Knee pain after hiking – The Katy News
Knee pain after hiking is a fairly common problem. Many hikers seek adventure, but once in a while knee pain stops them. It’s pretty terrible if you have a hike you’ve been planning for a while, only to be paralyzed with knee pain for several miles. There are many different causes of knee pain, but it’s usually due to an overload in your joint or a lack of proper equipment.
The knees are put under a lot of stress during your daily life, the simple act of climbing stairs subjects your knees to four times your body weight. When you’re carrying a fully loaded pack and climbing a mountain, it’s no surprise that joint pain is common among hikers.
There are many causes of knee pain, such as tendonitis, arthritis, and sprains, and all of them can potentially deteriorate the quality of your hike. In addition, there are several chronic diseases, which are aggravated by fatigue from hiking. Mishandling your knee injuries or failing to take precautions to protect your knees can make injuries worse over time. Therefore, you should anticipate the problem and educate yourself on the common causes of knee pain and how to stop it.
Causes of knee pain after hiking
- The iliotibial band (IT)
The IT band is the connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh. It is a sensitive and robust piece of inelastic fascia. Unfortunately, the most common challenge with the IT group is that they end up in a situation where they get shot in the knee and start rubbing the knee joint.
Since the band is inelastic, its challenges come from weak connective muscles, like the quads, glutes, and calves, or tightness challenges with the same muscles. Hence, making it one of the causes of knee pain after hiking.
Challenges with the IT group mainly stem from too much sitting. Many people spend many hours sitting, which leads to weak glutes. When you complete these challenges and then scale a mountain, quads are made to work harder than they should for the lost strength in your glute muscles. As a result, pain in the quadriceps and the IT band results, causing an improper walking gait due to the “pulling” on the knee.
Chondromalacia, commonly known as runner’s knee, is one of the causes of knee pain after hiking, caused by the lower leg twisting inward when running or walking. This can be attributed to wearing overly worn hiking shoes or weak hamstrings and quadriceps. In young hikers, chondromalacia is frequently attributed to overload or trauma.
Symptoms include grinding, and sometimes taking a few days off can ease the pain. Nevertheless, in some cases the pain is caused by misalignment of the knee, and the challenge cannot be solved by rest, so visit a knee pain clinic in Singapore.
Since the knees and hips carry most of your body weight, they are prone to injury. Every time you take a step, a force of three times your body weight is directed at your knee, and that’s on a flat surface. Bring a heavy bag, which is a huge amount of weight on your knees. The descent adds more tension, the force again being four times greater.
To fix this, walk downhill. Also try to zigzag down the hill to reduce the incline.
Sharp pain above or below the knee is a common tendonitis. It is caused by inflamed tendons, mainly due to overuse. When you detect the first sign of this condition, ice it and rest. The pain should subside within a few days, and if not, see a doctor for knee pain treatment.
What to do before your hike
There are several things you can do to prepare for a hike to reduce your chances of post-hike knee pain. Inflammation is one of the causes of knee pain after hiking, and you can fight it with a healthy diet. Several foods have unique properties that help fight inflammation, such as tomatoes and oranges, among many others.
If you’re feeling pain, you can do specific workouts to help strengthen your muscles and keep your joints flexible. When you have your leg muscles in top shape, they will support your knees better, which will naturally alleviate your knee pain while hiking. Try to focus on the quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
Also supplement your workouts with a stretching routine. It improves flexibility, recovery and muscle tone. All of this is essential to improving the health of your knees. Finally, make sure you stay hydrated as dehydrated muscles tend to cramp up quite easily.
Knee Pain Solutions
Physiotherapy may be beneficial for patients with knee pain after hiking. It can help restore normal knee functions by strengthening muscles and aiding mobility. Therefore, if you have chondromalacia, seek physiotherapists in Singapore.
- hiking sticks
Trekking poles are a viable solution to knee pain after hiking. They help soften the impact on your knees and take some of the load off. Trekking poles redistribute weight to your arms and shoulders, reducing the impact of each step.
- Lightweight hiking shoes
Lighter hiking shoes can make a huge difference in post-hike knee pain. Although hiking shoes are known for their increased support, their stiffness makes them bad for the knees; therefore, you need lightweight hiking shoes.
Surgery is an effective knee pain treatment for chronic pain or severe joint wear, knee replacement or correction. Most knee surgeries are successful, improving strength and flexibility, and reducing pain.
Taking care of your knees will ensure they carry you through the mountains for many years to come. The right equipment, approach and rest are key to maintaining healthy knees. Talk to your physical therapist or doctor if you experience sustained pain after an outdoor mountaineering adventure.