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Is Pickleball Good for Arthritis? What You Need to Know

Is Pickleball Good for Arthritis? What You Need to Know

It is said that racquet sports are bad for bone disorders, especially arthritis, but the truth is not the same. Light physical activity and movement are helpful for people facing bone problems. The question arises: Is Pickleball a good for arthritis?

Pickleball is a moderate level of racquet sport that is considered a good activity for arthritis patients. This game allows the arthritic patients a great movement opportunity. It involves light stretching and slight running that keeps the joint in shape and does not hurt the arthritic patients.

Pickleball, when played occasionally, is not bad for joints and knees. It is a great way to keep the body in shape and sets up the heart rate. Pickleball involves various movements like running, extension, stretching, and coordination. One can adopt according to their desire and body condition.

Reasons for Arthritis and Its Association with Pickleball:

The joints in our body work on the principle of connecting the bones. They provide the ability to move, lift, and bend and consist of ligaments and connective tissues that cushion between the joints. There are various reasons behind the development of arthritis that people think they cannot play Pickleball.

Reasons for Arthritis


Age factor

The age factor is one of the biggest reason that cause the cartilage to wear down and it thins in size. The cartilage fissures and gets damaged easily as the age progresses leading towards degeneration of bones.

Inflammation and previous history of injuries

The previous injuries if not treated properly leads to low level of inflammation that can change the biomechanical structure of cartilage and bones. It destroys the cartilage that is seen at the place of injury.

Muscle mass and its loss

The muscles in our body lose mass when the age progresses. The joints then absorbs the shocks that are faced in day-to-day life due to which more degeneration of bones is seen.


The more weight anyone carries on their body, the more are the chances of the detrimental effect on cartilage and joints. The deleterious effects are seen on knees and ankles causing pain

Overusing the joints

Joints that are used excessively during the game like pickleball can lead to development of tennis elbow which is the beginning of deterioration of joints.

How is Pickleball Good for Arthritis and Bone Deterioration?

1. It Eases Joint Pain:

It is often said that challenging exercises can reduce pain in certain conditions; the same is true with joint pain caused by arthritis. The high-intensity activities like running are considered a good option for people suffering from stiffness and pain caused by arthritis.

Pickleball helps provide an opportunity to increase the release of endorphins that give a feeling of pleasure to the brain. It enables the body to shift its signals towards joy and comfort. 

The chemicals released during the exercise help the individual sleep in a better position and help manage the pain. A slight movement of joints is required in playing Pickleball, so joints help lubricate the synovial fluid in the body and ease the joint pain in the presence of arthritis.

2. It Improves Balance and Agility:

The muscles and connective tissue become stiff during the joint pain, which increases the risk of falling. The best way to keep the body at work is to engage oneself in light exercise or light sports like Pickleball.

This game involves the player’s movement in a back-and-forth position at the desired pace and strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints like the knees and hips. Pickleball helps improve the agility and balance in the body that gets lost due to arthritis.

3. It Promotes a Healthy Flow of Blood:

Pickleball is a light sport that promotes blood flow through the heart. During an inactive state of the body, blood does not flow appropriately at the rate at which it should flow towards joints and muscles.

It is necessary to keep the body at pace and in movement so that healing nutrients can reach the joints damaged due to arthritis. It is also essential for the blood to flow so that toxins and impurities can be removed from the joints initiating the proper movement.

Individuals need to engage in activities that can increase their heart rate as cardiovascular exercises strengthen the heart and allow a greater volume of blood to flow.

4. It Is a Low-Impact Exercise:

Pickleball is a low-impact sport that is encouraged by seniors and individuals facing the issue of arthritis. To get a good form of physical activity, they must keep fit.

It does not require a lot of jumping and bouncing and does not trigger inflammation in people facing arthritis. It is better to avoid the high-impact form of aerobic activity and high-energy activities that can cause strain and injuries to sensitive areas of joints.

Those who engage in daily racquet sports are more prone to the wear and tear of the injuries, which depends on the players to pay special attention and care to their joints.

The lower body in the pickleball game is engaged in sprinting, stopping, and lunging. Players must stretch, flex and twist their hips and ankles to facilitate the position. Knee joints are sometimes placed in a vulnerable position that can be controlled.

The joints of the upper body perform high repetitive actions and leave high impacts on the elbows, shoulders, and wrists prone to tearing and strain. It is necessary to maintain healthy joints.

Along with elders, the young generation is also keen to adopt preventive measures to protect their joints to keep them healthy and agile so that they can perform best without any bone disorder.

Taking Care of Joints for Playing Pickleball:

If you are interested in playing pickleball and are also suffering from arthritis, then you can adopt these measures for taking care of your joints so that you can play pickleball without any hindrance:

1. Always Warm Up the Body Before Playing:

It is advisable never to skip the part of warming up the body before playing any game, especially in the case of pickleball when you are facing arthritis pain too. Do light and warm-up exercises like stretching and jogging that can prepare your body for pickleball.

This warming up will increase blood circulation and provide oxygen to the critical muscles and joint tissues. It will help the joints to contract and relax faster and decreases the chance of muscle tear.

