By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 13, 2017
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Autumn is a beautiful time of the year and draws many people out onto our state’s hiking trails. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, however, we often see patients after hikes with injuries and foot conditions that are a result of what should have been an enjoyable afternoon of fitness and fun. In many instances, the problem could have been avoided. To promote hiking without pain, we would like to offer the following do’s and don’ts:

Do: choose a hiking trail that is appropriate for your ability and current level of fitness. Overuse injuries such as Achilles tendonitis are likely to occur when a patient “overdoes it” while exercising. Overstretching the tendon, particularly climbing uphill, is easy to do if you choose a strenuous trail when the most exercise you’ve had all summer is walking back and forth to the grill. Pay attention to whether the hike you are considering is a loop (circle) or if it’s in and out. If you have to turn back because of foot pain you need to know where you are on the trail and the fastest way back.

Don’t: hit the trail with a pre-existing foot condition without talking to a foot doctor first. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will be able to advise you on the best type of hiking boots to get to accommodate your foot issue. In some cases, the foot doctor may prescribe an orthotic device to wear inside the book or padding to protect a vulnerable area.

Do: inspect your hiking boots before setting out. Check for signs of wear such as worn down heels or soles, loose stitching or any damaged spots. If you need to purchase a new pair of boots, visit an outdoor gear store and get professional advice on the best kind of boots for the type of terrain and level of hiking you plan to do.

Do: pack moleskin in your daypack. This self adhesive covering should be applied to any spot on your foot at the first sign of friction or irritation to head off the development of a blister.

Don’t: forget to make stops on your hike to drink water (which will help prevent swelling of your feet) and give your feet (and the rest of your body) a short rest. Listen to your feet—when they’ve had enough, call it a day!

For an appointment, contact our Monmouth Junction, Edison or Monroe  office in New Jersey by calling: 732-662-3050.