Fall Hiking: How Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel Can Help Reduce Pain from the Most Common Hiking Leg Injuries
Hiking is a great self-directed exercise to help you stay in shape and maintain good cardiovascular health, but dedicated hikers know the risks of leg injuries. Hikers put significant stress on their legs through repetitive motion, long hours on the trail, and limited recovery periods. Read on below to learn the most common types of leg injuries and how Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel can improve your hiking experience!
1. Ankle Injuries
A sprained ankle occurs when you twist, turn, or otherwise move your ankle in an awkward way, stretching or tearing the ligaments, the connective tissue that helps connect your ankle bones.
- Symptoms: Pain and swelling in the ankle, as well as bruising and discoloration. Range of motion will be limited.
- Causes: A stretched or torn ligament due to the ankle being moved out of normal position. Although a common sports injury, an ankle sprain can be a sudden accident and not always the result of overuse.
Twisted or sprained ankles are a common occurrence for hikers due to uneven terrain, slippery surfaces, and obstructions like rocks or tree roots. You can minimize the danger by wearing appropriate footwear including good hiking boots, as well as cleats or spikes if the terrain calls for it. A hiking stick or other stabilizing device can further improve your balance.
If you twist your ankle, don't immediately try to walk it off! Stay off it for a few minutes and evaluate the extent of the injury to determine whether it's a sprain or other acute injury. Remember the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If you have difficulty walking with the injury, make sure to pad the injured joint with anything available and use something stiff, like a hiking pole, to keep the joint rigid. At this point, you may be able to slowly hike back with the assistance of a partner, or you may need professional help.
2. IT Band Syndrome
Pain and inflammation in the Iliotibial band, a long band of connective tissue that runs along the outside of your leg from your hip to your knee and shinbone. Most common among runners, cyclists, hikers, and other athletes who place a lot of stress on their knees, such as soccer players, basketball players, and weightlifters.
- Symptoms: Pain, irritation, tightness, and inflammation in the leg, as well as painful friction when bending your knee.
- Causes: An overuse or repetitive motion injury caused by repeated flexion and extension of the knees, typically exaggerated by poor training habits or excessive training without enough rest.
Inflammation in tears of the plantar fascia, the thick, weblike ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot.
- Symptoms: Stabbing pain or burning sensation under your heel or the middle of your foot.
- Causes: Long-distance walkign or running; jobs that require long hours on your feet; being overweight or obese.
4. Knee Pain and Joint Inflammation
There are many reasons why a regular hiker might be at increased risk for knee pain or other joint problems: weak or imbalanced leg muscles, patellar tracking disorder (in which the kneecap moves out of place when the leg stretches or bends), poor or worn-out footwear, prior injury, or overuse. Hikers who spend a lot of time on the trails are especially susceptible to pain and wear from overuse.
Even with high-quality footwear, hiking puts stress on the knee joint. Difficult terrain can lead to unnatural movements, and walking downhill adds additional force from gravity and the weight of your pack. Your knee absorbs all of this force in addition to the force from propelling yourself that walking creates.
5. Shin Splints
Medial tibial stress syndrome, commonly known as shin splints, involves pain in your lower legs along your shinbone.
- Symptoms: Pain and inflammation in the leg between the knee and ankle, particularly along the front of your leg.
- Causes: A cumulative stress disorder, shin splints come from the repeated impact your legs take during running, particularly on hard surfaces. Most common among runners and competitors in stop-start sports like soccer, basketball, and tennis. Left unaddressed this can cause stress fractures.
6. Meniscus Tear
A common injury even among non-athletes, a meniscus tear also commonly accompanies injuries to other parts of the knee. The meniscus comprises a pair of crescent-shaped pieces of cartilage that stabilize the knee joint; one is found on the inside parts of the joint (medial), and the other on the outside (lateral). Symptoms include:
- A popping sensation during the injury.
- Reduced range of motion: particularly with difficulty in bending or straightening the leg.
- A repeated sensation of the knee getting "stuck" or locked up.
As the meniscus degrades with age, tears are especially common among older hikers, but can happen to anyone. Difficult terrain can cause tears through unnatural or extreme motion like:
- Sudden directional changes.
- Pivoting with a planted foot.
- Sudden stops.
How Can Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel Help Reduce Pain from Hiking Injuries?
Injuries are common for hikers and tend to develop gradually due to repetitive stress on the legs combined with poor or limited downtime after exercise. Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel is a unique formulation of high-quality, all-natural ingredients designed to reduce muscle, joint, tendon, and ligament soreness and strain after exercise! Our ingredients have been specially chosen to reduce inflammation and strain after physical activity:
- Menthol: Its cooling sensation numbs pain, providing immediate relief, while it widens blood vessels to improve circulation and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to damaged areas.
- MSM: Prevents breakdown of connective tissue like ligaments and reduces inflammation.
- Spearmint: Soothes pain and muscle contractions, reducing stress on the foot.
- Aloe Vera: Anti-inflammatory plant that promotes faster muscle recovery.
- Camphor: Cooling pain reliever that reduces swelling from injury and increases circulation.
- Vitamin E: Reduces muscle soreness and encourages muscle rebuilding, strengthening the foot's support.
- Green Tea Extract: Powerful antioxidant that reduces the oxidative stress that can cause inflammation.
- Arnica Flower: Relieves inflammation and muscle soreness while improving circulation.
- Turmeric: Inhibits inflammatory response while promoting deep absorption of ingredients, fighting pain at its source.
Are you looking for pain relief from running injuries? Click here to try Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel today to get back on your feet!