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Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Pickleball?

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Pickleball?

It is common for people who play pickleball to experience lower back pain after the game. This can be caused by a variety of different factors that are often related to improper form and technique. In this article, we will explore what is causing lower back pain after pickleball and how to prevent it from happening again. Let’s see: Why does my lower back hurt after pickleball?

The side movements, body bending position, spine rotation, and running in the game increase the risk of hurt in the lower back. When spinal stability gets impaired, a player feels hurt in the lower back. The most common cause of lower back pain is the repetitive dinking in pickleball.

Reasons for Lower Back Pain after Playing Pickleball:

Several reasons can lead to low back pain after playing pickleball. The most prominent and evident reasons are described below:

Excessive Movements:

The common cause of this pain is excessive movements which cause stress on the lower back region. These movements include side-to-side movements, rotations of the spine, bending, jumping, and similar activities, all of which are done with the lower extremity of the body.

Dinking Movement:

Another most common cause of low back pain in pickleball players is the dinking movement. It is seen that people who are in the habit of playing dink shot excessively during their game are at a higher risk of developing lower back pain.

The reason is that the player needs to bend forward while playing a dink shot. This position does not harm the spine if it is not done regularly. However, in the longer run, bending down and staying low constantly while playing causes a negative impact on the spinal cord. It is also evident that dinking does not only requires staying low.

Impairment of Lower Spine:

Along with leaning forward, the player needs to move sideways in the court, and at times, the player bends themselves to make a good shot count. All these movements require the player’s bending at the spine level instead of the knee level. Therefore, it causes impairment of the lower spine.

Stretching, flexibility, and core strength in these areas lengthen the muscles and relax the hamstrings to reduce the pelvic tilt. It also helps to strengthen the abdominal and pelvic musculature.

Type of Stretch


Hamstring stretch

To attempt the hamstring stretch:

  • Lie on the back and bend the right leg.

  • Wrap the rope in the middle of the left foot and lock the knee.

  • Contact the quadriceps muscle group and attempt to climb the rope using your hands.

  • Hold the rope for two seconds and return to the left leg.

  • Repeat these steps 12-15 times with the other leg too.

Lower back and hip stretch

  • Lie on the back of your body and extend the right leg. Lie on the back of your body and extend the right leg.

  • Bend the knee and attempt to tighten your abdominal muscles.

  • Grab your left leg using the right hand and use the left hand for the thigh.

  • Lift your knee towards your right shoulder and hold it for two seconds.

  • After this attempt, gently return to your original position and repeat the same steps 12-15 times using another leg.

Pelvic stretch

  • Lie on the back region and bring both the thighs up at an angle of 90 degrees perpendicularly on the floor.

  • Place your arms on the sides and twist them to the right and left sides to contract the leg on the floor.

  • Repeat the same steps about 25 times on each side.

Rectus abdominus or scissors position

  • Lie on the back of your body and extend the arms and legs to the full extent.

  • Your hands and feet should touch the floor.

  • Raise your arms and legs to meet above the torso and lower them slowly to bring them back to their starting position.

  • Repeat the same steps in three sets with 15-25 repeats.

Lower back muscles and trunk raise

  • Lie on the stomach region of your body and raise your hands behind the neck.

  • Arch the hands to back by raising the legs and holding them for 15-25 seconds.

  • Repeat the same sets about 10-12 times.

You can add weight to the ankles and behind the head for additional resistance.

Biomechanical Disadvantages in the Lower Spine:

In pickleball players, especially those who have a habit of playing this game regularly, these movements can lead to biomechanical disadvantages in the lower spine.

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Pickleball
Biomechanical disadvantages include many issues created in the human body, ranging from muscle strains, ligament sprains, facet joint dysfunctions, disc bulges, disc herniations, and compression fractures.

Each injury has its type of impact on the person and has a different approach to rehabilitation. It is essential to note that if you are injured while playing pickleball or any sport, you must consult a Licensed Healthcare Professional such as a Sports Physical Therapist to be evaluated and effectively treated.

How to Reduce Lower Back Pain While Playing Pickleball:

As discussed above, it is pretty evident that low back pain is seen to be developed in almost every person who plays pickleball regularly. It can worsen in people who have developed a habit of drinking excessively during gameplay. For a player to maintain their spinal health, some things can reduce the risk of developing low back pain. Some tips are discussed below:

1. Stop Bending:

The most important tip to prevent low back pain while playing pickleball is to stop excessive trunk bending while dinking. It can be done quickly; only it requires a slight modification in a person’s play style.

For instance, if the player thinks that without dinking, they would not be able to score perfectly, then they should start bending on their knees instead of their spine. Bending on knees is, in fact, the correct position to dink.

Many people don't know that turning on their knees won't result in pain in the lower back; therefore, they don't bother to modify their playing styles. However, the fact is that if the player learns the proper position of bending during the game, it can save them from developing low back pain.

2. Do Proper Warm-Up Exercise Before Playing Pickleball:

It is essential that before starting the game, the player must warm up their bodies properly. Warm-up exercises are pretty simple and are not much time-consuming either.

