Hiking and Knee Pain
The summer months are a great time to escape the heat and head up to the mountains for a scenic hike.
Regardless of whether you “bag a 14er” or simply enjoy a leisurely hike on a local trail, it is important that you protect your knees so you can enjoy hiking for years to come. Some of you may have even stopped hiking because of knee pain. This article will help those of you without knee pain maintain healthy joints and prevent knee pain.
We also want to provide encouragement to those who may have given up hiking because of knee pain. You don’t need to stop hiking or live with the pain, there are strategies to get you back on the trails.
While you can experience pain while climbing up a trail or descending down, it is more common to experience knee pain on the way down. This is due to the greater impact on your knees while hiking downhill.
So how can you reduce the impact on your knees and decrease your pain? A good place to start is to ensure you have good quadriceps strength. Your quadriceps, or your thigh muscles, help control the bending of your knees as you hike downhill. If your quadriceps are weak, you won’t be able to control your knee bending as much, and this can increase strain on the knees leading to pain.