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“Is Pickleball Bad For My Back?” 5 Expert Tips

Let’s talk about something that might be clouding your game – back pain.

Are you one of those players who love the thrill of the game but dread the aftermath?

Does the thought of a back spasm keep you from stepping onto the court?

You’re not alone.

I meet many players who are caught in this love-hate tango with pickleball, thanks to nagging back pain.

But here’s the good news – pickleball isn’t the villain in your story.

Often, it’s the little slip-ups in form and fitness that lead to trouble. So, let’s bounce back with some ace strategies!

In this blog, you will explore what causes Pickleball injuries, and how to fix them!

Let’s go…

Understanding Pickleball Injuries:

Pickleball, a sport loved for its excitement and social buzz, can, like any sport, come with injury risks.

When it comes to back pain, it’s often not the sport itself, but how we play it.

Quick turns, sudden stops, and that repetitive bending and reaching – they all add up.

It’s the strain from these movements, especially if you’re not conditioned or playing with incorrect form, that can make your back cry foul.

Some specific back injuries that pickleball players might encounter due to the nature of the game are Lumbar strains and sprains, herniated discs, facet joint syndrome, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

It’s important to remember that these injuries are rare.

Let’s start avoiding them, shall we?

5 Tips to Dodge Back Injuries in Pickleball

Warm-Up Wins:

Are you kick-starting your game the right way? Let’s amp up that warm-up!

  • Dynamic Stretches: Emphasize movements like lunges, which engage the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, mirroring the actions in a game. Add torso twists to warm up the spine and core, which is essential for those quick, rotational movements in pickleball.
  • Gentle Jumps: Mimic the light, quick steps used in the game. This not only primes your leg muscles but also activates your core and back, preparing them for sudden movements.
  • Duration and Intensity: Spend about 10-15 minutes on your warm-up. The goal is to gradually increase your heart rate and circulation, getting your body to a state where it’s loose and ready, but not fatigued.

Technique Triumphs

Ever wondered why technique is a game-changer?

It’s not just about scoring points; it’s about keeping you in play without injuries.

Let’s break it down: how’s your stance?

  • Stance and Stroke Mechanics: Work with a coach or use video analysis to fine-tune your stance. Ensure your knees are slightly bent, your weight is balanced, and you’re not overreaching. Learn to use your whole body for strokes, not just your arms or back.
  • Bending Techniques: Practice bending at your knees, not your waist, when reaching for low shots. This technique protects your lower back from strain.
  • Repetitive Practice: Consistently practicing the right techniques will make them second nature during gameplay, reducing the risk of injury.

Strength for Stability

Thinking about how to build that unshakeable core? Planks are your go-to move.

They’re all about core strength without stressing out your back. Here are some key points:

  • Core Exercises: Incorporate planks, which strengthen the entire core without straining the back. Side planks are particularly good for targeting the obliques, important for those twisting motions in pickleball.
  • Leg Raises: These target the lower abdomen and hip flexors, contributing to overall core stability.
  • Routine: Aim for a balanced routine, focusing on all areas of the core, 3-4 times a week.

Flexibility Is Key

Feeling a little stiff lately?

It’s time to change that. Here’s how:

  • Post-Game Stretching: Focus on stretches like the child’s pose, which elongates the back, and the pigeon poses for hip flexibility. Don’t forget hamstring stretches, which are crucial for back health.
  • Duration: Spend at least 10 minutes cooling down. Longer holds in each stretch can deeply release any tension.
  • Yoga or Pilates: Incorporating these practices into your weekly routine can greatly enhance your overall flexibility and core strength.

Footwear Matters:

Last but not least, are your shoes giving you the support you deserve?

Good footwear is like having the right teammate – essential for peak performance.

  • Shock Absorption: Look for shoes specifically designed for court sports with good cushioning. This helps absorb the impact during fast-paced movements.
  • Arch Support: Ensure your shoes provide proper arch support, tailored to your foot’s needs, to avoid unnecessary strain on your back.
  • Replacement Cycle: Change your shoes regularly, depending on how frequently you play. Worn-out shoes lose their ability to absorb shock effectively.

Incorporating these strategies into your pickleball routine will not only enhance your performance but also significantly decrease your risk of back injuries.

Always remember, the key to a strong game is a strong, well-cared-for body.

Say Goodbye To Pickleball Injuries With Our Ace Treatment Plans

Sail past the serve and volley without a hint of pain! Our clinic is your secret weapon on the pickleball court.

Book a Free Discovery session and send those pickleball injuries packing.

Don’t let aches and sprains steal the joy from your game!

Rally with Jake Berman and fine-tune your skills, all while keeping it pain-free. The court is calling.

And there’s more where that came from!

Secure your FREE Discovery Session by giving us a call at (239) 431-0232.

We’re eager to get you primed and ready for your next big match!

Step up your game and sidestep injuries – with us, you’re always ready to play.

Other Free Resources For Pickleball 

Not quite set to smash it on our pickleball court? No worries! Bounce into action with our collection of must-reads, packed with tips and exercises to keep you clear of the injury net!

Paddle-prep your pickleball game today!

Read Our Blog –  5 Top Tips To Stay Active And Stop Back Pain

Read Our Blog – How To Stay Hydrated Amidst The Summer Heat

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Dr. Jake Berman

Dr. Jake Berman

After graduating from the University of Florida, Dr. Jake Berman, PT, DPT sought out mentorship first from Bob Seton in Destin, FL and then from Aaron Robles in Jacksonville, FL. Both of these mentors have 20+ years of experience helping people keep active and mobile so they can enjoy high quality active lifestyles. What Jake found was that back pain was by far the most debilitating pain and the highest factor leading to decreased physical activity later in life. These experiences are what inspired Jake to specialize in helping people aged 50+ keep active, mobile and pain free despite the aging process. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to alleviate somebody’s back pain so that they can get back to living their best life- especially in Naples! Over the years of helping 100’s of people aged 65-75 become stronger and pain free, one thing for sure has become apparent: “he who rests rots”. Jake is a firm believer that we become stiff then old, not old then stiff. Seriously, think about it...
Dr. Jake Berman

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