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With so much natural beauty and wildlife around us, hiking can be incredibly relaxing and a great form of exercise. With the right gear and preparation, it’s possible to have fun and keep injury risks to a minimum. While blisters and sunburns are avoidable and can be quite painful, other common injuries hiking include those related to falls or carrying too much weight on one’s back. Some hiking injuries are listed below:


  • Tendonitis:  Commonly in hikers associated with lifting, carrying objects, the shoulder rotator cuff muscles can become painful and inflamed due to overuse from stabilizing the shoulder joint for supporting trekking poles and for other hiking related movements.  With early diagnosis and treatment of this condition, we can help you return back to sport as soon as possible


  • Fractures:  These can affect the radial head and are common with a fall onto the affected hand or elbow

Hand and wrist

  • Fractures:  falls on the trail can result in a fracture of the and or wrist.  


  • Sprains and strains:  Muscle injuries to the spine area can occur and contribute to pain with hiking and carrying a heavy pack
  • Arthritis:  Can make carrying a backpack and hiking up and downhill painful.  Overall, hiking can be a good way to improve posture and spine strength and is not going to make spine arthritis worse


  • Sprains and strains:  Sometimes a sudden sprint or jumping movement can lead to an injury to the hamstrings or hip flexor muscles
  • Tendonitis:  There are many tendons and muscles of the hip and hikers can sometimes experience tendon related pain on the outside of their hips


  • Patellofemoral Pain:  This is a common cause of knee pain in hiking activity and benefits from diagnosis and treatment of the underlying contributing factors
  • Patellar Tendinitis (Jumper’s knee):  This is a common cause of anterior knee pain and can be difficult to treat.  At Sports Health Northwest, we have some effective and minimally invasive treatment options to help get you back on the trail.

Foot and Ankle

  • Achilles tendonitis:  Pain in the back of the ankle along the achilles tendon is common in hiking activity due to the steep terrain and forces on the achilles tendon going up and down
  • Ankle sprains:  Are common in hiking due to the rocks and unstable dirt. Sometimes ankle sprains are more serious injuries like fractures or high ankle sprains benefiting from early diagnosis and treatment
  • Plantar Fasciitis:  This pain on the bottom of the foot is more common in individuals who are active and on their feet so hikers and runners can be at risk

***If you are suffering from one of these injuries, or any other injury, schedule an appointment with Sports Health Northwest We want to help you get back to sport.

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