Best Pickleball Paddle For Tennis Elbow

Imagine this: you’re at the peak of your pickleball career, nailing those fantastic shots and winning rallies with ease. Life on the court couldn’t be better until that persistent pain in your elbow sends you straight to the doctor’s office.

The verdict? Tennis elbow. But wait – you’re a pickleball enthusiast! In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the best pickleball paddle for tennis elbow, ensuring you’re back on the court, pain-free, and better than ever.

Let’s clear before moving to the best pickleball paddle for tendonitis – tennis elbow and pickleball elbow or golfer’s elbow are two sides of the same coin. We’ll explain how these conditions are essentially identical and why seeking professional help early on is crucial.

Tennis Elbow Vs Golfer’s Elbow

Tennis Elbow Vs Golfer's Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, is a condition that primarily affects the outer part of the elbow. It occurs when the tendons that connect the forearm muscles to the outer bone of the elbow become damaged or inflamed due to repetitive motions and overuse. Despite its name, tennis elbow can affect anyone engaged in activities that require repetitive arm and wrist movements, such as tennis, golf, or even typing on a keyboard for extended periods.

Common Symptoms of Tennis Elbow:

  • Pain and tenderness on the outer part of the elbow.
  • Weakness in gripping or lifting objects.
  • Pain that worsens with gripping, lifting, or wrist movements.
  • Stiffness in the elbow.

What is Pickleball Elbow?

Pickleball elbow, also known as medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow, differs from tennis elbow in terms of its location and causes. Pickleball elbow affects the inner part of the elbow, specifically the tendons that connect to the inner bone. While it’s less common than tennis elbow, pickleball elbow can occur when the wrist and fingers are repeatedly flexed and the forearm muscles are overused.

Common Symptoms of Pickleball Elbow:

  • Pain and tenderness on the inner part of the elbow.
  • Weakness in gripping or squeezing objects.
  • Pain when lifting or bending the wrist.
  • Stiffness and discomfort in the inner elbow area.

The Two Culprits of Pickleball Elbow:

1- Previous Injury

Ever had an elbow injury before? If the answer is yes, you might be at an increased risk of developing pickleball elbow. Here’s why: When you’ve experienced an elbow injury in the past, the affected tissues may not have fully healed or regained their strength. These weakened structures are more susceptible to the repetitive stress and strain that pickleball can exert on your arm.

2- Vibration

While it might not be immediately obvious, every hit in pickleball transfers energy and vibration through your paddle and into your arm. This continuous exposure to vibration can put your elbow at risk, particularly if your paddle’s design doesn’t adequately absorb these shocks.

Four Solutions for Pickleball Elbow

If you find yourself grappling with pickleball elbow, rest assured that there are effective solutions to help you manage and alleviate the pain. Let’s explore four of them:

1. Doctor-Prescribed Medications

Discover medications that your doctor may recommend to temporarily relieve pain and inflammation associated with pickleball elbow. It’s important to note that while these medications can provide relief, they are primarily a means of managing symptoms, not a cure. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your condition.

2. Physical Therapy

Uncover the world of physical therapy and its potential to work wonders for your ailing elbow. A skilled physical therapist can assess your condition, develop a tailored rehabilitation plan, and guide you through exercises that promote healing and strength. Finding the right physical therapy center is crucial, so seek recommendations and choose a provider with experience in treating pickleball elbow.

3. Rest

Weigh the pros and cons of taking a break from pickleball. While stepping away from the court might be tough for dedicated players, it’s often a necessary step in allowing your elbow to heal. Rest gives your body the time it needs to recover and reduces the risk of further aggravating the condition.

4. Surgery

Fortunately, surgery is a rare consideration for pickleball elbow cases. However, in severe or persistent cases that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgery might be considered. Your healthcare provider will assess your condition and discuss the potential benefits and risks of surgical intervention.

Choosing The Best Pickleball Paddle for Tennis Elbow

When it comes to managing and preventing tennis elbow or pickleball elbow, your choice of paddle is very important. The right paddle can significantly reduce the stress and impact on your elbow during gameplay, allowing you to play more comfortably and with less risk of aggravating your condition.

Factors to Consider

1- Paddle Weight

Paddle weight plays a crucial role in determining how much strain your arm experiences during play. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Lightweight Paddles: These are typically easier on the elbow but may sacrifice some power. If you’re dealing with tennis elbow, a lightweight paddle can be a wise choice as it reduces the burden on your arm.
  • Mid-weight Paddles: These paddles offer a balanced combination of power and control. They’re often favored by players looking to strike a compromise between generating forceful shots and protecting their elbows.
  • Heavyweight Paddles: These paddles can provide more power but may put more strain on your arm. They are generally not recommended if you’re dealing with elbow issues.

When choosing a paddle weight, consider your playing style and the severity of your elbow condition. Many players with tennis elbow find mid-weight paddles to be the ideal solution.

2Grip Size

Grip size is another crucial aspect of paddle selection. An improperly sized grip can contribute to discomfort and exacerbate elbow issues. To find the right grip size:

  • Measure your hand size or seek advice from a professional. Grip sizes vary, so it’s important to ensure your paddle’s grip fits your hand comfortably.
  • A grip that is too small can lead to over-gripping, which may strain your forearm muscles. Conversely, a grip that is too large can make it challenging to maintain control.

