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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
October 26, 2016
Category: foot care tips

That is, don’t take a hike without proper preparation. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM we’re all for enjoying the beautiful autumn weather and hitting the hiking trails but just like with any other sports or fitness activity, you need a proper program and the right gear. Here are some of the more common problems hikers face and how to head them off at the pass:

Blisters—this is one of the most frequent irritations that occur when hiking.  Your socks and shoes play a big part in preventing blisters. Be certain that the hiking boots you have chosen fit properly and if they are new, wear them around the house for several hours before heading off on a hike to make sure there are no areas where the shoes rub on your skin. Wear socks that are thick enough to provide some cushioning and consider wearing 2 layers of socks with a thinner, moisture wicking sock closest to your skin. Sweaty feet are more likely to develop blisters. Also, be sure to carry some moleskin in your daypack and apply it as soon as you feel the slightest irritation anywhere on the skin of your feet.

Heel Pain—pain in the heel (as well as in the sole or other parts of the foot) can be avoided by wearing good quality, supportive hiking shoes and also be taking breaks regularly along the trail.

Ankle Sprains—again, your shoes can play a big role in preventing this debilitating condition. Choose shoes with good ankle support, particularly if you have had ankle sprains in the past. Hikers with weak ankles should avoid trails that have lots of loose rock and uneven terrain.

Achilles Tendonitis—steep climbs can overstretch and injure the Achilles tendon but more often damage is the result of choosing a trail that is too strenuous or long for a hiker’s ability. Start with less challenging hikes and gradually build up to longer, more intense trails.

Most importantly, if you do experience foot or ankle pain or swelling after hiking don’t delay in contacting our Washington office for an appointment to have our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker check it out. Putting off seeking treatment usually results in a worse injury and longer recovery time.

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