Is Pickleball Bad for Your Back?
Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. It is played on a court with a low net, and the players use paddles to hit a lightweight ball back and forth. While the sport is generally considered low-impact, it requires quick and sudden movements that can put stress on the back, especially the lumbar spine.
In this article, we will explore the impact of Pickleball on back health, who is most at risk, and how to prevent and treat back pain in Pickleball players.
- How Does Pickleball Affect the Back?
- Who is Most at Risk?
- Prevention and Treatment of Back Pain in Pickleball Players
How Does Pickleball Affect the Back?
While Pickleball is a fun and low-impact sport, it can cause back pain and injuries, especially if the players do not have proper form and technique. Here are some ways in which Pickleball can affect the back:
The Importance of Spinal Stability
According to a study published on the USA Pickleball website, Pickleball requires players to perform movements in multiple planes of motion, which demands high levels of stability around the lumbar spine (low back). This means that players need to have strong core muscles to support their spine and prevent back pain and injuries.
Pickleball involves side-to-side movements, which can cause strain on the back muscles, especially if the player is not using proper form. These movements require the player to use their legs to shift their weight and move quickly to hit the ball, putting stress on the lower back.
Pickleball also involves spinal rotation, which can cause strain on the back muscles and discs. When the player rotates their spine to hit the ball, they are putting stress on their lumbar spine, which can lead to pain and injuries.
Another movement in Pickleball that can cause strain on the back is bending over to hit the ball. When the player bends over, they are putting pressure on their lower back muscles and discs, which can lead to pain and injuries.
Jumping and Running
Jumping and running in Pickleball can also cause strain on the back, especially if the player does not have proper form and technique. These movements require the player to use their legs to jump and run, putting stress on the lower back muscles and discs.
Who is Most at Risk?
While anyone can develop back pain or injuries from playing Pickleball, some people may be at higher risk. This includes older adults, people with pre-existing back issues, and those who do not have proper form and technique when playing.
Prevention and Treatment of Back Pain in Pickleball Players
Preventing and treating back pain in Pickleball players is essential to ensure that they can continue playing the sport without any issues. Here are some ways to prevent and treat back pain in Pickleball players:
Stretching before and after playing Pickleball can help prevent back pain and injuries. Some useful stretching exercises include the hamstring stretch and the quad stretch. To perform the hamstring stretch, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and reach forward to try and touch your toes, keeping your back straight. To perform the quad stretch, bend the knee of the lunging leg and lower your body down towards the floor, keeping your back straight.
Core Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening the core muscles can help support the spine and prevent back pain and injuries. Some useful core strengthening exercises include planks, crunches, and bridges.
Wearing a back brace while playing Pickleball can provide support and stability to the spine, reducing the risk of back pain and injuries. Back braces come in different sizes and shapes, so it’s essential to choose one that fits properly and provides the right amount of support.
If you are experiencing back pain or injuries from playing Pickleball, it’s essential to seek professional help. A physical therapist or chiropractor can assess your condition and provide treatment and advice on how to prevent future injuries.
In conclusion, Pickleball can be a fun and low-impact sport, but it can also cause back pain and injuries, especially if the player does not have proper form and technique. To prevent back pain and injuries, players should focus on strengthening their core muscles, stretching before and after playing, wearing a back brace, and seeking professional help if necessary.