Health Habits & Exercise - Learn to be Scoli-Strong!

The Sport of Pickleball

The Sport of Pickleball

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. The game is played on a court with the same dimensions as a doubles tennis court, and pickleball paddles are similar to oversized ping-pong paddles. Pickleball balls are similar to a wiffle ball, and the net is a few inches lower than a tennis net. Pickleball is gaining incredible popularity many urban and health-conscious areas, such as Seattle, Washington, Canada, and even the United Kingdom.

The game is played with two or four players, and the object of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent’s court. Pickleball can be played both indoors or outdoors. Players can only hit the ball once before it must go over the net, and they cannot carry or bounce the ball on their paddle. The first team to reach 11 points wins a set, and a match consists of best out of three sets. The game is growing in popularity among all age groups, but it particularly popular among seniors.


The health benefits of playing pickleball

Pickleball is a low-impact sport, which means it is easy on the joints. Playing pickleball can help improve coordination and balance, and it is also a great way to get some cardio exercise. The social aspect of pickleball is also beneficial, as it can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. It also gives many seniors, who might not otherwise get outdoors often enough, a chance to enjoy some fresh air and participate in a reasonable physical activity.


How to find the right equipment and court size

Pickleball paddles are typically made of wood, composite, or graphite. Wooden paddles are the cheapest option and they are also the heaviest. Composite paddles are a mid-priced option and they offer more power than wooden paddles. Graphite paddles are the most expensive but they provide more control and maneuverability. When choosing a paddle, it is important to consider your playing style and what you hope to get out of the game. If you want to play competitively, you will need a paddle that offers more power and control. If you just want to have fun and stay active, any paddle will do.

The size of the pickleball court is 20 feet by 44 feet for singles games and 20 feet by 64 feet for doubles games.


What types of shoes are best for pickleball?

The best pickleball shoes will have good traction to prevent slipping, good support for lateral movements, and a comfortable fit. Many tennis shoes or cross-training shoes can work well for pickleball. You may also want to consider Pickleball-specific shoes which are designed with the game's footwork in mind.



Benefits of low-impact sports like pickleball for scoliosis

Pickleball is a relatively low-impact sport, which means it places less stress on the spine than high-impact sports such as running or basketball. This can be beneficial for people with scoliosis, as it can help to reduce the risk of further curvature progression. Additionally, because pickleball requires players to move laterally across the court, it can also help strengthen the muscles that support the spine and improve posture.

How can people with scoliosis benefit from pickleball?

For a variety of reasons, pickleball may be useful for individuals with scoliosis. First, low-impact sports, such as swimming, pickleball, or biking, put less pressure on the spine than high-impact sports like running or basketball. Furthermore, since players must slide laterally across the court, pickleball helps to develop muscles that stabilize the back and improve balance and coordination. In addition, people with scoliosis often have unbalanced muscles on either side of the spine. This can lead to pain and further curvature progression. Pickleball helps correct this by developing muscles equally on both sides of the bod, thus reinforcing postural stability and endurance.


Tips for playing pickleball safely with scoliosis

Since pickleball is a relatively low-impact sport, it is generally safe for people with scoliosis to play. However, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of injury and further curvature progression:

Wear supportive shoes: Wearing shoes that offer good support and cushioning can help protect your feet, ankles, and legs from impact. Additionally, be sure to wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement.

Here are some additional quick tips:

Stretch before playing: Stretching before playing pickleball or any other sport can help prevent injuries by warming up your muscles and joints.

Pay attention to your body: If you start to feel pain during pickleball, take a break and rest. It is also important to see a doctor if your pain persists, as it could be a sign of something that requires medical attention or physical treatment.

In general, pickleball is a safe sport for people with scoliosis. However, it is always important to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.


Other exercises to help improve posture and flexibility

In addition to pickleball, there are a few other exercises that can help improve posture and flexibility. These include:

Yoga: Yoga can help lengthen and strengthen the muscles along the spine. Additionally, certain yoga poses can help decompress the spine and reduce pressure on the nerves.

Pilates: Pilates is another form of exercise that helps lengthen and strengthen the muscles along the spine. Additionally, it can also help improve balance, coordination, and posture.

ScoliSMART Activity Suit: the ScoliSMART Activity Suit (SAS) is a piece of wearable exercise equipment that is designed for people with scoliosis. Wearing the SAS while playing pickleball is a great way to participate in a fun, enjoyable activity, while at the same time stabilizing or improving your scoliosis.

Alexander Technique: The Alexander Technique is a method that helps people learn how to move in a more efficient way. It can be helpful in improving posture and easing pain associated with scoliosis.

The Egoscue Method: The Egoscue Method is a system of exercises that are designed to improve posture and alleviate pain. It can be helpful for people with scoliosis who are looking for an alternative to surgery.