Avoid the Post-Pickleball Pickle

Pickleball is a great way to stay active and have plenty of fun, but as with any sport, it does come with a risk of injury. Even a casual pickleball player could be vulnerable to a number of wrist, ankle, shoulder, and knee problems. 

From sprains and strains to more severe injuries as well as chronic conditions, you can learn to prevent pickleball-related bone, joint, and muscle issues by playing smart and staying safe.

Before You Play: Consider taking a class or working with a trainer to learn good form and technique. You should be hydrated every time you hit the court. You should also do some warm-up exercises and plenty of stretching. Walk around and do some light jumping to start. Next, focus on rotating your wrists, shoulders, hips, and ankles as well as doing side stretches and stretching out your legs. 

While You Play: Make sure you are following proper technique with your paddle and footwork. You should also have a proper paddle as well as quality, well-fitting footwear, such as tennis shoes. If you have pain from older injuries, be sure to have your supports or braces on. Between matches or during time-outs, be sure to rehydrate.   

After You Play: Keep up your hydration by replenishing your fluids, and get a good cooldown. A few stretches and a short walk can help your body adjust properly. If you start feeling any aches or pains, be sure to adequately rest and use heat, ice, or elevation as needed. If pain persists, consult with a doctor before getting on the court again.

If you find yourself in a pickle after a pickleball match, whether you’ve rolled an ankle during play or feel pain or stiffness in your back or joints afterward, our sports medicine doctors are here for you. Request an appointment online or call (818) 901-6600 to consult with one of our sports medicine experts at Southern California Orthopedic Institute and get the care you need to get back on the court.