Pickleball: What You Need To Know About Knee Pain
There are many types of injuries associated with pickleball, one of the most common being Knee Pain. Knee pain/stiffness and pickleball seem to come hand in hand for many of us. Why is that? There are some factors about the game which increase stress on the knees that are out of our control. There are others, however, that we can manage ourselves and greatly reduce the stresses placed on our knees during play.
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Hard Court Surface
Frequent Rapid Stopping
Frequent Rapid Directional Changes
Frequent Lunging and Squatting
These elements are part of the game and will always place stress on the knee joints. If you can optimize the elements noted below that are within your control, however, you can greatly reduce the impact of the game on your knees.
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Core, Hip, Knee & Ankle Strength
Hip, Knee, Ankle & Big Toe Mobility
Dynamic Balance & Proprioception
Footwear & Insole Selection
The more strength you can build throughout your core and legs, the less you will feel the ground reaction force traveling from your feet through your knees while you play. The more mobility you can build from your hips all the way through your big toe, the more fluid your movement mechanics will become. This will help reduce any compensations that can increase stresses on the knee joints. The better you can make your dynamic balance and proprioception (how well you can control your body and move with purpose at game-speed) the more stable your mechanics will be. Furthermore, investing in a quality pair of court shoes and insoles that afford decent heel cushion and arch support will help with the stresses that the hard court surfaces place on us. Lastly, we cannot stress enough the importance of a dynamic warm up, which can be immensely beneficial in jumpstarting blood flow to your muscles and reduce the risk for injury!
Here at Core Performance we can provide you with a patient centered program with the tools you need to best optimize your strength, stability, and mobility gains to get you back on the court!
–Dr. Nicole Aho, PT, DPT