Why does pain occur while playing pickleball?

Pickleball is a fun and engaging sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. However, like any physical activity, it can sometimes lead to pain and discomfort. Understanding the common causes of pain while playing pickleball can help you prevent and manage these issues effectively.

1. Warm up and stretch before playing

Before diving into a game of pickleball, it's crucial to warm up your muscles and stretch properly. This helps increase blood flow to the muscles, improves flexibility, and reduces the risk of injury. Spend a few minutes doing light cardio exercises like jogging or jumping jacks, followed by dynamic stretches that target the major muscle groups used in pickleball.

2. Use proper technique

Using the correct technique while playing pickleball is essential for preventing pain and injury. Improper form can put excessive strain on your joints and muscles, leading to discomfort. Take the time to learn the proper grip, footwork, and stroke mechanics from experienced players or certified instructors. Practicing good technique will not only enhance your performance but also reduce the risk of pain.

3. Wear appropriate footwear

Investing in a pair of good-quality pickleball shoes is crucial for preventing foot and ankle pain. These shoes provide the necessary support, cushioning, and stability required for the quick lateral movements involved in the game. Avoid playing in regular running shoes or worn-out sneakers, as they may not offer adequate support and can increase the risk of injuries.

4. Take regular breaks

Playing pickleball for extended periods without breaks can lead to overuse injuries and muscle fatigue. Make it a point to take short breaks every 30 minutes or so to rest and hydrate. This allows your body to recover and prevents the accumulation of stress on your muscles and joints.

5. Strengthen your core and lower body

A strong core and lower body are essential for maintaining stability and balance while playing pickleball. Engaging in regular strength training exercises that target these areas can help prevent pain and improve your overall performance. Focus on exercises like planks, squats, lunges, and deadlifts to build strength and stability.

6. Listen to your body

Pain is your body's way of signaling that something is wrong. If you experience persistent or worsening pain while playing pickleball, it's important to listen to your body and take appropriate action. Ignoring pain can lead to further injury and prolonged recovery time. Rest, apply ice to the affected area, and consult a healthcare professional if the pain persists.


Pickleball is a fantastic sport that offers numerous health benefits, but it's important to take care of your body to prevent pain and injury. By following these tips, you can enjoy the game while minimizing the risk of discomfort. Remember to warm up, use proper technique, wear appropriate footwear, take breaks, strengthen your core and lower body, and listen to your body. Stay pain-free and keep enjoying the wonderful game of pickleball!