Pre-Season Paddle Injury Prevention

In another month or so the temps will cool down and paddle warriors of all shapes and sizes will embark on the fun and competition of the great sport of paddle tennis. Because of the type of surface, the starting and stopping, and the colder temperatures, it’s often challenging to make it through the season without injury

Below are 10 tips and exercises to keep the paddle fun and pain free.

  1. Knee to Chest: Lie on your back and pull each knee to your chest 10 times holding for 3 seconds.  Prevents Back Injury.
  2. Forearm Massage: 30 seconds.  Take a sports cream or massage oil and massage, with your thumbs, deep into the forearm muscles.  Prevents Paddle Elbow.
  3. Shoulder Windmill: Do full 360°circles with your shoulder 10 times in both forward and reverse directions.  Prevents Rotator Cuff Injury.
  4. Heel to Buttock Stretch: In a standing position, reach back, grab your ankle and pull your heel to your buttock for 30 seconds.  Great for Preventing Knee Injuries.
  5. Golf Ball Roll: Sit in a chair. Place a golf ball on the floor and roll the ball under your bare or socked feet for 30 seconds. Prevents Plantar Fascitis and Foot Injuries.
  6. Drink Plenty of Water: Dehydration is a real contributor to muscle and joint injury.  As the weather gets colder, try drinking the H2O at close to room temp.
  7. Watch out for Cholesterol Lowering Medications: I am amazed at how many people (particularly men) take these drugs.  A recent study showed the ideal total cholesterol level to be 212, yet most people over 200 are recommended statins to lower cholesterol.  These drugs interfere with muscle metabolism and in  our practice, we see a correlation between these medications and muscle and joint injuries.
  8. Weight Control: This one’s a no-brainer. Do whatever you need to do to get to your ideal weight and stay there.
  9. Use NATURAL Anti-Inflammatory Supplements: It is well known that Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Tylenol and the rest cause strain on the liver and kidneys and actually inhibit healing over time.  Try natural anti-inflammatories like Fish Oil, Boswellia, Curcumin and Bromelain.
  10. STRESS MANAGEMENT: Have fun, live elegantly but simply, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Be kind and care about people.  Your body will love you for it.

By Dr. Nicholas S. Bogannam