4 Common Table Tennis Injuries and How to Avoid Them

One might not think that table tennis can be a dangerous game. After all, it’s not like it’s a contact sport, right? Well, it may not be a contact sport, but with any type of sport, there is always a risk of injury, and there is no exception when it comes to table tennis. Yes, it is a lot less dangerous than other sports, but there are still a few injuries you can get while playing the game. 

In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common table tennis injuries, how to treat them, and how to avoid them in the first place. Let’s get started.

Muscle strains

It is easy to strain or pull a muscle while playing table tennis. In fact, pulled muscles are among the most common injuries you can get while playing. One of the main causes of muscle strains while playing the game is from making sudden movements in various directions. Also, your muscles are going to get tired, especially in the beginning when you are still getting used to this type of physical activity.

It is a good idea not to play too much in the beginning until your body is used to the various movements. You can injure just about any muscle playing table tennis, including the shoulders, neck, back, arms, hands, and hamstrings. 

To avoid muscle strain, it is recommended that players warm-up for a minimum of 10 minutes prior to playing. This is going to help get rid of any stiffness in the muscles, and help them to relax so they aren’t strained during play. It will also improve blood flow, and make the muscles warmer so you have better movement.

To treat this type of muscle strain, most medical professionals advise that you use ice and heat packs alternately, and take anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. If the strain is serious, it is advisable to see your physician.

Calf injuries

You can easily strain or even tear the calf muscles while playing table tennis and other fast-paced games. If you feel tightness in your calves while playing, this means that you are straining these muscles, and it is important to give them a break so as to not further strain them. The main cause of calf muscles injuries in sports is fatigue. The less rest your body gets, and the more you use the muscles, the more likely you will be to have calf muscle strains. Even standing for long periods of time can lead to this type of injury.

One of the best ways to avoid straining the calf muscles is, as already mentioned, rest. In most cases, this is likely all you will need. If you do feel like you have strained your calf muscles while playing, make sure that you let those muscles rest for a day or two before playing again. If your muscles are rested and relaxed prior to playing you will be less likely to injure them.

Treating this type of injury is relatively easy. Unless you are in extreme pain, treatment mainly involves rest. If you are in a lot of pain, and that pain persists for several days, you should consult your physician. It may be that you will need some physiotherapy to help the muscle heal.

Knee injuries

Most people might not think that they could get knee injuries from playing table tennis, but they would be wrong. In fact, because you have to move quickly from left to right, you could end up twisting your knees, which can lead to torn ligaments and tendons. In severe cases, it can even cause a mild fracture of the knee. This is one of the more serious table tennis injuries, as well as one of the most common. 

The more into the game you are, the better your chances are of getting such an injury if you aren’t careful, and it can take a long time to heal, especially if you end up needing surgery.

One way to avoid this type of injury is to wear a knee strap or wrap while playing. It is even better if you wear a brace that has a hole in the center, which helps to protect the patella and keep it in place. Keeping yourself in good physical condition is another way to avoid this type of injury while playing table tennis. The better shape you are in, the less likely you will be to end up with this and other joint injuries, whether you are playing table tennis or any other type of sport.

If you do receive a knee injury while playing table tennis, it is important to seek treatment from your physician. It may be serious enough to warrant surgery. It is also vital that you get plenty of rest and make sure that you are not overusing the knee joint. You may even need physiotherapy for long-term treatment of this type of injury. Head over here for further reading on treating a knee injury.

Shoulder injuries

You are using your arms a lot while playing table tennis, so it only makes sense that there is the chance of ending up with a shoulder injury. This is actually quite common, especially in the shoulder of the arm that holds the paddle. 

Some of the shoulder injuries table tennis players have experienced include muscle pain, shoulder dislocation, and tearing of tendons and ligaments in the ball and socket joint. Your shoulders are in constant motion while you are playing, and this excessive movement can lead to injuries if you are not careful.

The best way to avoid shoulder injuries while playing table tennis is to not overstrain those muscles. Make sure that you are keeping your posture, and that you are properly balanced while playing. Keeping the shoulders in the proper position is going to help prevent this type of injury from happening.

If you do end up with a shoulder injury, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If you experience pain after playing that lasts for more than 24 hours, talk to your physician. You may have to see an orthopedic specialist for treatment of this type of injury. If it is not serious, the recommended treatment will include alternating cold and heat packs, as well as resting the injured area.


Playing table tennis casually isn’t likely going to lead to many injuries but if you begin to take it more seriously it can be surprisingly physical. The injuries outline above aren’t the most likely but if you’re not used to stretching and the fast-paced nature of the game you’re more likely to fall or overextend yourself. We always recommend you should warm up before playing a game to prevent strains and injuries and be at the top of your game.

Eugene (Gene) Sandoval has been one of those guys who spent too many hours around ping pong tables in high school. However, soon enough, Gene understood that there is more to ping pong than having fun. That is how he started a journey that made Eugene one of the experienced semi-professional ping pong players in the United States. As the founder of the PingPongRuler, Eugene spends most of his time surrounded by ping pong tables and research. He always has this knack for coming up with new ping pong strategies and telling the good and bad equipment apart.