Pickleball is the fastest-growing game of 2022, and with the increasing popularity of the game, the number of people facing injuries is also increasing.
Pickleball shoulder pain, or Rotator Cuff, to be precise, is on the top of the list.
Pickleball shoulder pain is a common condition experienced by players who engage in repetitive overhead movements while playing the game. It can be caused by overuse, muscle imbalances, or poor technique.
Pickleball is the combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton and grabs the interest of people as you can have all the fun of a tennis game in a small place.
On top of it, you don’t necessarily need to have a strong shoulder or arm strength to play Pickleball when compared to tennis.
This is the sole reason Pickleball attracts senior people.
But with increasing popularity among senior citizens, the number of shoulder injuries is also increasing.
But does it mean one should give up on the most exciting way to being active, Pickleball?
My answer will be a big NO. Because by taking proper precautions, we can win the battle over shoulder pain.
Let’s start by knowing what Rotator Cuff is.
Upper arm Pain from Picklball:
Upper arm pain from playing Pickleball is a common condition that can occur due to overuse or strain of the muscles in the upper arm.
It can also be caused by poor technique or using equipment that is not well-suited to your playing style.
The pain can be felt in the bicep or tricep muscles and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain that makes it difficult to continue playing.
If left untreated, the pain can worsen and lead to more serious injuries such as tendinitis or a rotator cuff tear.
It is important to address upper arm pain from playing Pickleball as soon as possible to prevent further injury and allow for proper healing.
Upper arm Pain from Picklball solution:
Here are some solutions that can help alleviate the pain:
Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so it is important to take steps to prevent arm pain before it occurs.
This includes warming up properly before playing, using proper technique, and using equipment that is well-suited to your playing style.
What is Rotator Cuff?
A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and their tendons that attach the shoulder blade (scapula) to the upper arm bone (humerus).
The rotator cuff muscles are responsible for lifting and rotating the arm and stabilizing the shoulder joint.
Mostly it is the upper arm pain from Pickleball.
What causes a Rotator Cuff injury?
A rotator cuff injury can occur due to a variety of causes, such as overuse, degeneration, or a sudden traumatic event. That is where our favorite game comes in.
Basically, you can not blame the Pickleball game, as a Rotator injury can happen to anyone at any time.
A rotator cuff injury can occur due to a variety of causes. Some common causes include:
It’s important to remember that rotator cuff injuries can happen to anyone, but people who are older, athletes, or people who do manual labor are more at risk.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Injury:
Symptoms of a rotator cuff injury can include pain, weakness, and limited range of motion in the shoulder.
Well, if you have such symptoms, there is a chance that you have a Rotator Cuff injury.
But there is also a chance that you do not have a Rotator Cuff injury.
Don’t panic; rather, consult a physician.
What should I do if I have pain in my shoulder after playing Pickleball?
First of all, it is better not to panic. We should try to calm down and measure the intensity of the pain. If the pain is not severe, it is better to stop playing and take basic treatment at home.
Basic treatment can include resting the shoulder joint and taking a few days off, and observing if the pain goes away or not.
If the pain decreases with time, it is better to apply ice to the injured area.
You can use some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications if necessary.
If the pain increases with time and arm movement are restricted, and the pain remains for more than a week, it is better to consult a physician.
Do I need Surgery?
In most cases, No, but I believe I am not the right person to talk about surgery.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or reconstruct the damaged tendons.
Should I visit a physician?
Shoulder pain from Pickleball is common with Pickleball players, and it can happen to anyone.
Do I have Pickleball rotator cuff? Not every shoulder pain is Rotator Cuff.
Your shoulder pain after Pickleball can be a normal one, and it can go away within weeks.
But if the shoulder pain increases with movement and does not go away within weeks.
If the shoulder pain is unbearable, then it is better to consult a physician.
How to prevent Pickleball shoulder injuries?
It is better to be safe than sorry.
It is better to warm up before starting a pickleball game. A player should stretch properly before the game.
Most of the time, I try to jog and stretch properly before the game. To prevent shoulder injury, I do shoulder circles.
The shoulder circle helps me loosen my shoulder muscle.
Weight training may help prevent future injuries by strengthening the muscles around the shoulder. But it is mostly for professional players.
It is also suggested to use a light Pickleball paddle. It will prevent shoulder injury.
I personally use a Head Radical Elite Pickleball paddle. During my shoulder injury days, it was my friend in need.
You can check out our “Best Pickleball paddle for shoulder pain,” where I shared my experience of my shoulder pain days!
How long does it take for Pickleball shoulder pain to heal?
The amount of time it takes for Pickleball shoulder pain to heal can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the individual’s response to treatment.
In general, it can take several weeks to several months to fully recover from Pickleball shoulder pain.
Can I continue to play Pickleball while recovering from shoulder pain?
It is important to consult with a physician or physical therapist to determine if it is safe for you to continue playing Pickleball while recovering from shoulder pain.
In some cases, it may be necessary to take a break from playing until the shoulder has fully healed.
In a nutshell:
Pickleball is a game, and injuries are part of the game. You cannot find a game without injuries.
Shoulder pain in Pickleball is quite a common phenomenon.
My suggestion will be to try to keep calm take rest and take some basic treatment if the pain is bearable.
If the pain is unbearable, it is highly recommended to visit a physician.
You can also change the way you play the Pickleball game and should use a different Pickleball paddle if you have a shoulder injury.
We have an article on the Best Pickleball paddle for a shoulder injury which can protect your shoulder and prevent your shoulder from further damage.
Don’t take shoulder pain lightly, and buy a Pickleball paddle that will protect your shoulder from injury.