If you are new to hiking and backpacking or have some experience it’s certain that you will have some kind of discomfort or serious injury due to the unstable surface and whether conditions. I have personally suffered from back and hip pain for the last 5 years so in this post I’ll share some of my best tips I’ve found for prevention and relief.
Safety First – Never Hike Alone
This should be a no brainer, right? Well there are still plenty or people that hike alone. The reasons you should not do this are fairly obvious but let’s cover them anyway. If you are alone on a hiking trail and you roll an ankle and can’t walk and don’t have phone reception then your in a bad situation. If you are hiking alone and come across a large animal like a bear, moose, or cougar you are in a really bad situation. And if you were to be bit by a poisonous snake with no one to help you, that could be your last hike ever. I think you know the point I’m trying to make. Hiking alone like swimming alone is never a good idea. Having just on person with you can make all the difference.
Get A Good Pair of Hiking Boots
This one is typically a rookie mistake and one you only make once. Wearing just a simple pair of sneakers will leave your feet throbbing after a few miles into forest. In our everyday life we are used to walking on flat surfaces but in nature there are no straight lines. A good pair of hiking boots will give your feet the stability and support to handle the ever changing unequal surface and reduce your chances of discomfort and injury.
Back Pack Strap Balancing
Any good quality hiking backpacks will have straps that go over your shoulders and straps that go around your waist for extra support. It’s very important that these two sets of straps are balanced properly or it could result in uneven amounts of pressure resulting in back and hip pain.
Pressure Point Relief
There are also pressure point exercises that you can do to prevent this pain. The video above shows a great demonstration of how to target the QL muscle located between your rib cage and hip bone. Applying gentle pressure to this region can help relive the pain. If you are preforming this on somebody remember to be gentle as this is a sensitive area.
BEMER is a fairly new type of device that helps improve circulation throughout the body. As I’ve already stated in this post I suffered from back and hip pain for years from hiking. I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first, but after just a couple sessions on the BEMER device I can honestly say my pain and discomfort was drastically reduced. If you wanted to give this a shot I recommend you go see a licensed BEMER distributer for a few sessions to see if you like it before you consider buying your own. For example, I live part of the year in Dana Point, Ca where I found Deavah who owns First Element Wellness. She offered me a full 30 minute session free and I was hooked after that. I try to go in for a session once a month or when ever I have an existing injury flare up. It’s not a miracle cure or anything like that, but the improved circulation has really helped reduce my pain.
Remember that even though we love hiking we know it comes at a cost over time, and that cost is pain in one way or other. Make sure you have good set of hiking boots, balance your back pack straps, have a friend apply pressure to the areas discussed in the video above, and look into BEMER therapy if you have a wellness center in your local area. And finally, never hike alone because you never know what you are going to run into out there.