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Tennis Players are Gravitating Toward the Growing Sport of Pickleball Due to Less Injuries

Pickleball: A combination of Tennis, Badminton, and Ping-Pong

Pickleball was established around 1965 using the resources available to the founders of the game—a Badminton court and net, a couple of small wooden paddles, and a whiffle ball. Why the name “Pickleball?” One thought is that it is named after a dog named Pickles, who was notorious for snatching the ball and hiding in the bushes!

Pickleball has grown rapidly in popularity across the world and especially with tennis players. Avid tennis participants and those who are recovering from a tennis-related injury say Pickleball satisfies the tennis soul and is rather addicting. Pickleball is less aggressive than tennis, and the lighter ball and paddle make Pickleball a low-impact sport on joints, backs, and any other strained muscles.


Pickleball is a solid option for those with injury concerns

Thanks to these numerous healthy aspects of Pickleball, tennis players that have sustained tennis-related injuries or experience conditions such as arthritis do not have to stay off the courts. However, it is important to remember that Pickleball is a sport and people can get hurt or exacerbate existing tennis-related injuries such as tennis elbow when playing. Some of the best ways to protect an injury during physical activity include wearing a compression sleeve such as an Elbow Helix, stretching before and after playing, and proper footwear.


Risks & Prevention

As with playing any sport, there are risks to playing Pickleball. Injuries can and do happen on Pickleball courts. For players over 60, trips and falls are the most common cause of serious injury. This is caused by physical exhaustion, break down of balance and coordination, and improper footwear.

Anyone considering playing Pickleball while recovering from an injury or who has experienced a sports injury in the past should take precautions before playing. It is possible to strain or hurt different parts of the body such as the wrists and shoulders if safety measures such as stretching are not taken before and after gameplay.

Since Pickleball is low-impact, it can be a good sport for those that have sustained the following injuries:

Rotator cuff tendinitis
Tennis elbow
Wrist strains
Back pain
Anterior (front) knee pain
Calf and Achilles tendon injuries
Tennis toe

High-impact on:

Achilles Tendon
Hamstring, Groin or Quad

Low-impact on:

All joints of the body (compared to other sports)
Any strained muscle (compared to other sports)


USA Pickleball Association (USAPA)

This organization provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings and promotional materials.

Prolite Paddles

Pickleball paddles, balls, and accessories.

The Art of Pickleball by Gale Leach

This book covers everything from equipment to tournament strategy.

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