Pickleball is a racket or paddle sport in which two or four players hit a perforated, hollow plastic ball with paddles over a net. It has become a massively popular sport. With this increased interest, Pickleball injuries are becoming a concern due to strains caused by the sport's quick, small movements.
Potential Pickleball Injuries:
Lower body injuries caused by lunging movements. Calf muscles, Achilles tendons and hamstrings can become strained or even torn.
Ankle Sprain Due to the side to side nature of playing Pickleball, ankle sprains are common.
Low Back Muscle Strain The quick nature of the game means there is sudden reaching to get a ball, which can stress low back muscles.
Upper Body Strain In the upper body, the wrist is most likely to become injured because of the way the paddle is used.
The above list shouldn’t sound like a reason not to play Pickleball. It is still an excellent workout that is also fun. Taking the right steps can prevent these injuries from happening.
Steps to take to prevent Pickleball injury:
First, proper footwear is essential. Because there is a lot of side to side movement in the game, it is best to use a court shoe rather than a runner or other shoe. This will provide better support.
Second, being warmed up before playing is essential. Marching in place lifting your knees high, a few laps around the court at a moderate pace or some jumping jacks will get the hips and legs warmed up and gets your heart rate up. Some light stretching can also be done if you have any specific areas of tightness, but the bigger stretching session should wait until after the game.
To make sure your muscles are up to the intensity of the game, some body weight strength training is a great place to start. For the legs and hips, squats and lunges work on leg strength, flexibility and balance. Using dumbbells, you can perform bent over rows and chest presses help to give the shoulder girdle good strength. Rotational exercises for the torso helps protect the back. Wood choppers - which make a large diagonal movement from high on one side to low on the other work the obliques and other trunk rotators.
If you want to play more frequently or at a higher level, some cardiovascular exercise helps to get through the strenuous exertion of this game.
You can never prevent all injuries during an activity, but by taking these steps, you are more likely to avoid many of them. If you do get injured, schedule an appointment with Dr. Doug to speed your recovery and get you back on the court.
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