Padel is a racket sport that has been gaining great popularity and scientific interest in recent years. It could be considered to be a high-intensity intermittent sport with valuable cardiovascular and neuromuscular benefits; however, the risk of injury cannot be neglected. To date, there is still a gap of knowledge in the scientific literature on this emergent sport. Therefore, the present review aims to synthetize the current knowledge on padel game dynamics to better characterize the main risk factors, the injury rate and characteristics, and the most effective rehabilitative treatment strategies. PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and PEDro were screened up to January 2022 to identify eligible studies focusing on padel players as participants. Out of 160 records, we included 19 studies, which were focused on match analysis, anthropometric and physical training, the risk of injury, and rehabilitative interventions. The results showed that the high action velocity and the sudden changes in direction during a padel match could represent a risk factor for injuries, especially in untrained players. However, the high heterogeneity of the studies in the literature hinders our ability to draw any strong conclusions, and the results should be carefully considered. Future research should address the lack of knowledge on injury mechanisms and type to implement a tailored rehabilitation program.
Keywords: match analysis; padel; physical fitness; rehabilitation; sport injuries; sports.