Open Accessibility Menu

Top Tips for Preventing Pickleball Injuries

  • Category: News, Blogs
  • Posted On:
Top Tips for Preventing Pickleball Injuries

Pickleball is quickly rising as the fastest growing sport in America, taking tennis courts by storm.  

Unfortunately, along with its significant rise in popularity, the game has come with an increase in pickleball injuries.  

Pickleball injury statistics peaked with The Sports & Fitness Industry Association reporting an estimated increase of over 12%, especially in those over age 65, in 2020 alone.   

Although pickleball is an enjoyable sport, there are common reoccurring pickleball injuries specific to this sport. Many of these injuries are considered “overuse” injuries meaning they develop over time due to the repetitive nature of this sport. 

Common Pickleball Injuries  

  1. Achilles Tendonitis: This common pickleball injury occurs with repetitive stress on the tendon, which runs down the back of your lower leg resulting in the Achilles tendon suffering multiple tears. Once torn, the Achilles tendon can develop thinner tissue lessening the strength and elasticity of the tendon. Achilles Tendonitis symptoms typically include pain in the calf and lower leg, heel stiffness, and tendon swelling.   
  2. Shoulder Strain: This common Pickleball injury occurs when the tendon of the rotator cuff becomes compressed against the shoulder blade due to overuse. Shoulder strain is typically centralized in the rotator cuff area that supports the arm at the shoulder joint. Symptoms of shoulder strain include severe pain, stiffness of the shoulder, and loss of strength and stretch range, which can negatively affect daily activities.  
  3. Wrist Fracture: A wrist fracture is often trickier to detect due to the less obvious nature of the injury. Symptoms include soreness and gradual stiffness of the wrist. If the pain in your wrist has not lessened within a day, take this as a sign of a fracture. Continuing your pickleball activities with this pain will lead to a more severe fracture causing long-term damage. 
  4. Pickleball Elbow: Like a tennis elbow, the pickleball elbow is caused by repeated motions in the elbow. Repetitive swinging without rest weakens the elbow tendons causing this injury. Symptoms include stiffness and dull aching pain that worsens with movement around the elbow. 

Ways to prevent pickleball injuries 

1. Always Warm-up 

Because pickleball involves quick and short repetitive movements, proper pickleball warm-up stretches before playing are vital to preventing you from injuries. Pickleball warm-up stretches should be performed before participating in pickleball via quick arm and leg stretches can help reduce muscle tension and rigidity. Try a simple walk to get your blood flowing and stretch muscles.  

2. Wear Proper Shoes 

Proper quality shoes are your foundation to prevent pickleball injuries by lowering your risk of potential foot, ankle, and leg injuries, including sprains, strains, and meniscal tears, with proper support. Keep in mind that your shoes should be replaced after every 60 plays or every 3-4 months. 

3. Rest and Recover 

As addicting as pickleball is, it is important to take breaks between playing to allow your body time to rest and recuperate—especially if you are playing once a week. Don’t push yourself, as the repetitive motions in the sport lead to injuries over time because of the reoccurring movements performed during the game.  

4. Stay Hydrated 

Hydration is essential in any sport, and pickleball is no exception. Regardless of the suggested average, 4-6 glasses of water a day if you plan on playing pickleball-- double up on your water. Generally, the sport is played outdoors, so be sure to hydrate to avoid heatstroke as a tennis courts temp is estimated as 5% hotter than the daily temp estimate.  

Proper hydration is also important to prevent more strain on your muscles. This is a high movement and muscle impact sport so staying hydrated keeps you from adding strain to your muscles.  

Simply Put… 

Taking time to understand the common pickleball injuries and preventative measures is always important to reduce potential injuries.   

If you are possibly suffering from an injury, Dr. Corey Rosenbaum specializes in sports medicine and can help determine when you can begin safely playing pickleball again. For more information, visit