Most Common Bowling Injuries and How to Prevent Them?

bowling injuries..Any game or sport can result in injuries. That does not mean you were careless or irresponsible while playing. But maybe practicing caution a tad bit more might have saved you from all those bumps and bruises.

Whatever the reason may have been, no bowler will want to injure him or herself in the middle of an intense bowling round. But crap happens and we end up with black and blue bruises on our legs and palms. 

In fact, hurting your fingers with bowling balls is quite common. Some of the injuries associated with bowling are names you probably did not even imagine to be caused by such an incredible game. After all, who knew bowling could cause Carpal Tunnels, right? If you are worried about wrist injuries while bowling, 

For those who are still confused about what we are blabbering on about and still could not grip the idea of bowling causing carpal tunnel (shocking, we know), we are going to list some of the most common injuries caused by bowling. 

Most Common form of Bowling Injuries 

  1. Wrist Injuries
  2. Thumb Injuries
  3. Back Injuries
  4. Shoulder Injuries
  5. Elbow Injuries
  6. Foot Injuries

Most of the “issues” that arise due to bowling occasionally cannot be really termed as injuries. However, they still do hurt a lot and are no less annoying than more severe injuries, which happen due to bowling for a long time (we mean weeks to months to years here!). But it doesn’t mean that severe injuries are not likely to have happened in bowling. Now let’s see the details of which types of bowling injuries can hurt you.

1. Wrist Injuries: 

The wrist is a delicate hinge joint that forms different vital tissues. The wrist consists of distant bones of the forearm. Acute or chronic wrist injuries can make a significant impact on an individual’s life. Repetitive Bowling activities and wrist injuries can be interlinked with each other. The two most common wrist injuries are described below. 

i. Wrist Tendonitis.   

The most common wrist injury is called Wrist Tendonitis. It affects individuals who are involved in repetitive bowling activities. These activities create a lot of pressure and stress on the wrist and other parts of the body such as the elbow, shoulder, joints, knee, hip and back.

The risk factor is high for senior people aged more than 50 years. Because their physical strength is much weaker. The bowling wrist injury also affects people who have a medical issue.

ii. Carpal Tunnel

Bowlers can develop carpal tunnel due to bowling for a long time. Frequently throwing a heavy bowling ball can easily strain the muscles on your forearms. 

For those who are unclear about what carpal tunnel really is, this injury strains the muscles on your forearms so severely that they start to tingle and burn whenever you use your hands to do any basic routine. 

This means you will feel a tight pull on your forearms and fingers, even if you have just to pick up a mug of coffee. The pain can linger around for a long time unless you immediately put an ice pack on the inflamed area(s). However, that is only a temporary respite, as you will still need to visit a doctor in order to help you cope with the inflammation on a day to day basis. 

How to Prevent Wrist Injuries while bowling?

You need to do warm-up stretches for your wrist and arm before starting your bowling. If you want to know how to do warm-up stretches, just click here. You will find your answer. It is for a short period. It will slowly relieve your wrist and hand muscles.

If you want to be on the super-safe side, you should use wrist protective tools. Kool Kontrol Bowling Wrist Positioner is the best one to protect your wrist while bowling. 

2. Thumb Injuries: 

Dealing with the bowler’s thumb can be really painful as it occurs when the ulnar nerve inside your thumb is feeling too much pressure on it. This happens when a bowler holds a bowling ball way too tightly than necessary.

Amateurs are more prone to this thumb injury as they still need the time to figure out exactly which bowling ball is perfect for them. This process usually takes longer to get over if the first timer has no prior knowledge regarding the basic factors of bowling as a game and the various gears associated with it. 

Hence, they keep on putting more pressure on the thumb as they gain more experience. Occasional amateur bowlers do not really suffer from this injury as they do not play regularly. However, they can still develop it overtime unless they catch on quickly with the bowling techniques. 

Fingers stuck inside the bowling ball

One of the most common but silly bowling injuries is in-fact getting your fingers stuck inside the bowling ball. We know sharing this to a friend who does not bowl can arise a few chuckles here and there, topped off with a disapproving eye-roll (can they not?), but dealing with your fingers stuck inside a bowling ball can hurt real bad. 

But other than the usual stuck-thumb injuries, there are some pretty intense ones that actually require medical attention. And believe it or not, they are pretty common in most experienced players.

How can thumb injuries be protected while bowling?

