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Why Add a Pickleball Program to your Physical Therapy Practice?

Pickleball is blowing up in popularity. The APTA recently published an article on the topic and large national fitness clubs are adding pickleball courts faster than tennis or other sport courts.

Physical therapists who seek to work with this growing community of athletes may benefit from jumping on this trend now.

Start a pickleball program in physical therapy

Cash Pay Pickleball Program

Adding a pickleball program can be a great way to grow your physical therapy practice’s cash pay services.

Pickleball programs can add a cash based services, increase your community exposure, grow your website traffic, and open the door for you to start selling informational products.

Cash Pay Physical Therapy and Medicare Beneficiaries

CMS Medicare clearly indicates that sports and recreational services at not covered services under the Medicare benefit policy guidelines.

* See screenshot below from LCD L34049 from CGS Administrators, LLC

Medicare Does Not Pay for a Pickleball Program

Can a Medicare Beneficiary Self-Pay for a Pickleball Program?

Yes! Pickleball is a recreational activity just like golf, tennis, etc. Just because you are a licensed physical therapist does not make your sessions a covered service under the Medicare coverage guidelines.

What if the client has pain?

Pain alone is not an indication for Medicare covered services. I frequently work with self pay Medicare beneificiary clients who may have shoulder or neck pain. They completed formal physical therapy and continue to have pain. They are able to play recreational sports despite the pain.

In this scenario, they are choosing to work with me, a licensed physical therapy because of my history in sports performance. What we are doing is not a Medicare covered benefit and therefore not subject to the federal mandatory claim submission law.

What if the client has Parkinson’s Disease?

Adults with Parkinson’s disease have been participating in programs like Rock Steady Boxing and LSVT Big for years now. 

These programs are great examples of non-Medicare covered services often delivered by licensed physical therapists and occupational therapists who are helping clients who seek to improve performance.

Pickleball Program and Community Outreach

Obsurity is one of the biggest roadblocks to clients finding and hiring qualified therapy professionals. 

If physical therapists want to meet prospective clients earlier in the discovery process a great way to do so is to create a public facing community outreach program like a pickleball training boot camp, pickleball body mobility program, or pickleball injury prevention program.

Consumers may not consider hiring a physical therapist, but they may be interested in one of these community programs and in the process of joining they might realize the need more comprehensive orthopedic or neurologic care.

Increase Physical Therapy Website Traffic

I have been creating physical therapy websites since 2003. The number one thing most physical therapy websites have in common is they get practically no traffic.

As Google and other search engine algorythms improve, physical therapists who understand the power of blog posts and answering questions people are searching for will have a massive competitive advantage in gaining organic website traffic over other physical therapy clinic websites.

If you want to learn more about growing your physical therapy website click on Physical Therapy Google Search Traffic.

Create and Sell Pickleball Program Informational Products

A huge opportunity for physical therapists interested in exploring the pickleball niche is creating and selling digital informational products.

As of today, 07/25/2022 there is only one course available on I plan to eventually create some Udemy courses for pickleball, but despite my plans there is a huge void in the market.

You could create:

  • Flexibility program for pickleball
  • Quickness program for pickleball
  • Yoga program for pickleball
  • Massage program for pickleball
  • Back pain program for pickleball
  • Shoulder pain program for pickleball
  • Carpal tunnel program for pickleball
  • and more…