How To Keep Leg Cramps From Spoiling Your Pickleball Match and Other Pickleball Physical Therapy Tip – Some people think that pickleball is a less-demanding sport. However, those who play it know that leg cramps and muscle aches can spoil the match and ruin some incredible competitive fun with family and friends. Unfortunately, cramps and muscle aches are a reality of the pickleball game and most active sports activities.
Although, non-harmful muscle cramps are a common lower body medical condition in pickleball. They can appear during or soon after game sessions and last for a few minutes, or be serious enough to cause days or weeks of pain. The pain can be unbearable, making it difficult to stand or walk, let alone continue the game.
It’s better to take a few precautions, even if you can’t avoid it altogether, so you can decrease the chances of getting a leg cramp. How to Prevent Leg Cramps with Some Physical Therapy Tips. Pickleball is a great exercise alternative for seniors and is growing in popularity with all ages. But it’s not risk-free. When players carry their bad habits from their youth to this game, mishaps happen.
Here are some preventative measures you can take
~ Don’t Play Without Warming Up First
~ Loosen your body with a warm-up. Exercises such as jumping jacks, squats, and arm circles can get the body ready for action.
~ Without warming up, some joints can remain stiff. The chances of getting a sprain, cramp, or other injuries become high, especially with older players.
~ Warming up is easy and can be done in 5-10 minutes. There’s no reason to forego it. Here’s a warm-up tutorial video.
~ Wear Proper Shoes
~ Pickleball has many similarities with tennis, the biggest of which being the shoe type. You can put on a pair of tennis shoes on the pickleball court and you’ll be good to go.
~ But why not wear running and other types of shoes? The reason lies in the design of the tennis shoes. Tennis shoes provide feet and ankle stability during quick turns and side steps.
Get Treatment for Previous Injuries
If you have unhealed injuries, work on those first. People instinctively shift their leg on one leg when they have an injury in the other leg. Thus, the healthy leg sustains more strain when an injured person runs or walks.
The best method to work on injuries is to get physical therapy. A professional therapist can work one-on-one with you to diagnose and treat the problem. The therapy program can contain either exercises or acoustic wave therapy or red light therapy based on your individual needs and convenience.
Use Leg Cramp Pills
People who have frequent or nocturnal leg cramps can keep muscle cramp pills with them. These medications help relieve muscle spasms and muscle spasticity. Keep in mind that some medications have side effects. Consult a doctor before using these medications. Homeopathic options such as the Hyland’s Naturals Leg Cramp tablets are also well received by people.
Stretch After Matches
Stretching is more of a prevention than a cure. If your episodes of leg cramps are few and far between, stretching will keep it that way. Stretch after intense activity or sport while the muscles are still warm. Stretching breaks down lactic acid and promotes muscle recovery. Here’s a video explaining how to stretch after a pickleball match. Val Thomopalos, a 63-year-old pickler, tells the NY Post, “I’ve had three pickleball injuries in a year and a half. They are all due to my negligence. As an older person, I never valued stretching when I was younger.”
Do Leg Cramps Have Any Adverse Effects?
Cramps are not fatal. Generally, they go away after a few minutes without intervention. But the pain can get highly intolerable, enough to disrupt your schedule. Leg cramps can make muscles tender for hours.
A few episodes of leg cramps are acceptable. The need to see a physical therapist arises when these cramps start affecting your daily life. The likelihood of sustaining cramps increases with age. Leg cramps are also a symptom of some medical conditions, such as:
- Neurological conditions
- Liver disease
- Bacterial infection
- Toxins in blood
- Kidney illness
Some of these conditions are fatal. Leg cramps by themselves aren’t worrisome. When paired with other symptoms, leg cramps can warn you about an underlying problem.
Mountain View Physical Therapy offers different types of therapies in Utah. Avid pickleball players can reach out to us for treatment of leg cramps and other muscle injuries. Other common pickleball injuries include ankle sprain, wrist fracture, hamstring sprain, and shoulder impingement. But the upsides of playing sports far outweigh the downside. You just need preparation and diligence to stay away from injuries.
We offer physical therapy, red light therapy, and acoustic wave therapy. Our therapists can treat injuries and chronic pain to rejuvenate you!
Enjoy your favorite sports without worrying about injuries and cramps. Contact us today!