Hiking is a wonderful activity for exploring nature and getting regular physical exercise. However, it is a strenuous workout that can put stress on your body, especially your feet and heels. When heel pain strikes, it can make it difficult to enjoy your hobby.
How to Treat Heel Pain
According to the podiatry office of Genesee Valley Podiatry - Dr. John R. Hunter, D.P.M., M.S. in Rochester, NY, the best thing you can do for your heel pain is give your feet time to recover. An effective method that should be put into place as soon as heel pain as noticed is RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).
This method is effective for dealing with plantar fasciitis (a straining of the ligament that supports your foot arch), which is the most common cause of heel pain. You should take a few days off from hiking or any other rigorous activities. Ice your foot and heel twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes and after stretching your feet and lower legs. Use a compression tape or heel wrap if you notice any swelling, and keep your foot elevated above your heart to improve circulation.
How to Prevent Heel Pain
If you want to avoid developing heel pain during or after your hike, there are precautions you can take to improve support and lessen the strain on your feet. Here are a few this foot specialist recommends:
- Perform Daily Stretches: The worst thing you can do is go for a hike with tight tissues and weak supportive muscles. Avoid strains by performing daily foot and leg stretches. This will improve how your ligaments and muscles absorb pressure.
- Carry a Lighter Pack: How much you carry on your back is going to be felt in your feet. While you should definitely pack to be prepared, try to avoid carrying as many non-essentials as possible to lessen your load.
- Purchase the Best Hiking Boots: If you don’t know the differences among hiking boots, you should meet with someone who understands proper shoe support and which will conform best to your specific foot type.
To protect your feet and prevent future heel pain, contact the foot specialist at Genesee Valley Podiatry - Dr. John R. Hunter, D.P.M., M.S. today. To schedule an appointment with this podiatry office, call (585) 586-6100. You can also learn more about their services by visiting their website.