I’m a London based Physiotherapist who drives down to Brighton for treatment sessions. Enough said!
The biggest fear for all hikers (other than Grizzly bears!) is not being able to continue to do what they love through injury. Over the years we’ve helped many walkers to continue to get out there. The conditions we’ve seen have been far ranging but usually come from similar restrictions and bio-mechanics that we look to address here.
Classically knee pain is the most common condition we see. Some people struggle uphill, most struggle with the down hill. This is not arthritis or age! This is merely due to muscle tightness affecting the sensation in the knee. The next most common condition we see are sprained ankles, usually from uneven ground. Ankle sprains do get better in time but if untreated they can cause compensatory movement patterns elsewhere which may result in longer term pain in the ankle or elsewhere, classically in the lower back.
With the right knowledge and treatment these and other conditions can easily be cured. If you are in pain already then we suggest you give us a call (01273 921831) if you’re not then we include a series of exercises here to make sure you don’t need us anytime soon. We focus on the avoiding the most common condition mentioned above but the exercise shown here will help avoid most overuse conditions.
Get Some Decent Boots
Now I would expect (and hope) that this is very obvious to anyone reading this article. A good boot with ankle support has saved many a hiker from ankle sprains. Whatever you do don’t do what seems prevalent in Japan and go hiking in stilettos! (no I couldn’t believe it either). If you’re in two minds about the terrain always go with ankle support. Modern boots are plenty comfortable enough – unless of course you’re fell running. Watch out that your grips aren’t wearing away. We’ve seen a few “I’d been meaning to get new boot for ages” injuries. Basic but worth a reminder.
These next 4 is where we start affecting the knees. All of these should be able to be performed pan free. If you get pain or discomfort doing any of these then simply leave them out. We start with the easiest first. Ideally you would do the Lumbar Extension before the rest but first time through work up to it. Each stretch would ideally be held for about a minute.