Cool, crisp air and gorgeous foliage colors make fall an attractive season for many people to indulge in outdoor activities. Regular fitness enthusiasts as well as occasional hikers and cyclists, hit the trails and road alike to make the best of this weather. During this time, one must try to be careful to prevent any foot and ankle injuries. It’s important to ensure that you have the right equipment and mindset to take on these activities.
Here are some ways to prevent injury:
Most cycling injuries are caused by poor posture and overuse of muscle groups and joints. Cyclists must be careful to fasten their feet to the pedals correctly to avoid knee pain. Aligning your back with the specific frame of the bicycle will take the pressure off the spine and help avoid back pain. Ensure you check saddle height so that the toes don’t point down, which will constantly contract calf muscles. A lot of people have tight calves and hamstrings. Try to exercise with a foam roller to help the tightness. Saddle sores can be prevented by fixing the position of the saddle that works for you as well as wearing the right cycling shorts. Also, a massage is likely to help all your muscles that are fatigued.
It’s important to have the right fitting shoes. This doesn’t mean owning a specific brand, color or design, but something that provides ample support and cushioning. Incorrect shoes can lead to discomfort since the foot will slide around resulting in blisters from all the friction. Additionally, having the right socks that are moisture wicking and breathable will help keep feet dry. Frequently trimming nails is also recommended to prevent blood pooling. Runners are recommended to strengthen their foot and leg muscles. One can incorporate these basic exercises as part of their daily routine. Examples include; toe raises, towel pulls, walking on toes and foot circles.
The most common injuries while hiking relates to twisted or sprained ankle, aching joints, and knee pain. These can be prevented if care is taken to warm up muscles and have the right equipment. It’s recommended that a light warm up before the hike to stretch calf muscles and ankle rolls before lacing the boots will help the body ease into the movement ahead. Hikers must remember to keep body lose and limber before tackling a steep section of the trail. Water intake at regular levels keeps the body hydrated and prevents cramping. For longer hikes, take frequent breaks, remove shoes, elevate feet and possibly dip them in cold creeks. This will decrease inflammation as well as keep feet clean from all the grime and dirt that can cause blisters. Hikers must carry light backpacks with necessary items to avoid unnecessary back pain. Moreover, hiking shoes can be replaced with better quality insoles.
If you are an athlete who sustains a foot or ankle injury during these fall physical activities—or from any other potential source—remember that there’s no need to suffer from foot pain when you can always come see our team at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Specialists of Clifton. We offer comprehensive treatment for a wide range of common (and not-as-common) ailments.
For more information on sports injuries or any other facet of foot care, call (973) 365-2208. While on the line, request your appointment at our office located in Clifton, NJ today!