Common Hiking Injuries and How to Prevent them

With summer in full force, it’s the perfect time to lace up your hiking boots and hit your favorite trails. However, hiking injuries can occur to even the most experienced and best prepared hikers. Staying safe in the mountains is essential to prevent injuries. Here are the most common hiking injuries and how to prevent them.

Back Strain

Typically, hiking involves hauling heavy backpacks, which may lead to back pain, muscle stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion. Before planning your next hiking trip, perform strengthening exercises starting roughly 6 weeks before you begin hiking. If you plan on carrying a backpack, be sure to pack only the necessities, and place the weight of the bag between your sternum and your pelvic area. In addition, consider using walking poles to relieve the load in your lower back.

Knee Injury

Hiker’s knee is an overuse injury that results in pain around or behind the knee cap. The pain is typically increased when hiking downhill. Knee injuries can be prevented by wearing the right hiking shoes, pacing yourself, and having control over foot placement.  We recommend stretching thoroughly before your hike to warm up your joints and muscles.

Ankle Sprain

Another common injury on the hiking trial is a twisted or sprained ankle. Sprained ankles typically occur due uneven terrain and loss of balance. If this occurs, follow the R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) principles immediately.

Although hiking should be fun and relaxing, it’s important to stay alert, know the route, and watch your step. If you experience an injury during hiking, the doctors at MacKenzie SD can help by providing non-surgical and effective treatments, including spinal decompression therapy, chiropractic care, orthotics, and class IV laser therapy.  To schedule a free, no obligation consultation, contact us today at (604) 939-2201!