The advantage of a good warm-up session before starting the game is that the player would stretch their body to the maximum extent, because of which all the body muscles would become ready to participate in the game. This way, the player can save themselves from developing low back pain in their bodies.

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt After Pickleball

Significant contributing factors lead to discomfort in the lower back, including the weak core, calf, and lower muscles of the back and tight pelvic muscles.

What is the Most Common Injury in Pickleball?

Like other sports, the players are also frequently injured during pickleball. It is seen that some of the injuries most commonly reported in pickleball players are ankle sprain, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring or quadriceps muscle strain, shoulder impingement, and wrist fracture.

All these injuries result from the carelessness of the players during the game and wrong and undue movements of the body extremities. It is easy to prevent these injuries if the player understands their bodies’ dimensions and modifies their playing style according to their dimensions.

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):

Which injury is considered the most common one in pickleball?

In pickleball, injuries like an ankle sprain, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring and quadriceps muscle strain, shoulder impairment, and wrist fracture are considered the common injuries in the pickleball game.

Why does the back hurt after playing a pickleball game?

After playing the pickleball game, the lower back pains are sometimes due to sitting for long periods. The first step is to address the lifestyle by changing the posture and adopting a holistic approach. A person can attempt some stretch exercise and can use cushions and pain-relieving topicals that provide some relief.

How many calories can a pickleball game burn in one hour?

In an hour, a pickleball game can burn about 500-700 calories according to the intensity of the sport.

How does the lower back pain worsen?

The lower back pain worsens when a painful position has been adopted that damages the tissues of the body too and aggravates the damage.

How can a person stretch out their lower back pain?

A person can stretch out their lower back pain by adopting the following measures:

  • A person can lie back with their knees in a bent position and heels on the floor
  • The next step is to cross the legs and rest the ankle on bent knees.
  • Pull the knees towards the chest to feel a stretch in the buttock.
  • Hold and stretch it for a few seconds and repeat the process with another leg.

How can a person fix their lower back pain?

A person can fix their lower back pain at home by adopting the following preventive measures:

  • A person should not move their body when in pain and must maintain a good posture.
  • If you are smoking, immediately quit smoking and use the methods of heat and ice at your convenience.
  • You can stretch and strengthen your muscles with the help of your lower back support.
  • You can rub out medicated creams on the lower back for some relief.

How can we feel that the lower back pain is in the muscle region or the disc region?

If the pain is in the spinal disc at the bottom region of the back, then the pain detected is in the lower back and is due to slipped disc. If you feel pain between muscles, it could be due to post-workout soreness, and disc pain feels like a debilitating and tingling sensation.

What does the lower back pain above the buttocks indicate?

The lower back pain above the buttocks indicates the problem associated with a sciatic nerve. It is a large nerve that runs from the lower back region to the back side of the leg. In case of injuries, pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve, which causes pain in the lower back that spreads towards the hips, buttocks, and legs.

How can a person detect that he pulled out a back muscle?

Some symptoms indicate the pull-off situation of muscles in the lower back. The symptoms are:

  • The back hurts more when a person moves, and in a still position, the pain radiates less.
  • The pain radiates towards the back and down to the buttocks but does not typically extend into the legs.
  • The person feels muscle cramps and spasms in the back.
  • The person faces trouble in walking and bending
  • The person feels difficulty standing up.

How much time is required for the lower back pain to get better?

Acute or short-term back pain can last a few days to a few weeks. The lower back pains are mainly acute and resolved within a few days with self-care and no residual loss of function. In some cases, a few months are required for treating the symptoms to disappear.

Should a person sit or lay down straight after experiencing lower back pain?

A person should lie down to relieve the pain in the lower back region. The goal is not to return to a sitting position but to regain the ability to stand and move. The goal should be to start moving instead of getting into a chair.

What are the symptoms of severe back pain?

The symptoms of severe back pain are:

  • The pain for more than a week.
  • The pain extends to other parts of the body
  • A feeling of numbness, weakness, and tingling sensation
  • Feeling of pain after an accident
  • Feeling extreme pain in certain positions
  • Bowel problems and urination

What is felt after a disc slip in the lower back region?

After the herniated disc, the pain radiates from the lower back area to one or both legs and sometimes to the feet, called sciatica.

Is it better to place a heat bag or ice bag to lessen the soreness in the lower back?

A person can use cold therapy immediately when having back pain in the lower area. It helps to reduce tissue damage, inflammation, and pain. Heat therapy is an encouraging method for tissue healing.

Which kind of drinks is helpful in back pain?

Cheery juice is considered the best for relieving muscle pain due to chronic and exercise-induced conditions. Cherry juice provides positive effects and helps to relieve back pain.

What are the five kinds of exercises that strengthen the lower back?

The exercises that strengthen the lower back are bridges, knee-t-chest stretch, lower-back rotational stretch, pelvic tilts, lateral leg lifts, cat stretches, and draw-in maneuvers.