Are you a hiking accident waiting to happen?
In his book, “Injuries in Outdoor Recreation” Gary N. Guten, MD discusses causes, understanding, prevention, and treatment of common recreational activity injuries. Maine is a summer wonderland of recreational adventure, and as such, is also a hotbed of injuries.
“A sports injury can be a prolonged, frustrating problem. Your first step is to listen to your body and then seek help.” ~Gary Guten, MD
This sounds boring unless you have an injury or fear injury. In that case, understanding healing and prevention could save your life.
Hiking is wonderful. Maine summers are beautiful and so are our mountains and trails. Most of us are fair-weather hikers and don’t hit the mountains in the winter. This makes us more of the summer warrior type. The majority of the year we are not incorporating hiking into our regimen, which makes us more vulnerable when we jump right in during the spring, summer, or fall.
Common injuries of hiking include:
Shoulder pain or strain
Plantar fasciitis, and a host of other combinations of injuries that could really ruin your summer. Summers with family and friends are precious in Maine.
Treating yourself like a professional athlete, whether you are or not, will help prevention and healing in the event that hiking does you harm.
Here’s what you do!
Warm-Up. Warming up with jumping jacks, stretching and jogging will get your blood flowing and muscles ready for action.
Don’t overdo it. You have the whole summer. Ease into the intensity.
40. For every 40 minutes of hiking, take a 3-minute break to stretch and assess your body.
Using “WD-40” is gold! These three steps will help prevent injuries while hiking. If you do manage to injure yourself, take the advice of Dr. Guten and Dr. Lou, listen to your body, and then seek help.
Dr. Lou Jacobs is a Portland, Maine based chiropractor and acupuncturist who studied for 2 years in Beijing, China before returning to the U.S. to receive his Doctor of Chiropractic degree 2002. His office has been open for nearly 18 years.