Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

How to keep playing tennis and pickleball with knee arthritis

July 12, 2022

Knee arthritis remains one of the most common diagnoses in middle to older adults playing tennis and pickleball. Patients commonly experience joint stiffness, pain, and weakness leading to decreased participation in playing tennis or pickleball. Strength training and aerobic exercise remain the most powerful interventions for tennis and pickleball players. Stronger muscles help dissipate the forces placed on the symptomatic cartilage and bone during weight bearing activities as aerobic exercise helps lubricate and improve the metabolic activity around the joint surfaces. A recent review of the medical literature indicates the addition of Physical Therapy hip strengthening to knee exercises for patients with knee arthritis.

The Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy published a review of the evidence on hip strengthening for patients with knee arthritis (Neelapala et al. 2020). Authors included 5 randomized, controlled trials of over 300 patients. The reported a clear beneficial effect of hip strengthening in isolation or in combination with knee exercises on pain, function, and strength in this patient population. The concluded there was strong evidence for the inclusion of hip strengthening in Physical Therapy programs for patients with knee osteoarthritis.  

Click Here to schedule your next appointment with the experts at MEND at our Lafayette location. Mend is a physical therapy clinic with locations in Boulder and Lafayette, Colorado. At Mend our orthopedic specialists have gone through extensive training to ensure we are delivering the best possible care to our clients. For more information on tennis and racquet sports injuries and treatment options, please visit our blog and schedule a free consultation with one of our orthopedic clinical specialists.