Pickleball Injuries! Pickleball, the paddleball sport fusing tennis, badminton, and ping pong, has swiftly morphed into a nationwide craze. Its universal appeal draws players young and old, cementing its status as a community staple. However, the meteoric rise in popularity brings an unexpected challenge: a marked uptick in pickleball injuries.

This spike in injuries serves as a sobering reminder of the sport’s unanticipated risks, prompting new and seasoned players to tread cautiously.

Most Common Injuries of Pickleball with Prevention

how to prevent pickleball injuries

While less intense than some racquet sports, pickleball’s unique fusion can still lead to injuries due to its integration of tennis, badminton, and table tennis characteristics. Common ailments include:

  1. Tendinitis (e.g., Tennis elbow) – Caused by repetitive swinging motions
  2. Ankle sprains – Resulting from quick side-to-side movements.
  3. Knee injuries – Stemming from pivoting and lunging.
  4. Shoulder injuries – Brought on by overhead shots.
  5. Foot injuries – Due to improper footwear or hard court surfaces.
  6. Muscle strains – From overexertion.
  7. Eye injuries – Caused by being struck by the ball.

How to prevent injuries:

warm-up properly
  1. Warm-Up Properly Stretching and warming up pre-game prepares muscles.
  2. Proper Footwear: Shoes with good grip/support help prevent ankle/foot injuries.
  3. Play within Your Limits:  Avoid overexertion
  4. Use Proper Technique:  Reduces stress on joints/muscles.
  5. Protective Eyewear: Helps prevent direct ball-to-eye contact.
  6. Stay Hydrated:  Prevents muscle cramps and fatigue.
  7. Rest and Recovery:  Giving the body time to heal between games is key.

Injuries of Pickleball | Current Year Analysis

For pickleball enthusiasts, the current year has been remarkable for the sport’s growth and the significant rise in associated injuries.

Forbes highlighted salient points:

  • Costs: This year, injuries from pickleball have saddled Americans with nearly $400 million in medical expenses – a substantial increase.
  • Seniors Hit Hardest: Older players, especially seniors, bore the brunt of these injuries, making them particularly vulnerable.
  • Rise in Popularity: Injury rates naturally spiked with more paddles in play.
injuries of pickleball

Injuries from Pickleball Vs. Tennis | A Comparative Study

In racquet sports, pickleball and tennis dominate discussions of popularity and, unfortunately, injury rates. But how do the injury profiles compare? To know this game in more detail, visit our other article, 10 Rules of Pickleball.


  • Both involve repetitive motions, raising risks of overuse injuries like tennis or golfer’s elbow.
  • Quick directional changes lead to frequent ankle sprains and knee injuries


  • Pickleball’s smaller court brings faster, shorter rallies, increasing wrist and elbow strain risks from abrupt, forceful motions.
  • Tennis demands greater ground coverage, leading to potential injuries from extended running like shin splints or stress fractures.
  • The heavier tennis ball can cause different arm/shoulder strain patterns versus pickleball.

Why is there a distinction between Injuries from pickleball and tennis? The game mechanics and equipment var

  • Paddle vs. Racket Pickleball’s solid paddle may allow more wrist shock absorption during play, while tennis rackets provide some “give” from strings.
  • Court Size Tennis’s larger courts require more reaching/running, elevating overstretching injury risks.

Why are injuries from pickleball on the rise?

Injuries from Pickleball are escalating among older and novice players, sparking discussions. Why the increase?

  • Reports show more injuries across the board – from twisted ankles to broken bones.
  • With more players, especially older ones, there are more opportunities for accidents. Newcomers need to learn proper techniques to avoid mishaps
pickleball injuries on the rise

But why is this happening?

  1. More Players: Skyrocketing popularity brings more chances for injuries.
  2. Age Factor: Many older players face higher injury risks.
  3. Learning Curve: Newcomers need to learn proper techniques to avoid missteps.

