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Essential Pickleball Injury Prevention Tips

By Lisa Bommer, DC Ranch Village Health Club and Spa

As pickleball rapidly becomes a popular activity among all ages, the risk of injuries in the sport has become more prevalent. Whether you are new to pickleball or a competitive player, it’s crucial to learn how to identify common injuries and prevent them.

Common Pickleball Injuries

  1. Shoulder Injuries 

Rotator cuff impingement and shoulder bursitis from overuse.

  1. Knee Injuries 

Patellar tendonitis, ligament tears, and meniscus tears due to sudden stops, pivoting, and repetitive jumping.

  1. Wrist and Elbow Injuries 

Lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) and wrist strains from repetitive gripping and swinging motions.

  1. Ankle and Foot Injuries 

Plantar Fasciitis and ankle sprains from quick lateral movements, sudden stops, and repetitive jumping.

Injury Management Strategies

If you experience pain or injury, consult a medical professional to determine the appropriate care. Common treatment options include:

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Preventing Pickleball Injuries

Warm Up Before Play

Our joints and muscles become stiff as we age, making it vital to warm up before physical activity to prevent injuries. Not warming up is one of the main causes of sports injuries.

Examples of Warm-Up Exercises:

  • Dynamic Stretching: Arm circles, knee hugs, leg swings, forward lunges, lateral lunges.
  • Agility Drills: Forward jog, backward jog, side shuffles, ladder drills, high knees, butt kickers.

Choose Proper Equipment and Footwear

Wearing improper footwear can lead to injuries. Use court-specific shoes for better grip and stability to prevent slips and ankle sprains. A lighter paddle can help prevent shoulder, elbow, and wrist strains.

Practice Good Form

Learning proper playing technique and swinging motions is essential to play safely and avoid injuries. Correctly swinging the paddle can prevent shoulder and wrist injuries, while practicing the proper stance can improve balance and prevent falls and sprains.

Tips for Good Form:

  1. Correct swinging technique to prevent shoulder and wrist injuries.
  2. Proper stance to improve balance and readiness to move quickly.
  3. Consider lessons with a coach to ensure proper technique.

Exploring the R.I.C.E. Method for Pickleball Injury Prevention

After an intense workout or injury, effective recovery strategies are key to promoting healing and reducing discomfort. One well-known method is the R.I.C.E. approach, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. By understanding each component of this method and how to apply it correctly, you can accelerate your recovery process and get back to your fitness routine feeling stronger than ever. Let’s delve into each aspect of the R.I.C.E. method and explore how it can benefit your post-workout recovery.

  • Rest: Immobilization prevents further injury and allows the body to recover.
  • Ice: Cold reduces pain and swelling by numbing the affected area and decreasing blood flow.
  • Compression: Applying pressure helps control swelling and promotes healing.

Elevation: Keeping the injured area above the heart reduces swelling and discomfort.

Overview of Popular Recovery Tools and Techniques for Pickleball Injury Prevention

In the pursuit of optimal post-workout recovery, there’s a plethora of tools and techniques available to help soothe sore muscles, reduce inflammation, and enhance overall recovery. From foam rollers to percussion massagers, steam rooms to compression boots, these tools offer various benefits to aid in your recovery journey. Let’s explore some of the most popular recovery tools and techniques and how they can complement your post-exercise routine for maximum effectiveness.

  • Foam Rollers
  • Percussion Massagers
  • Steam Rooms and Saunas
  • Compression Boots
  • Cold Plunges

Village Health Clubs' Revive Rooms and Recovery Options for Pickleball Injury Prevention

Our clubs offer state-of-the-art Revive Rooms designed to help you recover faster and perform better. Experience assisted stretching packages with our personal trainers to improve recovery, mobility, and flexibility. Speak to your Fitness Director to learn more about our recovery options tailored to your specific needs and goals.


Incorporating effective post-workout recovery strategies into your routine is essential for maximizing your fitness gains and staying injury-free. Whether it’s replenishing nutrients, getting enough sleep, or utilizing recovery tools, prioritize recovery to ensure you’re performing at your best every time you hit the gym. Start implementing these tips today and experience the difference in your fitness journey! Sign up now for a 7-day free trial at any of our clubs – Gainey, Ocotillo, DC Ranch, or Camelback.

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