Just stop overusing of putting your thumb in the bowling ball. I mean, don’t play excessively with a conventional grip. Use both hands at regular intervals of bowling. 

If you don’t sacrifice your bowling technique for not a single game and want to be a super-safe side, then use thumb protector tools. Bowling thumb sock is enough to protect your thumb. It also prevents and protects your thumb from blisters and calluses. 

3. Back Injuries: 

Bowling is more than a physical game. Bowling creates pressure in your back when you lift and throw the ball. Improper technique and heavy ball lifting could cause you a severe back injury. Lower back pain is the most common pattern of back pain injuries for bowling. 

How to prevent back pain while bowling

If you want to prevent back pain, don’t lift a heavy bowling ball. In fact, lifting any heavy object can cause you a severe back injury. A lightweight ball is the best choice for those who have back pain.

How can you measure bowling ball weight as a lightweight bowling ball for you? The general rule of measuring bowling ball weight is 1 pound per every 10 pounds of body weight plus 1. Suppose if your weight is 100 pounds, you will choose 11-12 pound bowling ball. It is the standard weight. If you choose a bowling ball of less than 11 pounds, the ball will be lightweight for you.

 Use proper technique to throw your bowling ball. If you are a beginner, you have to learn this technique to avoid back injuries.

 If you already have back pain issues, just consult with your doctor before playing. If your doctor suggests you to use a support belt to relieve lower back pain, you can use this Iron Bull Strength Medi-Back Brace to give you instant relief.

4. Shoulder Injuries:

Shoulder injuries are one of the most common injuries for bowlers. The most common pattern of shoulder injuries is Shoulder Tendonitis.Since bowling involves a high amount of arm movement, this activity is most at risk for shoulder injuries.

Your arm and shoulder move together repeatedly while you are bowling. If your bowling techniques are improper, this injury may have occurred. 

 How to prevent shoulder injuries while bowling

To avoid shoulder injuries, you must stretch up your shoulder and other parts of the body for a short period before starting your bowling. 

 If you want the best shoulder protective tools, Vive Shoulder Brace is the best choice to prevent injuries while bowling. 

5. Bowler’s Elbow Injuries: 

You have heard about tennis elbow injuries or golf elbow injuries. But how about bowler’s elbow injuries?

Elbow injuries refer to inflammation of the tendons in your arms. It can cause pain in your elbow or forearm. The repetitive movement of your wrist is mostly responsible for this while bowling. 

How to prevent elbow injuries?

We already talked about pro arm exercise. Stretch up and down your hand before starting your bowling. It is most important to fit your hand as well as your body.  

 If you want more protection for your elbow, I personally recommend you to use Pro Band Sports Bandit Arm Band. It is the best brand in the market.

6. Foot Injuries: 

Foot injuries are most likely to back injuries. It causes a lot of pain in your feet. Injuries can be caused due to the wrong slide and twist. Improper placement of feet can also cause you a severe injury such as strain and sprain in the ankle. It even leads you to a more dangerous stage of injuries like stress fractures.  

Many players tend to buy an expensive ball, but they are looking for inexpensive shoes. Poor quality shoes can not provide you proper and safe sliding in bowling. Besides that, house bowling shoes do not fit you. Foot injuries can also cause for not having proper sliding shoes.

 How to prevent foot injuries while bowling?

Bowling shoes are the overlooked piece most of the time. But do you know proper sliding shoes can save you from foot injuries most of the time? If you don’t have quality sliding shoes I recommend you to buy this one which is currently best in the market. Only proper and consistent slides can help you to keep your balance. 

Another tip to avoid foot injuries is by applying the proper footwork technique. For a newbie, it is very important to learn about proper footwork while bowling. You have to know how to keep a proper balance between the left foot and right foot. Without knowing the proper footwork technique, no shoes can save you from injuries. 

4 protective tools you must have to prevent bowling injuries

To sum it up, we can say that you can look at these protective gear to save you from possible bowling injuries.

Wrist Injury Protective Tools Kool Kontrol Bowling Wrist Positioner (X-Large,...
3,536 Reviews Kool Kontrol Bowling Wrist Positioner (X-Large,...
  • Unique fabric construction improves comfort by allowing perspiration to easily evaporate
  • Proven classic styling provides exceptional support and outstanding results, keeping your wrist in the proper position...
  • Removable Metal supports in both the front and back are designed to provide comfort and support while placing the wrist...
  • Three velcro straps provide a secure and comfortable fit
  • When using a wrist device like the Kool Kontrol it is completely normal for it to feel very 'wrong" when you first put...

