip rotations- During this exercise, you will stand straight and still, raise your right knee until your left foot is parallel to the floor, and then you will move it out to the side and then back. Once complete, you will then repeat this process on your right foot.

Lifting weights- When you lift weights, you can possibly correct any imbalances your body may develop from playing pickleball.

An athlete playing pickleball after visiting Paspa Physical Therapy.

Why Choose Paspa Physical Therapy for Your Care?

At Paspa Physical Therapy, we offer one-on-one personalized care. We also offer a full gym and private rooms at our facility to enhance your experience, as well as provide additional privacy.

For more prevention tips as well as other exercises that would be beneficial to implement, schedule an appointment with us today! Our office is conveniently located in Manhattan, NY.

Let our physical therapists do what they do best so that you can dominate the incredible game of pickleball!

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