Is Pickleball Bad for Your Back? Here’s What You Need to Know

Is pickleball bad for your back

Pickleball is a fast-paced and highly competitive sport, and as such, it can be hard on your body. This is especially true for your back.

If you’ve ever felt sore after a game of pickleball, you’re not alone. It’s natural to experience some amount of muscle soreness afterward.

All the twisting, turning, and reaching that comes with playing pickleball can take its toll on your spine if not done correctly.

But how exactly does pickleball affect your back? And is there anything you can do to reduce the risk of back pain while playing? Let’s take a look at the facts.

The Science Behind Back Pain and Pickleball


The answer to this question is complicated, as any type of physical activity has the potential to cause back pain if done incorrectly or too frequently.

That being said, there are certain factors that make pickleball particularly beneficial when it comes to avoiding injury and reducing back pain.

First off, the nature of the game is low-impact and non-contact, meaning that participants do not have to worry about being hit in the back by a ball or running into another player.

Secondly, pickleball matches last an average of 15 to 30 minutes compared to 60 minutes for other sports like basketball or soccer—so players can enjoy all the benefits without overstressing their backs.

Is pickleball bad for your back

Finally, pickleball requires rapid shifts in direction, which strengthens core muscles and helps protect against injury.

So while occasional mild soreness is normal after playing pickleball, serious back pain can be avoided with proper form and rest days between games.

Common Causes of Pickleball Back Pain


That being said, there are still some common causes of back and other pain associated with playing pickleball that you should be aware of and try to avoid if possible.

One of the key risks of playing pickleball is improper posture.

When you’re running around the court trying to hit that perfect shot, it’s easy to forget about good form—but this is one time when bad form will cost you more than just points on the scoreboard.

Poor posture puts unnecessary strain on your spine and muscles, which can lead to long-term issues like back pain or even injury.

Is pickleball bad for your back

Another risk factor when it comes to pickleball and back health is overtraining.

It’s important to remember that pickleball is an intense sport at times—it can require a lot of physical exertion in a short amount of time. Overdoing it can cause muscle fatigue, which in turn leads to poor form and posture while playing.

Similarly, repetitive movements such as swinging your paddle too hard or too often can also cause excessive strain on your lower back muscles.

Finally, poor warm-up routines before a match may lead to tightness in your upper or lower back which can progress into more serious injuries if left untreated.

If you don’t give your body enough rest between games or practice sessions, then you run the risk of straining or even injuring your back in the long run.


How To Avoid Injury in pickleball


Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of injuries while playing pickleball.

The first step (and perhaps most obvious) is proper form:

  • Stand up straight
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and engaged
  • Use core strength instead of arm strength when possible

All these things will help keep strain off your spine during play.

Additionally, make sure to stretch before each game or practice session; this helps warm up tight muscles and get them ready for activity without putting too much stress on them all at once.

Finally, be sure to take breaks when needed so that you don’t push yourself too hard; if you start feeling tired or sore during play it might be time for a break.

When done correctly, pickleball can be a great way to stay active without putting too much strain on your body—especially your back!

By following proper form during play and taking frequent breaks as needed, you can ensure that you are doing everything possible to stay healthy while still enjoying all that pickleball has to offer.

Does pickleball cause back pain

Final Verdict: Does pickleball cause back problems?

While playing pickleball does have some potential risks for back pain if not done correctly, overall it is considered a low-impact exercise that does more good than harm for our backs.

When participating in any physical activity it’s important to stay mindful of your body’s needs—warm up before each game and know when enough is enough.

Back Exercises for Pickleball

One of the best ways to protect your back when playing pickleball is to do regular back exercises.

Targeting the core muscles in particular is important for supporting movement and preventing injury, especially with the potential for repetitive motion during pickleball rallies.

A few key exercises to focus on include planks, crunches, torso rotations, bridge exercises, and glute bridges.

Additionally, stretching can be beneficial for loosening up tight muscles and improving range of motion.

Doing dynamic warm-up stretches for the lower body before a game can help prepare your body for physical activity and prevent stiffness or soreness afterwards. It’s always important to remember to use proper form when performing any exercise to avoid exacerbating existing back pain or causing further injury.

Is pickleball easier on your body than tennis?

Pickleball is generally easier on the body than tennis for several reasons.

For starters, pickleball courts are much smaller than a traditional tennis court, which means you have to cover less ground when playing a game of pickleball. The lightweight paddles used to hit the ball do not strain the arms and shoulders like a heavier tennis racket does.

Also, since the game is played at a slower pace compared to tennis, it helps reduce stress on joints and muscles during vigorous activity.

All these factors combined make pickleball an enjoyable and low-impact sport that provides both physical and mental benefits without putting too much strain on your body.

How do you stop lower back pain from pickleball?

If you experience lower back pain from playing pickleball, the first step is to make sure that your body is properly warmed up.

Make sure to do a light stretching routine before starting any pickleball games and moves, focusing on the hips, core, and lower back. Warming up will help loosen up muscles and reduce risk of injury.

Check out this video from chiropractor Dr. Norman Sussman for 4 simple methods to keep your back healthy for pickleball:

You should also always use proper technique while playing. Keeping your core engaged, knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart will help ensure proper form throughout play.

Practicing with a ball machine will help ensure you are using the correct form.

Rest times between games are also essential for preventing injury.

By taking regular breaks in between pickleball rounds you give your body time to rest and recover from the physical exertion; this helps prevent muscular fatigue which can lead to pain in the lower back.

It’s also important to maintain good hydration levels as dehydration can worsen any muscle aches or pains.

Finally, if your lower back pain persists it is best to seek out medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional who can provide you with specific advice for managing your condition.

What is the most common injury in pickleball?

The most common injury in pickleball is a strain or sprain of the lower back.

This type of injury usually occurs when a player overstretches or overextends themselves during play, resulting in a tear or stretching of the muscles and ligaments.

is pickleball bad for your back

Other injuries include:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Knee pain
  • Elbow tendonitis
  • Shoulder problems

Research has also shown that pickleball players have an increased risk of developing spinal disc herniation due to its repetitive nature.

To avoid these types of injuries while playing pickleball, it is important to take necessary precautions like warming up before playing and avoiding sudden movements that can put extra strain on the body.

Proper form and technique should be used when hitting the ball so as to not put too much strain on the arms and wrists.

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