2. Always Wear Appropriate Shoes:

It is advisable to avoid wearing running shoes for pickleball games as they are designed only for sagittal plane movements and cannot bear the side and lateral plane movements. Wear well-fitted court shoes that allow players to attempt the brisk and side-to-side movements associated with pickleball.

3. Learn to Bend Knees and Make Movements:

 It is better to learn about movements and bending the body and knees in a pickleball game if you are a beginner player. It will prevent you from various injuries and will help you to play effectively. If you want to make a lob shot, try bending your back towards the opponent’s side to chase the ball.

People repeat the mistake of attempting back-peddling for lob shots which is extremely dangerous for seasoned players. Other than this, learn how to fall intelligently to avoid injuries and counter the impact of your fall.

It is better to bend at your knee region as turning in a forward direction from the waist region place extra pressure on the spine and muscles of the back. It can lead to long-term back injuries, so keep your back relaxed.

4. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight:

If you want to reduce the pressure placed on knees and joints, try to maintain a healthy and reasonable weight. Healthy body weight decreases the pressure on joints and muscles and reduces cartilage tissue’s wear and tear.

5. Eat Healthily and Try to Be in a Relaxed State:

If you want to keep your bones and joints strong, try to eat wisely. Research has proven that oily fish like salmon and tuna are the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Such food items help reduce inflammation in the joints. Try to consume food items from all five food groups in a balanced form and incorporate all varieties of fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products along with carbs. Practice some meditation and relaxation methods such as deep breathing. It leaves a positive effect on overall health.

Also Read:

What Kind of Ball is Used in Pickleball?
How to Become a Pickleball Pro? 
Pickleball When to Switch Sides? What You Need to Know
What Is a Lob in Pickleball? All You Need to Know
What Does 4.0 Mean in Pickleball? All You Need to Know
How Did Pickleball Get Its Name? Amazing Fact

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is pickleball considered a challenging game for joints?

It would help if you stopped playing any game or activity that places your knees at risk. Changing the direction and pivoting the game that puts the knees in danger is advisable. Some of the common injuries associated with pickleball include sprains and ligament tears.

Which sport is considered the best one for arthritis?

The sports which are considered as best for arthritis are swimming, yoga, pilates, aqua jogging, aerobics, double tennis, and triathlon. But still, you can consult your physiotherapist before engaging in any game.

Is pickleball considered a challenging game on your knees?

Pickleball is an easy game for joints as compared to tennis. It does not mean you cannot develop knee pain while playing pickleball. If you want to stay on the court and avoid injuries like knee pain, you can adopt methods for sustaining healthy and robust knees during your play.

What are the health benefits of playing pickleball?

Pickleball provides many health and social benefits, including:

  • Benefits to mental health and mood
  • Help in burning calories in the body
  • The use of improving the balance of the body
  • The use of providing agility to the body
  • The benefit of reducing health risks and making new friends

Is pickleball considered a good game for osteoarthritis?

All sorts of racket sports like tennis, pickleball, and racquetball are considered the worst physical activities for the knees and joints.

How can a person slow down arthritis in the body?

The progression of arthritis can be slowed down by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight as excess weight puts additional pressure on the weight-bearing joints.
  • Maintaining the blood sugar and protecting joints.
  • Choosing a healthy lifestyle and initiating physical activity in the body

How can we reverse arthritis in the body?

We can change arthritis in the body by slowing down the progression of the disease and managing the health conditions. If the right kind of treatment is provided to the body, it eases pain and maintains the overall function.

Should a person exercise their arthritic joints?

A person should keep their arthritic joint sin movement to get some relief from pain. It is challenging to stick with an exercise regimen, but regular exercise helps in maintaining the standard functions and brings some relief from stiffness and fatigue.

Can a person play pickleball after knee replacement?

Pickleball game does not place extra stiffness on joints and knees. But a person should consult their physician before engaging in any physical activity after knee replacement.

Is pickleball considered a good exercise?

A Pickleball game is considered a good exercise as it is an excellent game for aerobic workout and puts less stress and strain on muscles and joints. During exercise, our body releases endorphins and bio-amines that help elevate self-esteem and combat depression.

Is pickleball considered a good game for bones?

Pickleball is an osteoporotic-friendly game that helps strengthen the wrists and their pivots with side moves. It is an excellent game for the hips and spine.

Does a pickleball game help a person to get in shape?

Pickleball is an excellent sport that provides an all-around fitness and cardio workout. It helps in improving agility, mobility, and balance.

Which muscles are used in playing pickleball games?

The muscles in pickleball games are the biceps, triceps, and forearms. Bending over in the game strengthens the hamstrings and quads.

How often should a person play pickleball?

A person is recommended to play pickleball about three times per week irrespective of age and gender. You can also play up to six times per week, including three gym sessions.

How long should a person play pickleball?

A person can play pickleball as a classic game between 15-25 minutes per session. Most tournament games do not go beyond 25 minutes in a tournament game, while a single match lasts for about one hour.

How many calories are burned after one hour of a pickleball game?

The one hour of a pickleball game burns about 500-700 calories and depends on the game’s intensity.

Which kind of exercise is not suitable for arthritis?

Exercise and physical activities like running, jogging, and high-impact aerobics are considered heavy for arthritis.