Autumn foliage is best enjoyed while hiking. Hiking, however, can often lead to injuries of the foot and ankle. Steep hills, slippery surfaces, and loose rocks can cause falls as well as stress to the muscles and tendons of the foot and ankle. Avoid problems such as heel pain, ankle sprains, and Achilles tendon injuries with these tips:
Use the right shoes:
Cross training athletic shoes don’t offer the support needed for hiking on uneven, steep, or slippery terrain. An investment in strong, well-insulated and moisture -proof hiking boots will lessen the stress on muscles and tendons and reduce the risk of injury. Look for shoes with a supportive shank: if the shoe bends in the middle, don’t buy it. Many hikers prefer high top hiking boots for more ankle support.
Easy does it:
Beginners should take on less difficult trails until they have mastered them , then move on to more difficult ones. Feet need to be in good physical condition to function properly, or else injuries may easily occur. Be sure to stretch the foot and ankle muscles, strengthen them, and do exercises to improve the sense of balance. This will improve your ability to deal with challenging terrain. Don’t attempt to take on more than your body is ready for; ease into your hiking routine before planning a long, strenuous trip. If you are injured , use the RICE protocol: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Then seek treatment at the nearest emergency facility or in our offices.