Pickleball and Tennis Injuries and Ways to Avoid Them
If you’re looking for a sport that is a total body workout and enjoyed nearly everywhere, Pickleball or Tennis may be the game for you. All you need is to put on your tenny runners, grab a ball and racket and you’re ready to go. Tennis has been played since the 16th century by people from all ages and walks of life. Its contemporary, Pickleball, has experienced a recent surge in popularity since it’s inception in the 1960s. There are plenty of reasons for the popularity and longevity of both Pickleball and Tennis.
- It not only a good cardio workout, working all the muscle groups, but it can also be intellectually challenging for even the most experienced players.
- You only need two players to enjoy a game. A game of doubles can also be exciting, but there’s no need to get a large team together.
- Wherever you go, there’s generally someone who knows the game and is willing to play. Players of differing skill levels can enjoy a match as much as an evenly matched pair.
- Matches can be competitive, just for fun, or a little of both.
- The cost to enter the game is low. Many Tennis and Pickleball courts are open to the public and the balls and rackets can be found at most any store carrying sports equipment.
Along with this universal appeal, Pickleball and Tennis, along with other racket sports, have associated risks which may lead to a variety of injuries.
Upper Body Injuries
Tennis Elbow is one of the most commonly known sports-related injuries. The strain on the tendons in the elbow with repeated swings of the racket can cause inflammation and swelling of the tendons that run along the elbow. This can cause a burning pain in the outside of your elbow and a weakened or painful grip.
The twists and turns, stops and starts of both Tennis and Pickleball can be stressful for muscles and skeletal structures in the lower back. When the discs that act as cushions between the vertebra are put under repeated pressure while twisting the torso, they may become inflamed and even torn, eventually leading to spinal disc herniation. A herniated disc may cause pain or spasms in the low back and legs and numbness in the feet.
Lower Body Risks
Moving down the body, there are a variety of injuries to the joints and muscles of the legs because of all the running, stopping and starting in any game of Pickleball or Tennis.
- Hamstring, MCL and LCL strains
- Flares of arthritis in the knees
- Meniscus tears
- Calf strains and tears
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
Injury Avoidance Practices
Many of the injuries sustained while playing Tennis or Pickleball are primarily from overuse of a group of muscles or tendons. The old saying, “If it hurts to do that, don’t do it,” can be a good reminder that the body knows when it’s time to take a break.
A few practice volleys to warm up muscles and a good stretch before more intense play is a good way to avoid injury. During the game, there are natural breaks in play where a rest is easily taken. If you find you are tiring or in pain before these breaks, it’s important to take time to rest and re-hydrate. “Playing through the pain,” many times leads to more extensive injury than if a time out is called. This is especially true if you have only recently taken up any sport or are getting back to the game after a long hiatus.
If you have experienced pain or injury that may have been caused playing any racket sport, contact us at DOCS Health to schedule a consultation. We have an experienced team using state-of-the-art technology to relieve pain and help get you back in the court.
Posted on behalf of
8436 W. 3rd St, Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (424) 800-3627
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM