Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the USA. As its popularity is growing rapidly, so does the number of injuries associated with it too.
Is pickleball hard on the knees?
Yes, Is pickleball hard on the knees, and to be honest, the most common injury from pickleball playing is linked to knees.
The stats can’t lie!
When someone is playing pickleball, he is continuously using his knees and hands, and shoulders muscles.
And when these specific muscles are under pressure, these muscles face different injuries, such as achy knees, stiff knees, knee swelling, and knee pain.
This is why pickleball playing is considered hard on the knees.
And if you have any knee-related issues when you play Pickleball, then read this article to know the most common knee injuries in pickleball and how to prevent those injuries.
Is Pickleball hard on the knees?
Five common Knee injuries in Pickleball:
Patellar Tendinitis is a frequently occurring injury in Pickleball. It frequently occurs because the patellar tendon, which is a strong connector of bone and muscles, lies in a high-stress spot.
If you are a new Pickleball player, then this injury is very likely to occur if you play Pickleball for a long period of time and overuse the patellar tendon.
When this injury occurs, it causes inflammation and pain in the tendon.
There are many symptoms through which you can identify if you have patellar tendinitis or not.
These symptoms include frequent knee pain, tenderness around the kneecaps, and difficulty in bending the knees.
And if you suspect you have patellar tendinitis, then it is better to visit a doctor and take an accurate diagnosis.
Meniscus tear is a rapture of one or multiple fibrocartilage strips.
This fibrocartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in your knee joints. This cartilage can also get damaged if you overuse it.
When it happens, it can lead to knee instability, inability to move your leg normally, and feeling consistent pain.
There are many symptoms through which you can identify this meniscus tear, such as pain in the knee joint line, clicking sound, swelling, and joint locking (when you cannot even straighten your leg fully).
If you play Pickleball frequently, then you better start with some warm-up knee exercises to avoid meniscus tears.
This injury is another common sports injury. Your knees have complex joints connected with several ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
And when all these parts work together properly, you can move with stability. But a strain is a stretch or tear of these parts.
You can identify if you have knee strain or not with these common symptoms, such as cramping of your muscles around the knee, swelling, spasms in the muscles, bruising, and difficulty in walking
Anterior cruciate ligament or ACL injuries:
ACL is a ligament that lies in your knees, and it helps stabilize your body when you are standing, walking, or even running.
This ligament can get damaged with sudden twisting motion when you are playing Pickleball.
There are many strokes that require twisting motion of your leg and can damage your ACL ligament.
Such strokes are backhand spin shots, drive shots, backspin return shots, or even deep return shots.
Symptoms of ACL injuries include pain, swelling, and instability in the knee joints.
And when you get ACL injuries, it is very difficult to take heavy weights or do a workout, and you will even hear a popping sound from your knees when you bend your knees.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that can affect knee joints. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between your knee bones breaks down.
It can occur if you frequently bend your knees without warmup exercise. There are many symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as pain in the knee area, stiffness, swelling in the affected joints, etc.
These are the most common knee injuries that can happen when you are playing Pickleball.
If any of these injuries happen or if you see symptoms of any of these injuries, then it is better to visit a doctor.
How to prevent Pickleball knee injuries?
Although knee injuries are common in Pickleball, there are many precautions you can take and Pickleball exercises you can do to avoid knee injuries.
Wear right shoes:
Outdoor Pickleball is played on a rough and hard playing court. And an average match can last up to 15/20 minutes.
And if you wear the right shoes during playing, they will give good support and cushioning to your feet.
But make sure your shoes properly fit your feet so that they can save you from twisting or awkward bending of your feet joints.
Check out our guide to the Best Pickleball shoes!
Pickleball knee braces:
If you have any previous knee injuries, then it is better to use knee braces when playing Pickleball.
It will give stability and prevent new knee injuries.
Don’t take knee injuries lightly as it can ruin your career or your ability to walk properly.
Strengthen the knee muscles:
Strong muscles around your knee area can increase stability in the joints and prevent knee injuries.
This is why you can do knee exercises to strengthen your knee muscles.
A special guide on Pickleball knee exercises is provided just to keep you safe so that you keep on loving this beautiful game.
Warm-up and cool down properly:
You do not use all your muscles every moment, and because of this reason over time, muscles get dull.
And if you suddenly play Pickleball and put pressure on muscles, it will lead to injuries.
This is why it is better to do some warm-up exercises before you start to play Pickleball playing.
And there are many specific exercises that can help you gain power and agility for playing Pickleball and prevent injuries while playing.
Is Pickleball hard on your joints?
Pickleball is generally considered to be a low-impact sport that puts less strain on the joints compared to high-impact activities like running or basketball.
The nature of Pickleball, with its slower pace and smaller court size, allows for less forceful movements and reduces the impact on joints
Is Pickleball good for osteoarthritis?
Pickleball can be a suitable activity for individuals with osteoarthritis, a condition characterized by the degeneration of joint cartilage.
The low-impact nature of Pickleball makes it easier on the joints compared to high-impact sports.
The sport’s slower pace, smaller court size, and modified rules allow for less forceful movements, reducing the stress on the joints.
Additionally, the repetitive nature of Pickleball can help improve joint flexibility and range of motion.
However, it’s important to consider individual limitations and consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in any new physical activity.
They can provide personalized guidance, recommend modifications if necessary, and ensure that Pickleball is appropriate for your specific condition and overall health.
It’s also advisable to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and engage in proper warm-up and cool-down routines to minimize the risk of exacerbating arthritis symptoms.
FAQs on Is Pickleball hard on knees?
Can Pickleball aggravate existing knee conditions?
Pickleball can potentially aggravate existing knee conditions, especially if proper precautions are not taken. Individuals with pre-existing knee issues, such as osteoarthritis or previous knee injuries.
Should I consult a healthcare professional if I experience knee pain or discomfort after playing Pickleball?
: Yes, if you experience persistent knee pain or discomfort after playing pickleball, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
They can evaluate your condition, provide a proper diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options or rehabilitation exercises.
Early intervention and proper care can help prevent further damage and promote a speedy recovery.
If you ask me, it is better to be safe than sorry. It is better to take all the preventive methods beforehand.
Yes, at times, Pickleball is hard on the knees. But, it is almost common with every game.
Sports and injuries go hand in hand. Even the best player in a game has the chance to get injured.
But clever are the ones who prepare themselves well, way ahead of the game.
Stay safe, and keep on loving this beautiful game of Pickleball.
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