Pickleball and Seniors | What to Watch Out For

Pickleball is fun for all ages, but older players need extra caution due to age-related physical challenges. Here’s what seniors should watch for injuries from pickleball Seniors Need to Be Cautious About! Here’s what seniors need to be aware of:

Is Pickleball safe for seniors?
  1. Weak Bones: Increased fragility elevates risks of breaks from falls.
  2. Joint Pain: Movements can exacerbate arthritis and similar conditions, especially in knees, elbows, and shoulders.
  3. Balance Issues: Poorer balance among seniors leads to higher fall risks from pickleball’s fast moves.
  4. Muscle Problems: Weaker, less flexible muscles in older players increase the chances of pulls or strains.
  5. Slow Healing: Younger players recover faster. Seniors’ healing takes more time.

Physical Therapy and Its Role in Addressing Injuries from Pickleball

Physical therapy is crucial for helping players recover from injuries from pickleball. Here are some examples:

most common Pickleball injuries physical therapy
  1. Ankle Sprains: Improving flexibility and strength helps unstable ankles.
  2. Tennis/Pickleball Elbow: Managing pain and proper stroke techniques prevent strain.
  3. Shoulder Injuries: Strengthening exercises and mobility work treat and avoid damage.
  4. Knee Pain: Exercises bolster support and stability.
  5. Muscle Strains: Stretching/strengthening routines aid healing and injury prevention.
  6. Back Pain: Proper mechanics and strength-building exercises address issues.

Insurance for Injuries from Pickleball | What’s the Deal?

With pickleball’s popularity booming alongside injury rates, insurance tailored to the sport is emerging.

  1. Rising Demand: More players, especially older ones, fuel the need for specialized coverage.
  2. Potential Coverage: Plans could help pay for medical care, therapy, lost wages, damaged gear, and court accidents.
  3. Higher Premiums: Specialized plans may cost more but offer broader protection than standard sports policies.
  4. Player Reassurance: Custom coverage provides peace of mind and reduces barriers to trying pickleball.
  5. Industry Response: More carriers may offer pickleball plans if demand persists, increasing choices and affordability.
Pickleball injuries insurance

Though developing, dedicated pickleball injury insurance could soon be a major offering. Both players and insurers stand to benefit.

UBS Talks for Injuries from Pickleball | What’s the Money Story?

Pickleball’s popularity and injuries are surging, prompting UBS to analyze the financial impacts and solutions.

  1. Costs Add Up: Treating injuries and missed workdays rack up expenses.
  2. Invest to Prevent: UBS advocates spending now on safety training, proper gear, and improved courts.
  3. Insurance Opportunity: Carriers can develop plans to help players pay medical bills.
  4. Better Courts, Less Hurt: Fewer injuries are likely if communities improve courts and have first aid available.

Act Now: Without action, costs may balloon. But timely safety investments can keep pickleball fun and safe.

Why Injuries from Pickleball are Mounting Rapidly

Pickleball is charming yet shadowed by escalating injuries. Why the spike?

  1. More Players: Injury reports rise as participation swells.
  2. Poor Training: Many newcomers, unaware of proper techniques, are vulnerable.
  3. Court Conditions: Make-shift courts often need safety upgrades, feeding the issue.

New York Times Spotlight into the Surge Injuries from Pickleball

The renowned New York Times recently scrutinized pickleball’s meteoric rise and injury surge.

  1. Unprecedented Popularity: The paper detailed pickleball’s explosive growth and subsequent injury spike.
  2. At-Risk Groups: Given age-related mobility declines, it highlighted seniors as especially susceptible.
  3. Solutions in Sight: The Times calls for community engagement, infrastructure improvements, and education to ensure player safety stays paramount amid the frenzy.


Playing pickleball safely is paramount. Seek prompt medical care for injuries. Education on risks can prevent many problems. Players, coaches, and health professionals must understand injuries from pickleball. Staying informed keeps the game fun and safe for all. For the latest updates, check Pickleball Rules.

pickleball injuries


What are common injuries from Pickleball?

 Sprains, muscle strains, and tennis elbow are common issues.

How can I avoid injuries from pickleball?

 Warm up, wear proper shoes, and practice good technique.

Is pickleball safe for seniors?

 Yes, but seniors should be aware of age-related vulnerabilities.

Do insurance companies cover injuries from pickleball?

 Some do, especially as the sport’s popularity grows. Always check with your provider.

Is physical therapy beneficial for injuries from pickleball?

 Absolutely. It aids recovery and helps players strengthen their bodies against future injuries.

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