How To Prevent Elbow Pain With Pickleball or Tennis

elbow pain with Pickle Ball

Getting relief from irritating elbow pain that extends all the way down to your wrists and hands and be very scary to deal with.  Inflammation can occur when obvious stress or overuse is noticeable. 

To prevent elbow pain when playing pickleball or any other racquet sport you should take a look at your swing form for the reasons listed below.

If you get repeated inflammation in the joint then you may have technical issues in your swing causing you pain. 

  1. Not hitting the correct spot on the racquet face
  2. Gripping the racquet too tightly
  3. Not following through on your swing

Correcting these reasons can help you to increase the efficiency of your swing and cut back on elbow pain or injury while playing pickleball.

The elbow joint is a hinge joint that provides stability when performing activities. The hinge joint allows the elbow to bend. The muscles that go across your elbow help with extension, flexion, supination, and pronation.

What Causes Elbow Pain?

Elbow pain can be caused by many different things. When playing pickleball or any racquet sport where you extend your elbow causing the tendon to become inflamed and swollen. 

This condition develops because of the repetitive motion of the muscles when performing certain tasks.

Other activities beyond racquet sports can cause you to have the same elbow pain. Many assembly line workers, chefs, dentists, plumbers, landscapers, and musicians are more likely to get tennis elbow.

Looking to strengthen your elbow? Watch how to do this exercise from a certified PT.

What are the symptoms of elbow pain?

Some signs of elbow pain include pain on your outer elbow that may travel to your wrist, pain when bending your arm such as opening a jar, stiffness when extending the arm, tender elbow joint, or a weakened grip when holding items.

This pain can be identified with direct pressure over the outside area of the elbow called the lateral epicondyle. This is where the extensor tendons are responsible for pulling our wrist and fingers back, gripping and grasping, and for producing a powerful backhand swing in pickleball insert into the bone.  Repeated use of these muscles can slowly cause a breakdown and associated bone ache pain.

More often than not you will not need surgery to fix your elbow pain, however, some may need to check with their doctor if symptoms continue to worsen.

How can I prevent tennis elbow?

When playing any racquet sport make sure to check your equipment so it properly fits you and your skill level. 

DID YOU KNOW? Stiff or loose-strung racquets may reduce stress on your forearm. Lighter racquets with a larger grip size will help to reduce strain on the tendons.

Making sure to always warm-up and stretch is important when wanting to prevent injury. Taking breaks between matches may also prevent injuries, giving your muscles time to recover.

Doing forearm exercises can help to strengthen your arm and in the end prevent tennis elbow.

Having Elbow pain? Find out how we can help you.

Shoulder weakness can contribute to elbow pain.  If the rotator cuff muscles responsible for external rotation are weak, it will cause increased load from the backhand stroke to transfer into the elbow and begin to irritate the extensor tendons of the elbow.  Learn more about shoulder injuries and what to do about them here.

How can physical therapy help my elbow pain?

Elbow pain can be treatable and preventable. If you are suffering from elbow pain, just know that you don’t have to.

There are several exercises, stretches, and adjustments that can be made to improve or even alleviate these types of symptoms. 

Foremost, getting in to see your physical therapist creates a custom exercise program and hands-on treatment to treat the cause of your elbow pain or elbow nerve compression. 

If you are looking for immediate options for some relief before you have a chance to get to physical therapy.

 I encourage you to visit our technique videos on elbow stretches. As well as strengthening techniques to prevent such injuries from exacerbating or recurring in the future.

Now, if you have any further questions about how to avoid an overuse injury, or if you think that these statements relate to something that you are experiencing, please contact our office to speak to a therapist. 

Feeling like you’re ready to try out physical therapy. Click the link below to sign up for your free discovery visit.

Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

You Might Also Like...