Expert tips for managing pickleball knee pain


Are you one of the millions of Americans who play pickleball? If so, you know how much fun it is. But if you’re like me, you’ve probably had to deal with some knee pain after playing.

As a lifelong athlete (and former collegiate soccer player) who also happens to love pickleball, I’m always looking for ways to play longer and harder without getting injured. That’s why I’m writing this article: to share my experiences with knee pain after playing pickleball as well as what doctors recommend doing when you have an injury like this!

Pickleball and knee pain

As you may have read, pickleball is a fun and fast-paced game. It’s played on a court similar to badminton, with nets at both ends of the court. Players use rackets to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net and into their opponent’s side. A rally will consist of each player hitting the ball back and forth until one misses it or hits it out of bounds. Because pickleball is so fast paced, players often move quickly around the court while they play.

This quick movement can cause injuries if your knees aren’t ready for it! There are many exercises you can do to strengthen your knee muscles before starting to play pickleball so that you don’t risk hurting yourself. If you already injured your knee playing this sport, there are some steps you can take now so that it doesn’t keep happening!

What are the Most Common Injuries from Pickleball?

It’s important to note that not all pickleball injuries are the result of impact. Other common types of injury include:

  • Knee Injuries: The most common injuries in pickleball are knee injuries, which can include sprains and tears in the ligaments or tendons surrounding the knee joint. Other common conditions include patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears.
  • Ankle Injuries: Sprains and strains around your ankle are also common because there’s a lot of jumping involved in pickleball games. In addition to sprains and strains, ankle fractures can occur when players land awkwardly on their feet after a jump or fall down from an awkward position during play.

Wrist Injuries: Players can also suffer wrist injuries due to the strain of gripping their paddle. If you’re not sure how to properly grip your pickleball paddle, make sure to ask your coach for some tips on how to hold it properly.

What Causes Knee Pain from Pickleball?

You can experience knee pain from pickleball for a number of different reasons. The most common causes of knee pain from pickleball include:

  • Overuse injury: This is the most common cause of pickleball knee pain. It happens when you play too much, especially if you haven’t warmed up properly or stretched properly after playing. If this sounds like you, make sure that you stretch regularly before and after games to help prevent overuse injuries.
  • Tendonitis: Tendons are tough bands of connective tissue that attach muscle to bone; they help muscles move bones around during physical activity by pulling on them with each contraction and relaxation cycle (a process known as muscular contraction). When these muscles become tense or fatigued, they can’t relax fully between contractions—this causes stress on the tendons attached to them, which leads to tendonitis in some cases. You can avoid this problem by taking frequent breaks from playing and hydrating throughout your game. Don’t forget about eating enough protein—it’s good for muscles!

Preventing pickleball knee pain

If you want to prevent pickleball knee injuries and pain, there are a few key strategies you can use.

  • First and foremost, it’s important to stretch before and after playing pickleball. This can help to warm up and cool down the muscles, which can reduce the risk of strain or injury.
  • Proper technique is also crucial for preventing pickleball knee injuries. Make sure to use the correct form when hitting the ball, and be mindful of your movements on the court.
  • Wearing proper shoes and knee support can also help to protect your joints and reduce the risk of injury. Common pickleball knee injuries include strains, sprains, and tears, but with proper prevention techniques, you can significantly reduce your risk of experiencing these types of injuries. If you do experience knee pain after playing pickleball, be sure to keep reading to find out how to treat pickleball knee injuries.

What Should I do for Knee Pain After Playing Pickleball?

If you’ve experienced some knee pain after playing pickleball, the first thing to do is take ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that helps reduce inflammation.

Next, you should ice your knee. Icing will help reduce any swelling and pain in your knee. Ice should be applied for 20 minutes at a time; applying ice more than every 20 minutes can cause damage to the skin.

You should rest your leg as much as possible so that it has plenty of time to heal. Resting will also help prevent further injury and prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It’s recommended that you don’t do any high impact sports or heavy physical activity until you are fully recovered from the initial injury – this can take anywhere from 2 weeks up to 6 months depending on how severe the injury was and what exactly caused it

Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option as well, particularly if the pain is due to a specific injury or condition that can be targeted with specific exercises. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to address the issue. It’s important to speak with a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment for your individual situation.

Knee Braces for Pickleball

If you’re looking for a way to prevent or manage pickleball knee injuries and pain, you may want to consider using a knee brace. Knee braces are a popular choice among pickleball players, as they can provide stability and support to the joint during gameplay. There are a few different types of knee braces available, each designed to address specific issues or injuries. For example, a patellar stabilizing brace is designed to support the kneecap and reduce pain caused by patellar tendonitis, while a hinged knee brace is ideal for more severe injuries, such as a ligament tear. Whether you’re looking to prevent pickleball knee injuries or you’re seeking relief from existing pain, a knee brace may be a helpful tool to have in your arsenal. Be sure to speak with a medical professional before selecting a knee brace to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs.


It’s important to take care of your knees while playing pickleball to avoid common pickleball knee injuries and pain. By following proper prevention techniques, such as stretching before and after playing and using proper technique, and wearing knee braces during play, you can help to protect your knees from injury. If you do experience knee pain after playing pickleball, be sure to speak with a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment. Options may include rest and ice, over-the-counter pain medication, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgery. By taking care of your knees and addressing any issues that arise, you’ll be able to continue enjoying the game of pickleball for years to come.