Like any sporting activity, injuries happen. pickleball and low back pain are no different. People who have been playing for a while or those who are just picking it up may experience some low back pain while playing. The low back is a common issue for individuals and the demands of pickleball may lead you to some discomfort at some point while playing on the court. THAT’S OKAY! We are going to explain why this happens, as some ways to prevent it from happening. Keeping you active is our goal, so if you’re noticing some aches and pains creeping in let us guide you or help you in person. 

Why Movements In Pickleball Lead to Low Back Pain?

Even though pickleball may not be as fast paced for some as other sports, it comes with its own set of demands for your body. When discussing specifically pickleball and low back pain – the spine needs to be able to maintain an active posture, twist and rotate quickly and remain stable to produce force. Sounds like a lot more than you may have thought. The other piece that maybe people miss, or underestimate is the volume at which they will complete these tasks. If the time (or volume) that you are competing surpasses your body’s capacity you are more likely to be injured.


Build Tolerance To Prevent Back Pain

Let’s start with the easiest answer. Build yourself up to playing 3-4 hours. What we mean is, the first time you play – maybe only play for 1-2 hours. Repeat that same time a couple more times a week and see how your body is responding, especially your low back. By keeping your time on the court less than that of your body’s max capacity, it will actually increase your court time endurance! Having an active warm up is key involving slow and controlled twisting, slow and controlled bending, as well as quicker variations in order to both prime your muscles and your brain for the task at hand.


Best Pickleball Exercises For Low Back Pain

Some exercises to begin doing would be core focused and some low back mobility work. In terms of core: supermans and swimmers are great for your posterior chain, hitting three rounds of 20 second efforts is a good place to start. Planks and side planks target the front side which is important for stabilizing for power – same reps scheme as the supermans. If you cannot hit those times – hit the times you can and build week to week! Rotational work can come from Russian Twists using a light-medium dumbbell and completing 3 rounds of 20 reps total. Mobility wise, completing 3 rounds of 10 press ups followed with some thoracic spine rotations on your hands and knees (2×10 per side) will get you warm and loosened up for your game.


Struggling With Pickleball And Low Back Pain?

If you are just starting out, adding these tips into your game plan should keep you feeling good. If you have been playing, these are great tips to implement because it never hurts to be stronger. But, if you have been bothered or stopped by a pain lasting longer than a week, reach out – it may be time to get a handle on your problem. We are just a click or call away!


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