- Reviewed by Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter
The pickleball craze is going strong, with no sign of souring. The sport, which looks a bit like tennis, has people of all ages swinging paddles and socializing with teammates. Both of those activities score big points for health. Unfortunately, the game can also lead to injuries, especially when it comes to elbows. Pickleball elbow (also known as tennis elbow) can sideline you from playing the game and interfere with routine actions such as gripping a cup or turning a car key. But you can learn how to protect yourself on the court.
Understanding the injury
Pickleball elbow is a type of tendinitis called lateral epicondylitis. The injury can result from gripping a pickleball paddle (or another type of racquet) tightly for long periods or repeatedly twisting and turning your wrist as you prepare to hit the ball. The intense demand stresses muscles in your forearm (the extensors, which move your wrist and fingers) and creates tiny tears in the tendons attaching the extensors to your elbow.
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About the Author
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter
About the Reviewer
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter
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