Hiking is a great way to combine exercise with exploring the great outdoors. However, as with all exercise, it may result in back pain. There are a few ways that you can minimize or eliminate back pain so you can get in all the fresh air you need with no aches and pains.
Keep Muscles Strong
Back pain is often caused by overcompensation for other weak muscles. One of the best ways to prevent or treat back pain from hiking is to build up your abdominal and gluteal muscles. Back muscles often become overworked and sore from doing the work of these muscles. Before a huge hike, spend six weeks doing extra squats and crunches, or your other favorite core exercises.
Prepare for Your Hike
The things you do to prepare for a hike can have a huge effect on how you feel during and after it. First, pack appropriately. Make sure your backpack is light and that you have appropriate shoes and plenty of water. Second, work up to huge hikes. Let your body get used to smaller treks before taking on huge endeavors. Last, stretch thoroughly before embarking on your hike. This will ensure that your muscles are warm and loose as you head out on your adventure.
Maintain Good Form
When you are hiking, you can prevent a great deal of back pain by simply paying attention to your posture. Make sure you are walking with a straight back, shoulders back, and head high. Many people find that using walking poles helps them to keep good posture.
If you get back pain during the hike, stop often to stretch. Roll your head in circles to relieve neck pain. You might even try wearing a stick-on heat pack like Thermacare to keep your muscles warm and pliant while you hike.
Some back pain is normal with repetitive exercise, but it's important to get help if it doesn't get better or disappear with these measures. If your back pain continues to stop you from hiking, book an appointment at Oliver Chiropractic Wellness Clinic by calling 780-455-2112.