The most typical diagnosis among middle-aged and older racquet and pickleball enthusiasts is arthritis of the knee. Patients frequently report joint stiffness, soreness, and weakness, which causes them to play pickleball less regularly.

Can I play pickleball with knee arthritis? The answer will be mentioned in this post. We also introduce some effective interventions for pickleball players that continue to be strength training or aerobic activity. 

Pickleball is a popular sport to the old generation

What Is Knee Arthritis?

Knee arthritis is a condition that occurs when components in the knee joint are damaged due to many causes. Prolonged conditions can lead to erosion of joint cartilage, causing the joint to rub and make it difficult to move.

This problem reduces the ability of joint cartilage to minimize shock, making it more likely to cause pain and inflammation.

Normally, the knee joint has to carry a huge amount of weight, ensuring the body maintains balance and moves flexibly. When playing sports, your knee joints have to work harder and are under more pressure, so if you don’t pay attention, you can easily injure your knee joints.

Strains, which are frequently brought on by excessive use, are characterized as a torn tendon and muscle in the area of the knee. When rotating or switching direction, knee sprains are also typical. 

You might rotate a lot or shift directions when playing pickleball. You risk overworking or injuring your knee’s ligaments or muscles when turning too quickly due to constant strain. 

What Is Knee Arthritis
What Is Knee Arthritis

Is Pickleball Safe For Knees?

While pickleball is a less physically demanding racquet sport than others, it can be hard on the knees.

You might be curious about the potential physical effects of pickleball when you’re one of the growing numbers of players and have an interest in learning the most popular pastime in the world. 

Pickleball can still be tough on certain body regions, though. This issue is because you still must move to block shots. For instance, your body and knees may be stressed if you stop and move fast while chasing a ball.

This issue implies that playing pickleball carries the possibility of knee pain. Pickleball has the advantage that, while it can be physically taxing on the knees, the impact is not as difficult as other racket-based activities like badminton and tennis. 

For senior players, the activity can be hard for their knees, particularly if players suffer from joint arthritis and balance issues, which can cause accidents on the playing surface. 

Is Pickleball Safe For Knees
Is Pickleball Safe For Knees?

Can I Play Pickleball With Knee Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis in the knee shouldn’t stop pickling. Arthritis is not brought on by or made worse by exercise. 

The most detrimental thing you can do for arthritis is stay inactive. But pain might result from exercise, so pay attention to how your body feels. Just stop playing when the discomfort becomes unbearable.

To assist in loosening up all knees before you play, try applying a pad that’s heated. After games, using ice can help in lessening localized soreness and little swelling. 

Pickleball is still an option after surgery to replace the knee. The important thing is to make sure that your physician gives you the all-clear before you begin playing again. After the procedure, you may need to rest and heal for three months to one year until you play pickleball again.

Surgery for knee replacement is a choice, particularly if your knees are in extremely terrible shape. In the knee replacement procedure, the important bottom of your thigh bone is partially removed and replaced by an implant. The upper part is treated similarly.

What Is The Treatment For Knee Arthritis?

Nonsurgical Treatments For Knee Arthritis

A degenerative knee joint cannot be restored to its original state. Therefore, current methods to treat knee arthritis mainly focus on the following factors:

  • Pain relief
  • Slow down the progression of the disease
  • Restores mobility of the knee joint
  • Limit and prevent joint deformity
  • Improve the quality of life of patients

For patients who are overweight or even obese, losing weight will significantly reduce pressure on the knees. This benefit helps relieve unpleasant symptoms and slows down the degenerative process.

In addition, treating knee osteoarthritis by maintaining a healthy weight also helps prevent some related diseases that may arise, such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

In addition, yoga exercises are also known as a low-intensity exercise method, helping to improve mobility and posture for patients with knee osteoarthritis, especially the old. You can start your practice with yoga exercises here.

Applying some of the following alternative therapies can also help patients better control degenerative knee conditions, including:

Apply Cold Or Hot Compresses.

