The weather is getting warmer. For many of us, the great outdoors await!
Hiking is an excellent activity with many benefits: strengthens your core and lower body, lowers your risk of heart disease, controls your weight, and boosts your mood, to name a few.
But, there are things that can stop you from hiking, including pain and injuries.

What are hikers’ most common injuries?

  • Joint injuries: sprained ankles, knee sprains, and knee pain due to wear and tear

  • Muscle spasms, tension, and knots

  • Muscle strain, or a pulled muscle

  • Joint restrictions or subluxations, which is a partial dislocation within the body

What are the best treatments for treating injuries?

One of our clinic’s physicians can choose the best treatment based on the type of injury that you have. Treatments can include:

  • Acupuncture or shock wave therapy. This can reduce pain while stimulating the body’s healing process.

  • Regenerative medicine injection therapy is used to treat joint pain. Yet, also promotes and supports the regeneration of tissues, nerves, and other structures. Some options we offer are prolotherapy, PRP, Ozone and StemViVE, and StemMaxx.

  • For nerve pain and inflammation, Perineural Injection Therapy is a great treatment option.

  • If experiencing muscle tension, acupuncture or trigger point injections can help.

  • For joint restrictions, we recommend naturopathic manipulative therapy.

Prepare yourself before a hike with these recommendations

  • Stretch and pre-condition. Prepare your muscles and joints for the hiking season with aerobic exercises. A walk, jog, elliptical, or stair climbing are great choices.

  • Practice your balance. Yoga, standing on one foot, and using equipment like a balance pad or Bosu ball can challenge your balance.

  • Naturopathic manipulative therapy (adjustment), before or after exercise can help. This aligns the bones and joints of the body and optimizes nerve function.

  • Consider a hiking pole. This can help prevent falls by giving you 3-4 points of contact instead of just your feet. They relieve wear on the knees, especially while descending. Hiking poles can also limit the extent of an ankle sprain because the pole can take some of the weight off of the ankle.

  • Wear a brace to prevent reinjuring the joint, such as an ankle brace. If you have an area that you’ve had pain on in the past, you can target that area before hiking. Foam rolling the IT band (Iliotibial Band) relieves tension on the outside of the knee.

  • Pick an appropriate hike. WTA.org has many details on round trip distance and elevation gain of Washington Hikes. If you’re not sure what you can handle, start with easier hikes in the spring. Increase the challenge as the hiking season goes on. Remember: there’s often snow above 4,000 feet well into June in the Cascades even when it’s warm and sunny in the lowlands.
  • Wear appropriate shoes. Hiking-specific shoes and boots are ideal. Many hikers prefer the security of wearing a hiking boot to protect the ankle. Break in your shoes around town before you spend a long day on the trail to avoid blisters.

To get the best treatment for managing your pain and injuries before your hike, call us to schedule an appointment, (425) 361-7945