How To Avoid Tennis Elbow In Pickleball?

Avoiding tennis elbow in pickleball means taking steps to prevent pain in your arm while playing. It’s about learning the right way to hold your paddle, warming up your muscles, choosing the best equipment, and giving your arm time to rest when needed. 

Do you love playing pickleball but worry about hurting your arm? Well, fear not, because we’re here to answer the question, How to avoid tennis elbow in pickleball? Some simple tips and tricks that will keep your arm feeling great, so you can enjoy your favourite game to the fullest.

Hold your paddle lightly, warm up your muscles, and choose the right equipment. Take breaks when needed and rest your arm. By following simple steps, you can play pickleball without any arm pain and have more fun on the court.

What Is Tennis Elbow?

What Is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, although often associated with tennis, can affect pickleball players as well. It is also known as lateral epicondylitis. It’s a condition where the tendons in the forearm become inflamed due to repetitive use. In pickleball, the repetitive swinging motion of the paddle and the vibrations from ball impacts can lead to this condition.

To avoid tennis elbow, players should pay attention to their technique, grip, and equipment. Using improper form or a grip that’s too tight can increase the risk of developing this painful condition.

Proper Technique and Grip

Proper technique is crucial in preventing tennis elbow. Ensure that your paddle grip is relaxed, not too tight, and that you maintain a neutral wrist position during play. Avoid excessive wrist flicks and focus on using your core and arm muscles for power.

When striking the ball, use a smooth, controlled swing rather than relying on brute force. This not only reduces the risk of injury but also enhances your accuracy and shot placement.

Warm-Up and Stretching

Warming up before a pickleball session is essential to prepare your muscles and joints. Engage in light cardio activities and perform dynamic stretches to increase blood flow and flexibility. Pay attention to stretching your forearm muscles, as this can help reduce strain during play.

Equipment and Paddle Selection

Equipment and Paddle Selection

Your choice of equipment plays a significant role in preventing tennis elbow. Opt for a paddle that suits your playing style and skill level. Paddles with vibration-dampening technology can help reduce the impact on your arm.

Additionally, consider using an overgrip or grip enhancer to improve your handle’s cushioning and grip comfort.

Rest and Recovery

Listening to your body is crucial in avoiding tennis elbow. If you start feeling discomfort or pain, take a break from playing and allow your arm to rest. Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce inflammation.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Tennis Elbow in Pickleball
1. Use Proper Technique: Ensure a relaxed grip and use proper stroke mechanics.
2. Warm-Up: Warm up your muscles with light exercises and stretches before playing.
3. Choose the Right Paddle: Select a paddle that suits your playing style and reduces vibration.
4. Maintain Good Fitness: Strengthen forearm and shoulder muscles through regular conditioning.
5. Rest and Recovery: Take breaks, especially if you feel discomfort, to allow your arm to recover.

What Are the Differences Between Pickleball Elbow and Tennis Elbow?

Pickleball elbow and tennis elbow are similar in that they both involve pain and discomfort in the elbow area, but they have different underlying causes. Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, typically occurs due to overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons, often from repetitive motions like gripping a tennis racket.

 Pickleball elbow, on the other hand, is a term used to describe a similar condition but specific to pickleball players. It results from the repetitive swinging of the pickleball paddle and the vibrations caused by hitting the ball. 

Can I Get Pickleball Elbow Or Tennis Elbow If I Don’t Play Either Sport?

It’s possible to develop tennis elbow or pickleball elbow even if you don’t play either sport. These conditions are not exclusive to tennis or pickleball players. They can result from any repetitive hand or arm movements, such as typing, painting, or lifting heavy objects incorrectly. 

Overuse or strain on the forearm muscles and tendons can lead to these conditions. So, it’s important to be mindful of your activities and practice proper techniques and ergonomics to prevent such injuries, regardless of your involvement in specific sports.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pickleball Elbow?

The symptoms of pickleball elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, typically include pain and discomfort on the outer part of the elbow. You may experience a burning or sharp pain that worsens with gripping objects or performing activities that involve wrist and forearm movements. 

Swelling and tenderness around the elbow area can also be present. In more severe cases, pickleball elbow can limit your ability to perform everyday tasks that require gripping and lifting. If you suspect you have pickleball elbow, it’s essential to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What is the Best Paddle to Use That Could Help Prevent Pickleball Elbow?

Can I Get Pickleball Elbow Or Tennis Elbow If I Don’t Play Either Sport

To help prevent pickleball elbow, choosing the right paddle is crucial. Look for a pickleball paddle with vibration-dampening technology. These paddles absorb some of the shock from ball impacts, reducing the strain on your arm. 

A paddle that offers a comfortable grip and suits your playing style. A well-designed paddle with these features can help minimize the risk of pickleball elbow and enhance your overall playing experience while safeguarding your arm health.

How Can I Treat Pickleball Elbow?

Treating pickleball elbow involves a combination of rest, ice, exercises, and possibly anti-inflammatory medications. Initially, it’s important to rest the affected arm and avoid activities that worsen the pain. Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises prescribed by a healthcare professional can aid in the recovery process.

 In some cases, wearing a brace or splint may provide additional support. If the condition persists or worsens, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider for more advanced treatment options like physical therapy or corticosteroid injections.


How do I know if I have a tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow is characterized by pain and tenderness on the outer part of the elbow. If you experience these symptoms, it’s advisable to seek medical advice.

Can I continue playing pickleball if I have tennis elbow?

It’s best to rest and recover from tennis elbow before resuming play. Consult with a medical professional for guidance.

Are there specific exercises to prevent tennis elbow?

Yes, exercises that strengthen the forearm and improve flexibility can help prevent tennis elbow. Consult a fitness expert or physiotherapist for a tailored exercise plan.

Does the type of ball used in pickleball affect the risk of tennis elbow?

The ball’s hardness and weight can impact the risk of tennis elbow. Using a softer ball can reduce the strain on your arm.

Can I prevent tennis elbow by wearing a brace?

Wearing an elbow brace or support can provide additional stability and may help prevent tennis elbow, especially during recovery.


When pondering the question of how to avoid tennis elbow in pickleball, it all comes down to a few straightforward steps. By practicing proper technique, warming up thoroughly, choosing suitable equipment, and allowing your arm the rest it deserves, you can relish the game without worrying about painful injuries. 

Understanding what’s the difference between paddle tennis and pickleball? can help you make an informed choice about which racket sport to play. These simple measures ensure that your pickleball experience remains enjoyable and injury-free. Keep the easy-to-follow guidelines in mind, play with care, and continue to have a blast on the pickleball court.

Leave a Comment