Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition where the outer part of the elbow becomes painful and tender. It is often caused by overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons, typically due to repetitive motions like gripping, twisting, or lifting. Pickleball, similar to tennis, involves these types of movements and can potentially exacerbate the symptoms of tennis elbow.
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Should You Play Pickleball With Tennis Elbow?
Playing pickleball with tennis elbow can vary in its effects depending on the severity of your condition, how well you manage it, and how your body responds. Here are some considerations:
- Rest and Recovery: Rest is crucial for healing tennis elbow. If your symptoms are severe, it’s advisable to avoid activities that aggravate your elbow pain, including pickleball, until your symptoms have subsided.
- Consult a Healthcare Professional: Before deciding to play pickleball with tennis elbow, consult a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or physical therapist. They can assess the severity of your condition, provide you with guidance on appropriate activities, and recommend a suitable treatment plan.
- Proper Technique: If you do decide to play pickleball while dealing with tennis elbow, it’s essential to use proper technique. Incorrect technique can put additional strain on your elbow and worsen your condition. Consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor who can help you minimize strain on your elbow.
- Bracing and Support: Wearing a brace or support designed to alleviate stress on the affected tendon might help provide some relief during play. However, these aids should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
- Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications might provide temporary relief. Consult your doctor before using any medication to manage your symptoms.
- Moderation: If your doctor approves, you might be able to engage in modified pickleball play. This could involve playing for shorter durations, using a softer ball, or reducing the intensity of your play.
- Recovery Exercises: Physical therapy exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around your elbow and improve flexibility could aid in your recovery. A physical therapist can create a customized exercise plan for you.
Remember that every individual’s situation is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. The most important thing is to prioritize your health and listen to your body.
If playing pickleball worsens your symptoms or causes increased pain, it’s a sign that you should stop and allow your elbow to heal properly. Always seek advice from a medical professional before making decisions about physical activities while dealing with a condition like a tennis elbow.