A well-fitted grip can enhance your playing experience and minimize the risk of aggravating your elbow pain.

3- Paddle Length

The length of your paddle can also impact your elbow’s health. While longer paddles can provide more reach, they may also require more effort to maneuver. On the other hand, shorter paddles offer improved control but may require you to be closer to the net for certain shots.

4- Materials and Dampening Technology:

Look for paddles made from materials designed to absorb vibration and reduce shock. These features can significantly reduce the impact on your elbow.

Five Ways to Prevent Pickleball Elbow

When it comes to prevention and treatment, there’s significant overlap. Both conditions can benefit from:

  • Proper Warm-up and Stretching: A thorough warm-up and targeted stretching exercises can help prepare your muscles and tendons for the demands of the sport.
  • Equipment Considerations: Pay attention to your racket or paddle’s weight, grip size, and overall design. Choosing equipment that suits your playing style and minimizes strain on your arm is crucial.
  • Technique Improvement: Seek guidance from experienced players or coaches to refine your technique and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
  • Rest and Recovery: Allow your body time to recover between games or practice sessions. Ignoring pain and pushing through it can exacerbate the condition.
  • Strength Training: Building forearm strength through exercises can help support your tendons and reduce the risk of injury.

5 Best Pickleball Paddles for Bad Elbows

1- Baddle Echelon Midweight:

  • Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Notable Feature: Longer than average handle for two-handed backhands
  • Surface: Graphite
  • USAPA Approved: Yes
  • Grip: Anti-Slip

What Makes it Special:

The Baddle Echelon Midweight paddle stands out for its thoughtful design. With a weight of 7.7 ounces, it’s considered a midweight paddle, making it a versatile choice for a wide range of players. What makes this paddle particularly elbow-friendly is its longer-than-average handle, which accommodates those who prefer a two-handed backhand. The graphite surface offers excellent control, and the USAPA approval ensures it’s ready for tournament play. Plus, the anti-slip grip provides confidence in every shot.

2- Franklin Aspen Kern Centre:

  • Weight Range: 7.5-7.8 ounces
  • Notable Feature: Vibration Management
  • Surface: Carbon
  • USAPA Approved: Yes

What Makes it Special:

The Franklin Aspen Kern Centre paddle boasts excellent vibration management, a feature that can be a real game-changer for those dealing with tennis elbow. Weighing between 7.5 and 7.8 ounces, it’s in the midweight category, offering a balance of power and control. Its carbon surface ensures durability, and the USAPA approval makes it suitable for competitive play. This paddle is also a fantastic value buy, providing you with the tools to alleviate elbow strain without breaking the bank.

3- ProKennex Ovation Flight:

  • Weight Range: 7.3 – 7.6 ounces
  • Notable Feature: Special Vibration Control for Tennis Elbow
  • Surface: Carbon
  • USAPA Approved: Yes

What Makes it Special:

ProKennex is a name synonymous with advanced technology, and the Ovation Flight paddle lives up to that reputation. Weighing between 7.3 and 7.6 ounces, it’s one of the lightest options in our selection. What sets it apart is its special vibration control, specifically designed to address tennis elbow. If you’re looking for a lightweight paddle with a focus on elbow relief, this could be your winning choice. It also features a carbon surface and holds the USAPA’s stamp of approval.

4- Head Radical Tour:

  • Weight: 7.9 ounces
  • Notable Feature: Enhanced Vibration Dampening
  • Surface: Graphite/Carbon
  • Grip: Hydrosorb Pro
  • USAPA Approved: Yes

What Makes it Special:

The Head Radical Tour paddle takes vibration dampening seriously. Weighing 7.9 ounces, it’s a slightly heavier option but provides exceptional control. The combination of graphite and carbon in the surface ensures a balance between power and precision. The Hydrosorb Pro grip enhances comfort, and, of course, it’s approved by the USAPA for competitive play. If you’re looking for a paddle that puts your elbow health first, this one should be on your radar.

5- Wilson Juice:

  • Weight Range: 7.6 – 8.0 ounces
  • Notable Feature: Giant Sweet Spots to Reduce Off-Center Vibration
  • Surface: Fiberglass Composite
  • Grip: Cushion Aire Perforated
  • USAPA Approved: Yes

What Makes it Special:

Wilson Juice paddle offers something special for those battling tennis elbow – giant sweet spots. With a weight ranging from 7.6 to 8.0 ounces, it’s a versatile midweight option. The fiberglass composite surface ensures durability and power. The Cushion Aire Perforated grip provides comfort during long matches. What truly sets this paddle apart is its focus on reducing off-center vibration, making it an excellent choice for players concerned about elbow strain.


In the world of pickleball, your choice of paddle can make or break your game – and your elbow health. We’ve covered the ins and outs of finding the best pickleball paddle for tennis elbow, ensuring you’re back on the court, serving aces, and smashing those winners. Don’t let tennis elbow hold you back; let’s get you back to your pickleball prime!

About Joanne

Joanne Russell is a highly accomplished pickleball player, writer and blogger, Joanne shares her insights and expertise on all things pickleball. She has written for a number of publications, including Pickleball Magazine and Paddle Magazine, and she is passionate about using her platform to promote the sport and help others to discover the joy of playing pickleball.

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