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News & Events Let’s Take a Hike

Let’s Take a Hike

As fall leaves turn and the weather changes, many people like to get out and explore nature.  Walking and hiking in nature can be an enjoyable activity done alone or with friends; to disconnect or reconnect.  Whatever your hiking preferences are, there are musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health benefits.  As discussed in this column previously, any new activity should be approached with proper warm up and gradual increase in intensity.  Just as easy it is to put on a pair of shoes and take a hike, improper warm up and lack of endurance can easily lead to pain or injury. 

Around Southern California many people enjoy the hikes in our state parks and mountain ranges.  These hikes offer great views while also challenging us with steep inclines and elevation changes.  Hiking is generally considered a low impact activity.  The benefit of this is that you can achieve a heart rate in the fat burning and aerobic zones without the high impact stress across your joints.  High impact activities such as running or jumping, put extra stress across your lower extremity joints and may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with underlying joint pain or arthritis.  Another benefit of hiking is that it is easy to do with minimal equipment required.  We recommend a hiking boot with a proper fit, comfort, and arch support that will allow for natural foot and ankle movement.  

Common foot and ankle conditions related to excessive hiking, or hiking above an intensity level suited for you, can be plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and ankle sprains.  Knee and hip pain can also occur.  Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a tough band of connective tissue at the bottom of the foot.  Pain is due to inflammation or partial tearing of the fascia at its attachment to the heel bone, or calcaneus.  Pain is centered at the bottom of the foot at the heel and can be worse at the beginning of the day.  Achilles tendonitis is pain at the back of the heel and is typically worse towards the end of the day and with pushing off phase of walking.   Treatment for these conditions includes stretching of the foot and ankle prior to hiking , proper warm up, and gradual increase in the length and intensity of the hikes. 

Please get out and enjoy the season!  If joint pains limit you from enjoying life, or if you have further questions about these conditions, please reach out to us at Glendale Orthopedics for a consultation. 

Schedule Your Appointment with Glendale Orthopedics

Please get out and enjoy the season!  If joint pains limit you from enjoying life, or if you have further questions about these conditions, please reach out to us at Glendale Orthopedics at 818-547-0608 and schedule your appointment today!

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