How Can I Prevent Foot Pain When Hiking?

How Can I Prevent Foot Pain When Hiking?

Posted 4 Dec '23

Our podiatry team loves hiking. It’s fun, you get to explore new places and see new views, it’s a fantastic social activity with friends, it’s great exercise - yep, hiking really does offer a range of physical and mental health benefits. So when you’ve planned a hike, it can be very disheartening to have foot or leg pain disrupt it or end your hike early. And worse yet, if the pain is bad enough to then leech into the following days and weeks at home and work. 

Hiking Places Notable Stress On Your Feet And Legs

The first thing to be mindful of is that regardless of how much preparation and care you take when it comes to your feet and legs when hiking, your lower limbs will be under significant strain. Just think about the nature of hiking and its uneven trails, rocky paths, and ascents and descents of varying gradients. Next, hiking is also a very repetitive activity, filled with constant flexion and extension of the ankles, knees, and hips that ultimately contribute to muscle fatigue and joint strain. The uphill climbs require a fair amount of work on behalf of your calf muscles, quadriceps, and glutes, demanding both strength and endurance. Conversely, downhill descents shift the focus to eccentric muscle contractions, particularly in the quadriceps, to control the body's descent and absorb the impact on the joints.


The variability of the terrain adds another layer of complexity to the demands of hiking. Uneven surfaces, such as rocks, roots, and gravel, require constant adjustments in foot placement to maintain stability. This dynamic nature of the trail constantly engages your stabilising muscles throughout the feet and ankles, promoting proprioception and balance. Furthermore, extended periods of weight-bearing, especially if you’re carrying a backpack, increase the overall load on the lower limbs, contributing to fatigue and the potential for overuse injuries. Simply put: while hiking is fun, it’s no easy feat on the body, and the right care must be taken.

Prevention Common Hiking Injuries

As podiatrists, we see and treat a fair range of injuries that have resulted from hiking. Among these, the most common are:

Don’t Forget: Other Hiking Pain Prevention Tips

To help reduce your risk of foot or leg pain during hiking this summer, we also recommend:

Experiencing Hiking Foot Pain? Your Podiatrist Can Help

Our podiatrists work very closely with hikers, both in managing hiking related injuries and previous injuries that tend to flare up as we do more hiking over the summer and autumn seasons. During an appointment, we’ll complete a thorough examination that involves a video gait analysis to understand exactly what is going on with your feet and legs, and importantly, why it has occurred. We’ll explain all of this to you, showing you exactly what we’re seeing on your video analysis, and describe your treatment options to help you not only recover fully, but also reduce your likelihood of your injury recurring in the future.


Here at The Feet People, we have a wide range of treatment option available to help you get the best results for your recovery, including:


Book your appointment with our podiatry team
online here or call us on 1300 993 338.

Related News


What Should I Do For Swollen Feet And Ankles During Pregnancy?
  

What Should I Do For Swollen Feet And Ankles During Pregnancy?

Read More
Why Does My Heel Pain Keep Coming Back?
  

Why Does My Heel Pain Keep Coming Back?

Read More
How To Help Your Parents Care For Their Feet As They Age
  

How To Help Your Parents Care For Their Feet As They Age

Read More

CBD

Monday 7:30am - 6:30pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 6:30pm
Thursday
7:30am - 6:00pm
Friday CLOSED
Saturday CLOSED
Sunday CLOSED


Ground Floor, 344 Queen Street,
Brisbane City QLD 4000


VIEW THIS CLINIC VIEW THIS CLINIC

Newmarket

Monday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Thursday
7:30am - 6:30pm
Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday 7:30am - 4:30pm
Sunday CLOSED


Newmarket Village, 114/400 Newmarket Rd, Newmarket QLD 4051


VIEW THIS CLINIC VIEW THIS CLINIC