The weather is getting warmer and those clouds are moving on; it’s time for some pickleball! This sport is catching like wild-fire and is getting people moving and stepping more. If you are a veteran pickleballer or a newbie this blog series is going to help navigate some of the most common pickleball injuries. The back, shoulder, and knee(s) are the regions that get banged up when the competition is fierce. Just like any other sport, we are here to help you stay engaged in your sport and on the court.
3 Most Common Types of Pickleball Injuries
Low Back Pain
That pesky low back is sometimes flared up by this sport due to pickleball’s demands. Your back needs to be able to sustain repetitive bending, reaching, and twisting, as well as support the constant forward flexed game-ready position. Even though you are not moving weights or deadlifting, the endurance component of this sport definitely demands some training and maintenance to go into your schedule. Starting with some basic core and low back work is the best. Planks and supermans, along with some form of russian twists are good building blocks to prepare and maintain your performance on the court.
It is a racket sport, even if the paddle is lighter. As with tennis and even ping pong, there is an obvious abundance of shoulder work involved. A forehand, backhand, and volleys all have different demands than the other types of swings – meaning they may use the same and/or different muscles in various ways. The coordination and endurance of your shoulder blade muscles and rotator cuff muscles are keys to an efficient and effective winner. Facedown shoulder blade squeeze and holds can target the shoulder blade muscles. Resistance band external rotations/”taffy pulls”/”pull apart/openers” with a light to medium resistance can target the rotator cuff muscles.
Last, but not least, the knee. As a court sport, the knees have to be able to accept sustained crouching/athletic stance, quick movements side to side, quick movements forward and backward, some running/sprinting, and MAYBE even some jumping (When you really go for it!). That is a lot, more than you may have thought. While sports specific training may win out here – think daily active warmups, lateral skipping, etc. – it is also important to build strength in the muscles of the entire leg. Most of the time, the knees take the brunt of exercise because other muscle groups tire out. Improving your glutes and calves are also important for this sport.
Struggling with Pickleball Injuries?
Pickleball is great. It’s a sport where you can be socially active, compete with friends, and get your heart rate up. Being active is your job and keeping YOU active is OURS. Injuries are a part of being an athlete; no matter your demographic! This is the opening blog post for our series on the pickleballer, but if you don’t want to wait and are having some trouble competing in your sport give us a call or reach out through our website!