Cold and hot therapy can relieve knee pain caused by degeneration and does not lead to any side effects. 

However, patients should apply cold compresses to swollen and painful joints to achieve the expected effect. After the knee swelling reduces, the patient can switch to hot compresses to relieve local stiffness.

What Is The Treatment For Knee Arthritis
Hot therapy can relieve knee pain


Surrounding muscle spasm is an unavoidable condition in patients with degenerative joint disease. In this case, the patient can apply massage to relax muscles and soothe pain while stimulating blood flow to this area. However, the effectiveness of massage in treating knee osteoarthritis is only temporary.

In addition, although massage therapy is very easy to perform, it is necessary to ensure proper technique to achieve the desired effect.

Surgeries For Knee Arthritis

Knee arthroscopy is currently considered the preferred method, especially in sports medicine. 

This technique has become a popular treatment method with outstanding advantages such as minimal invasiveness, less tissue damage, same-day treatment and discharge, and quick recovery time.

Knee arthroscopy is indicated to treat subjects with damage to the knee joint, causing lasting pain, but not accepting other nonsurgical treatments. Nonsurgical treatments include applying ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.

At that time, knee arthroscopy will help doctors better examine the condition of cartilage, bones, and soft tissues inside the patient’s knee. One should note that these cases are often related to ligaments or cartilage.


Is Pickleball Hard On Arthritic Knees?

Similar to tennis, this thrilling activity has the potential to cause damage. Your knees are in danger of common injury during any action that requires you to halt briefly, turn suddenly, or change direction. Meniscus and ligament tears, as well as sprains, are frequent injuries.

Knee injuries are additionally frequent in racket-based activities. Pickleball players are prone to get them as well. These can include meniscal or ligamentous injuries and acute knee injuries.

Pickleball can be a fantastic way to get moving if you have knee arthritis. Before playing, you should consult your doctor to discuss any potential modifications that could be necessary. 

It’s also crucial to consider and adapt according to your body’s cues for pain and discomfort. You can look at some pickleball paddles specifically made for people with arthritis.

How Do You Strengthen Your Knees For Pickleball?

Besides wearing the brace, it’s crucial to warm up and stretch correctly before playing. Warming and stretching dynamically improve the range of movement while preparing one’s body for activity. 

Since warming up permits the muscle groups to begin working without putting the body through an abrupt large amount of physical activity, it lowers your chance of injury. 

Another excellent form of extending is static motion, but avoiding aching muscles after exercise is ideal. 

  • Small squats stimulate muscles in the knee joint and lubricate the kneecaps. 
  • Calf raises aid in releasing tension in your lower body.
  • Hip flexion workouts help enhance flexibility or stretch the ligaments surrounding the hip, tendons, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

In addition, as exercising aerobics assists in lubricating and enhancing the metabolic processes surrounding the joint surfaces, larger muscles help diffuse the stresses exerted on the problematic bone and cartilage in weight-bearing exercises.

Can You Wear Knee Pads In Pickleball?

Knee pads may provide the support required for the area you have targeted. The brace distributes force away from one specific place and assists the body when injured. 

This feature can prevent further damage or misuse of the affected area while allowing physically fit individuals to play through their condition. Protective equipment is necessary for those who compete on rough terrain, especially older players. Knee or pads increase circulation surrounding the joints and protect your joints and skin in the event of a fall. 

Wraps over the joints also lessen muscle motion, which results in microscopic tears in the fibers of your muscles.

Overall, simple knee pads containing padding are very effective in protecting joints and preventing accidents.


Can I play pickleball with knee arthritis? Although pickleball is usually less taxing on the knees than tennis, playing pickleball does not guarantee that conditions, including knee pain, aren’t going to arise. 

Enjoy this essay on keeping healthy and strong knees when playing pickleball. We aim to help everyone continue on the playing field and prevent ailments like knee soreness. 

>>See more: Can I Play Pickleball After Cataract Surgery?