Many enjoy hiking is during the spring and summer. The air is just warm enough to make taking a dip in the pool beneath a beautiful North Carolina waterfall the perfect refreshing activity. Like any other form of physical activity, though, hiking can lead to overuse and traumatic injuries if not approached with adequate knowledge and care.
A common overuse injury that can result from hiking is called patellofemeral syndrome. Patellofemeral syndrome is a disorder that causes the kneecap to track in a painful way. Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are two painful conditions that affect the heel that can also be triggered by extensive hiking. Hiking may also aggravate arthritic conditions.
Traumatic injuries tend to occur when hiking over uneven terrain. Under these circumstances, hikers are more likely to take a tumble and fracture or sprain the ankle of wrist. Additionally, hiking over uneven terrain can put the knee at risk for sprains that can have long-term consequences.
To reduce the risk of injury, use proper form while hiking and listen to your body. Should an injury occur, do not wait to have it examined, as doing so may make lead to a more serious condition.
Note: Always discuss any new exercise program with your medical provider before beginning.