How Physiotherapy Can Keep Your Body Prepared for Hiking & Adventure

Group hiking through hills and forest

Photo Credit: Chiro via website

Hiking can be one of the greatest ways to explore during your adventures in new areas, whether it be through forests, trails, or mountains. Hiking is a great source of exercise and a great way to embrace the natural outdoors and clear one’s mind. While many trails for hiking are made to allow for anyone to enjoy, regardless of age or fitness levels, the risk of injury is always possible without proper preparation, especially in more advanced hiking areas.

While injuries sustained from hiking are usually minor and less severe than other physical activities such as sports injuries, injuring yourself on a hike can still become troublesome. This is especially true if you are far away from the beginning or end of the trail, as walking back may be difficult to do depending on the nature of your injury.

Main Injuries Related to Hiking

Common injuries from hiking can include:

  • Twisted ankle
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Pain and inflammation of the femoropatellar joint
  • Spinal sprain
  • Gluteal tendinopathy
  • Sprains and pains within the hip
  • Pinched neck, as well as sprains and pains
  • Tendonitis in the shoulder and elbow

Injuries related to hiking may result in a misstep, slip, or fall or can occur in the following days from improperly overworking the muscles.

When to See a Healthcare Professional

After a lengthy exercise of any kind, it is common to feel muscle fatigue, especially during a heavy cardio activity like hiking. However, if you feel any sort of pain or discomfort during or after your hike, take care and monitor the symptoms.

  • Signs you may need to consult a specialist are:
  • Being unable to put pressure or stand on an ankle
  • Pain in the Achilles tendon
  • You feel stiff anywhere longer than a day or two
  • You feel abnormally tired during or following your hike
  • Intense pain or discomfort anywhere on the body

Even if you are not experiencing any of the above, seeing a physiotherapist can help you perform better on your travels, keeping you limber before your hike, as well as relaxing and stretching the muscles following it. Seeking physio in Vancouver will also allow you to have your muscle flexibility and mobility analyzed and be advised if your muscles are in optimal shape for future travel, adventure, and hikes.

It is recommended you see a physiotherapist if any of the following apply to you:

  • You aim to achieve a goal such as a lengthy hike, marathon, athletic activity, and travelling involving lots of walking.
  • Wish to lower your risks of pain and soreness during hiking and other physical activities
  • You have experienced a new injury such as a strain or have residual muscle pain from a prior injury.
  • You simply wish to remain in peak physical condition.

Depending on your reasons for seeing a physiotherapist, some of the treatments may be recommended to you, such as massage therapy, osteopathy, kinesiology, seeing a nutritionist, and more.

More specific physiotherapy treatments may be offered, as well as massage therapy, occupational therapy, osteopathy, kinesiology, or nutrition sessions.