Can I Play Pickleball With Tennis Elbow? Explained

Pickleball is an extremely popular sport, enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. The sport has seen a significant increase in popularity in recent years, especially among those who are looking for a fun and enjoyable way to stay active. Despite its many benefits, some people may be hesitant to try pickleball due to certain conditions they may have, such as tennis elbow. In this article, we will explore whether or not it is safe to play pickleball with tennis elbow and provide some tips on how to enjoy the game while minimizing pain and discomfort.

Check out 6 Best Pickleball Paddles for Tennis Elbow.

A man with a tennis elbow issue

Tennis elbow is a common condition that affects millions of people each year, especially those who play racquet sports like tennis, squash, and badminton. The condition occurs when the tendons in the elbow are overused or strained, leading to pain, swelling, and discomfort.

While the name suggests that tennis elbow is only associated with tennis, it can also occur in people who play pickleball, which involves the use of a paddle and a ball. So, can you play pickleball with tennis elbow? The answer is yes but with some precautions.


  • The first thing to consider when playing pickleball with tennis elbow is to avoid activities that worsen the pain. It may include avoiding playing for extended periods or avoiding certain types of shots that put more pressure on the elbow. It’s also essential to use proper technique and form to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your elbow while playing.
  • Another way to reduce pain and discomfort while playing pickleball with tennis elbow is to wear an elbow brace or support. These devices can help stabilize and protect the joint, reducing the risk of further damage. Many different types of braces are available, and your healthcare provider can recommend the best one for your needs.
Pickleball With Tennis Elbow
  • Furthermore, it’s crucial to warm up before playing pickleball to increase blood flow and prepare your muscles and joints. It can help reduce your risk of injury and minimize the discomfort associated with tennis elbow. You may also want to consider taking breaks and stretching periodically during your game to help keep your muscles limber and reduce the strain on your elbow.
  • Lastly, if you’re struggling with persistent pain and discomfort despite taking precautions and using protective gear, it’s essential to seek medical attention. Your healthcare provider can evaluate your condition, provide treatment options, and make recommendations on how to continue playing pickleball safely.

What Is The Best Way To Reduce The Risk Of Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a condition that affects more than just tennis players. It is a form of tendinitis that can occur in anyone who regularly engages in activities that overstress the forearm muscles and tendons. The condition usually causes pain in the outer part of the elbow and can affect one’s ability to perform simple tasks. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the risk of tennis elbow, but here we are going to discuss some of the best tips that could help you prevent this condition.

Stretching and Warm-ups

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing tennis elbow is to start by stretching and warming up before any activity. Warm-up exercises help to get the blood flowing, bring oxygen to the muscles, and loosen up the tendons. It is also essential to do some dynamic stretches to increase your range of motion and reduce the likelihood of injury.


Poor technique when playing tennis or engaging in other activities can increase the likelihood of developing a tennis elbow. Therefore, it is vital to learn the correct technique for whatever activity you are participating in. Most sports have certified coaches or specialized trainers who can instruct you on the correct techniques to use to avoid elbow and other injuries.

Proper Equipment

Using the correct equipment can help to reduce the impact on your elbow and prevent the risk of developing tennis elbow. If you are a tennis player, make sure to find a racket that is comfortable to hold and with a suitable grip size. In addition, ensure that the strings are not too tight, and the racket frame is not too strong, which could amplify the impact on your elbow.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening your forearm muscles is another method of preventing tennis elbow. Simple exercises like grip strengthening, wrist curls, and reverse wrist curls can help make your forearm muscles more robust and able to withstand the stresses they encounter daily.

Tennis Elbow injuries while playing pickleball

Rest & Recovery

Lastly, like any other physical activity, it is essential to take time for rest and recovery, allowing your body to recharge and compensate for the stress it endures during physical activities. If you begin to notice any pain or discomfort in your elbow, take a break and give it time for recovery. Applying ice to the affected area can also help reduce inflammation and pain.

Is A Heavy Or Light Pickleball Paddle Better For Tennis Elbow?

Firstly, it is essential to understand what tennis elbow is. Tennis elbow is a medical condition that’s characterized by pain around the elbow joint. It’s caused when the tendons that join the forearm’s muscles to the elbow become inflamed. Tennis elbow is a common overuse injury that occurs when you repeatedly use your forearm muscles and tendons. Unfortunately, it’s quite common in pickleball.

Both heavy and light paddles have their advantages and disadvantages, and which one you choose depends on your physical condition and playstyle. For instance, if your tennis elbow is severe, a heavy paddle may aggravate your condition, and a lighter option would be better suited.

Lighter paddles are also more suited for players that prefer quick reflexive-type shots and require more maneuverability. On the other hand, if you’re an advanced player looking for more power and precision, a heavy paddle could be a better option.

If you’re not entirely sure which paddle will help alleviate your condition, you should consult with a medical professional first. Your doctor or physical therapist may suggest that you switch to a lighter paddle to reduce the strain on your elbow joint. A lighter paddle is less taxing on your forearm muscles, which will allow you to enjoy the game without further aggravating your condition.

Another essential aspect that could help alleviate the pain associated with tennis elbow is grip size. Having the right size grip can also make a lot of difference in terms of how much strain your joints and muscles are exposed to. A grip that’s too big or too small can lead to stress on the elbow and forearm muscles. So, if you’re experiencing tennis elbow and have been using a paddle with a grip that’s too small, chances are you’ll exacerbate the condition further.

Finally, it’s important to realize that every person’s physical condition is different, and what works for one individual may not work for another. Experiment with different paddles, grip sizes, and techniques to determine what works best for your specific needs.


Tennis elbow is a painful condition that can negatively impact your daily life activities. However, with the right preventative measures, you can reduce your chances of developing it. Remember, always pay attention to your body and seek medical attention if you experience any persistent pain or discomfort.

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