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Injury prevention tips for the fastest growing sport: Pickleball

Jordan Renwick, Kelowna Pickleball Athlete. Ranked in top 6 for US nationals 2018 singles, Bronze medalist for International indoor championships 2019 singles, Silver for Canadian nationals 2018 singles, Gold for Pacific northwest regional singles.

Pickleball is a low impact sport that is easy to learn and can be enjoyed by most people. It was first invented in Washington State in 1965, and is now fastest growing sport in the North America. Popularity continues to grow as it promotes fitness benefits, competitiveness and socialization.

Did you know

Research shows the most common Pickleball-related injuries that lead to the emergency department have been caused by a slip, trip, fall or dive. Senior males have been more likely to suffer a strain or sprain, particularly at the calf or Achilles tendon, while women have shown more risk of a wrist fracture. Other sudden injuries include ankle and knee sprains, and pulled muscles between the groin, thigh and calf.

Repetitive, overuse injuries vary from plantar fasciitis in the foot, low back muscle strains from forward bending and trunk rotation, tennis elbow and rotator cuff strains at the shoulder.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.

– Regular cardiovascular and resistance training exercise can help limit fatigue associated with playing Pickleball. Cross train with hiking, biking, swimming, core strength and stabilization training with weights, body weight or resistance bands – Proper footwear such as cross-training or court shoes can both prevent excess friction of the foot and provide stability for quick side to side movements – Maintain proper body alignment, and learn techniques to improve your posture both on and off the court. Take care of old injuries, allowing you to function at your best

Injury Treatment

Even with the best preventative intentions, sometimes injuries and accidents happen. See your OHP Physiotherapist or Chiropractor to help you with your injuries.

Consider Shockwave therapy, a relatively new, innovative method that is considered safe, non-invasive, low cost and without the risks from surgery. There has been increasing evidence for its clinical effectiveness in the management of tendon injuries. After 4 weeks, patients suffering from plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, Achilles and rotator cuff strains showed a more pronounced reduction in pain and improvement in quality of life compared to those who did not receive any shockwave therapy.

Pickleball can be an activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle and is enjoyed by players of all ages. As with all sports, Pickleball comes with a risk for a variety of injuries. OHP offers a variety of health care services such as shockwave therapy that can be effective with treating Pickleball-related injuries and allowing for a more successful return to sport and quality of life.

Thank you Glenn Charbonneau, OHP Physiotherapist, for this article.


Dedes, V., Stergioulas, A., Kipreos, G., Dede, A. M., Mitseas, A., & Panoutsopoulos, G. I. (2018). Effectiveness and Safety of Shockwave Therapy in Tendinopathies. Materia socio-medica, 30(2), 131–146.

Greiner N. (2019). Pickleball: Injury Considerations in an Increasingly Popular Sport. Missouri medicine, 116(6), 488–491.

Roerdink, R. L., Dietvorst, M., van der Zwaard, B., van der Worp, H., & Zwerver, J. (2017). Complications of extracorporeal shockwave therapy in plantar fasciitis: Systematic review. International journal of surgery (London, England), 46, 133–145.

Weiss, H., Dougherty, J., & DiMaggio, C. (2021). Non-fatal senior pickleball and tennis-related injuries treated in United States emergency departments, 2010-2019. Injury epidemiology, 8(1), 34.

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