avoid hiking injuries

Don’t let the trail take too much of a toll on your body while hiking

by Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation, April 11, 2017

Take a hike. We don’t mean that in the “get out of town” sort of way, but literally: go find a trail and take an actual hike. The weather is getting really nice and there are few better ways to experience the great outdoors than on foot, with nothing but yourself, possibly a companion, and a good pair of hiking shoes.

Whether you want to take a multi-day trek in the Appalachians or just a short hike at a local state park, there are several precautions you should keep in mind before stepping foot on any trail. Hiking can be an unpredictable activity for a number of reasons, so it’s always best to be prepared accordingly. On certain hikes, the terrain can change multiple times within the span of a few miles, which can take a toll on your body.

This is why injuries are typically considered an unavoidable part of the hiking experience, but it doesn’t have to be the case for you. While it’s impossible to prevent all hiking injuries, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting injured. Below are some of the most common hiking injuries and what you can do to prevent them:

  • Ankle sprain: you can reduce your chances of suffering an ankle sprain by wearing appropriate boots with ankle protection, carrying a stick or stabilizer for balance, and watching your footing
  • Blisters: make sure your boots and socks fit well and keep your feet dry as much as possible to avoid blisters; if you notice a “hot spot” where a blister may begin to develop, apply a layer of moleskin or athletic tape to the area
  • Achilles tendinitis: this injury affects the Achilles tendon in the heel and can make hiking very difficult; keeping this area flexible and strong with various exercises will help prevent it
  • Low back pain: if this is a problem for you, consider adding more padding to your pack, reducing its weight or making other adjustments to its fit

For additional guidance on how to avoid hiking injuries, or for any other pain you may be dealing with, contact Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation in Washington, DC at 202-223-1737 or e-mail info@starclinic.net and schedule an appointment today. For more information on hiking injuries, click here.

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