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Pickleball Injury Prevention and Recovery Tips

Pickleball Injury Prevention and Recovery Tips

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S., and for good reason. It's a fun, social sport that is great for players of all ages and abilities. But with all those quick movements and powerful swings, injuries can happen to even the most skilled of players. In this guide, we’ve teamed up with Victoria Acebo, Ph.D., a Psychologist and Pickleball Pro/Instructor to bring you expert tips on pickleball injury prevention and recovery care.  

Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, this guide will equip you with key strategies for preventing pickleball injuries so you can keep playing your best for years to come.

Common Pickleball Injuries

While pickleball is a fun way to stay active, injuries are possible. General muscle strains or soreness are typical, especially in new players or after intense games. Some of the most common injuries for pickleball players include: 

  • Ankle Sprains or Strains 
  • Knee Injuries 
  • Shoulder Strains 
  • Wrist and Elbow Issues 

If you experience severe pain, swelling, or limited mobility, consult a healthcare professional for care as soon as possible.  

Pickleball Injury Prevention Tips

A man playing pickleball on and outdoor court

As a level 5.0 tournament rated Pickleball Pro, Victoria Acebo knows the importance of staying healthy. “No one wants to have to sit out due to an injury”, she says. “This is true whether you are a beginner or a top player.” Years on the court have taught her that no matter your skill level, staying injury-free is essential to maximizing your performance and enjoying the sport for the long term.  

Below are some pickleball injury prevention tips, and general best practices to keep you playing your best. 

Warm Up with Dynamic Stretches 

According to Victoria, proper pre-game stretching is non-negotiable. "The number one tip is to STRETCH," she emphasizes. "Many people just walk onto the court and start playing, and this is a mistake." Just like any other sport, a proper pickleball warm-up routine is essential to prepare your body for the demands of the game. 

Dynamic stretches involve controlled movements that gradually increase your heart rate and blood flow to your muscles. This will help improve your range of motion, flexibility, and coordination, reducing your risk of injury during play. 

Cool Down with Static Stretches 

Just as important as a warm-up is a proper cool-down routine, especially one that includes static stretching. "Yoga and intuitive stretching were a game changer for me,” Victoria points out. Similar to yoga exercises, static stretches involve lengthening a targeted muscle group and holding that position for 20-45 seconds at a time. 

Static stretches are ideal for post-workouts because they help your muscles relax and recover after exertion. It’s best to focus on major muscle groups used in pickleball, like your hamstrings, quads, calves, shoulders, and core.

Supportive Shoes are Essential 

Choosing the proper footwear can significantly enhance your game and, more importantly, help prevent injuries. “Twisted ankles are common injuries I see,” says Victoria. Quick starts, stops, and changes of direction are common on the pickleball court, so it’s important to wear shoes with good ankle support and traction for quick lateral movements.

Wear Recovery Gear 

Victoria swears by her Incrediwear Knee Sleeve, ''From the very beginning when I started playing pickleball I was introduced to the Incrediwear sleeves.” After having three ACL reconstruction surgeries on her left knee, a big focus of hers is on preventing further injury.  

Recovery gear like Incrediwear Sleeves can offer support by helping to improve blood flow. This delivers more oxygen to your muscles, helping them perform better and recover faster. “Wearing a knee sleeve when I play gives me more confidence to move freely. It feels like an organic part of my body and never compromises my mobility,” Victoria highlights.  

Unlike bulky braces, Incrediwear recovery garments provide support without feeling restrictive, allowing for the natural movement you need to stay in the game.

The Official Wearable Recovery Partner of the National Pickleball League

A person playing pickleball wearing a Incrediwear Elbow Sleeve to increase blood flow to the elbow and surrounding muscles to reduce muscle fatigue

Wearing recovery gear in pickleball isn't just about comfort; it's about safeguarding yourself from potential injuries and maximizing your time on the court. Incrediwear offers a comprehensive line of products that can provide ongoing support to areas of the body that are most vulnerable to pickleball injuries: 

  Shop All Incrediwear Recovery Products  

Recovery Tips for Pickleball Players

A man playing pickleball wearing a Incrediwear Knee Sleeve to increase blood flow to his knee and surrounding muscles to reduce muscle fatigue

The thrill of the game might leave you feeling invincible, but as Victoria knows firsthand, even the most skilled pickleball players need to prioritize recovery days. Below, we highlight some expert recovery tips to help soothe sore muscles and manage minor aches and pains. 

Take Time to Rest

Victoria emphasizes that rest is just as important as training, “Pickleball is addictive, but taking days off is important. Your body needs time to recover.” Ensure you're getting enough quality sleep, stay hydrated, and fuel your body with nutritious foods to support your post-workout recovery process.

Pain Relief 

For targeted paint relief Victoria says icing is a very important part of her recovery routine. “I have also used muscle soreness ointments that help with small strains and tightness,” she adds. Topical pain relief ointments like Stopain Clinical Topical Pain Relief Gel can provide a cooling sensation and temporary numbing effect on sore muscles and joints.

Heat Therapy

Research shows that targeted heat therapy can accelerate muscle recovery after exercise or playing sports like pickleball. It can help relax tight muscles and improve circulation, which is especially beneficial for deeper muscle soreness. The HyperIce Venom Go is a wearable heat therapy massage patch that offers both heat and massage therapy for targeted relief.

Your Source for Sports Protective Gear and Recovery Products

By incorporating these tips and strategies into your fitness routine, you can minimize your risk of injuries and maximize your time on the pickleball court. At Orthopedic Outfitters, we offer a wide range of products to help you optimize your performance, prevent injuries, manage pain, and recover faster.  

Explore our full inventory to find all your favorite fitness equipment, protective gear, recovery aids, and so much more. Plus, get FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50! 

  Shop Incrediwear  
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Meet Victoria Acebo, Ph.D. - Psychologist and Pickleball Pro/Instructor

Victoria Acebo, Ph.D., is a psychologist and a level 5.0 tournament rated Pickleball Pro/Instructor. Her list of accolades is as impressive as it is extensive, including winning three gold medals across prestigious tournaments such as the Carvana PPA Tour and the 002 Dink and Slam Tournament. Victoria has been coaching since 2023 and is also the creator of Good Vibes Pickleball Retreats, a sports retreat that combines pickleball instruction, women’s wellness, and spiritual fitness. 
 
Victoria Acebo, PhD.
OM Pickle & Good Vibes Pickleball Retreats 
Email: OMpickle@icloud.com
Phone: 512-788-1238

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