Thumb Injuries Protective Tools

Bowling Thumb Sock BTS (Blue)
  • A MUST HAVE - for bowlers who want a FAST, SMOOTH, CONSISTANT release out of the bowling ball adding ADDITIONAL REVS...
  • PERFECT FOR - men, women and kid bowlers who have calluses, dry/cracking skin, oily skin or any other thumb issue that...
  • NEVER BUY BOWLING TAPE AGAIN – our durable, reusable 2 pack will last and last and ultimately be a cost saver versus...
  • THE IDEAL FIT - made from a 4 way STRETCH sports Lycra material that expands to fit most thumbs and will not come off...
  • FUN – Comes in multiple cool colors

Back Injuries Relief Tools

No products found.

Elbow Injuries Protective Tools

BandIT Therapeutic Forearm Band
  • ELBOW & FOREARM RELIEF: BandIT stimulates the body’s natural healing process by increasing blood flow and oxygen,...
  • REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN: Doctor Invented, the BandIT utilizes Anatomically Focused Dynamic Compression to turn the natural...
  • SIMPLE APPLICATION: Simply stretch your arm out with your hand in a fist, tighten the adjustable strap with the fitted...
  • EFFECTIVE PAIN RELIEF: BandIT is a superior aid for tennis, golf, weightlifting, bowling, racquetball and activities...
  • PROBAND: Our revolutionary products are considered by industry leaders as superior aides to previously existing...

Some common tips to avoid bowling injuries

On the bright side, with some caution and mindfulness, you can easily prevent bowling injuries. You will not have to go out of your way to ensure that you stay safe and sound from various bowling injuries. In fact, most of the stuff you really can and should do are stuff you probably have been doing all the time (or at least sometimes).

Pre Bowling Warm-Up

As I said mentioned already, always try to warm yourself up before you pick that bowling ball up and start your round. For this, all you really need to do is stretch your arms and legs a little bit so that they are not too stiff. Flexible limbs will drastically reduce the chances of becoming prone to external injuries when bowling. 

Pick up in the right way

Another great way to prevent bowling injuries is to always, ALWAYS pick the bowling ball up with both of your hands, after you crouch a little. Bowling balls are heavy, and depending on your own weight, they can even be SUPER heavy for you. 

Picking up the ball with both hands after crouching to your knees will save your back from muscle pulls. This is a very important prevention method to keep in mind, especially if you already have back problems. 

Next, never ever keep your hands on the bowling ball rack. We repeat, NEVER do so. It is really easy to seriously hurt your fingers and the back of your hand if you leave your hand lying on the bowling ball rack as another ball may crash into your limb. Yikes!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do shoulders hurt after bowling?

Bowling involves repetitive movement of your shoulder and arm. Improper bowling technique or heavy bowling ball lifting can hurt your shoulder

2. Can Bowling hurt on your back?

Yes, Bowling can can hurt your back especially for seniors or who have medical issues. So you should consult with your doctor whether you are fit or not for bowling.

3. Can you get sore from bowling?

Yes, You can get sore from bowling. But don’t worries, most of the bowling injuries are not severe. You will be cured after few days without any consultation with doctor. But If you are not cured within few days, you have to consult with your doctor.

4. Is bowling dangerous?

Absolutely not. In fact, Bowling is very good exercise. But Kids and seniors have to be a little bit careful to be on the safe side.

5. Can bowling cause arm pain?

The repetitive movement of arm while bowling can cause pain in your arm. Most of the time the pain is not severe.

6. Why do forearms hurt after bowling?

If you throw heavy bowling ball frequently, it causes inflammation of the tendons of your forearm. As a result of this inflammation your forearms hurt.


Sometimes, bowling injuries are not even due to falling or slipping. They may start to rise up into visibility due to prolonged usage of bowling balls. Yup, bowling balls can in fact hurt you in ways other than just landing on your feet. Ouch!

Practice proper caution and common sense whenever playing any kind of sport or game. Not only will it keep you safe, but it will also allow you to experience a memorable time without bringing up casualties.

We hope reading this article made you a little more aware of what could go wrong the next time you head out to your favorite bowling alley. Thanks for reading till the end!


Last update on 2024-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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