Hiking: Hit the Trails, Skip the Stumbles


Hiking is a wonderful way to connect with nature, get exercise, and explore new environments. However, uneven terrain, coupled with increased weight on your feet and long-distance trekking, can lead to foot and ankle problems that are both stubborn and painful.

Your Next Step doesn’t want typical stumbles to get in your way when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of common hiking injuries and added a few ways an expert podiatrist can treat them. Let’s kick things off!

Hiking Hang-ups

  • Ankle Sprains:

These are the most common hiking injuries, occurring when you twist your ankle and stretch or tear its ligaments. Podiatrists can diagnose the severity of the sprain (grade 1-3) and provide bracing or physical therapy. For severe sprains, we might utilize technologies like ultrasound to enhance healing.

  • Blisters:

Friction from ill-fitting shoes or moisture buildup can inflict painful blisters. A podiatrist can safely remove them, recommend prevention strategies (proper socks, fitting footwear), and advise on appropriate wound care to minimize infection risk.

This overuse injury causes pain in the arch of the foot and is often associated with long hikes, especially on uneven terrain. Podiatrists can offer treatment options like orthotics, night splints, stretching exercises, or more advanced treatment technologies that reduce pain and inflammation.

Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, located at the back of the heel, can be caused by repetitive stress from hiking uphill. Podiatrists can create a personalized treatment plan involving rest, ice, stretching exercises, footwear modifications, and orthotics.

  • Stress Fractures:

Tiny cracks in the bones of the foot or ankle can occur due to repetitive stress. Podiatrists can utilize X-rays to diagnose stress fractures and recommend immobilization (walking boots) or physical therapy to promote healing, preventing further damage.

Don’t let the threat of injury or complication get in the way of all that a good hike can offer you! Our expert DPMs are standing by and ready to step in.

Have you been hurting after a trek, or are you worried about any of the problems above? Get in touch! Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, and Dr. Cassandra Stache are ready to assist. Schedule your appointment and contact us today.

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