One way to assure a successful hike while fighting arthritis is to utilize comfort with every step. This starts with a good pair of hiking boots or tennis shoes that are broken in, and provide a breathable and solid support for the base of the foot. Another way to add comfort is to wear gel or supportive insoles. This will reduce impact on the foot more than with the soles alone. Minimizing impact while walking may help alleviate some of the pain from arthritis and reduce the risk of injury.
Trek poles offer support and stability while navigating through terrain. Trek poles often have small pointed ends that can dig into dirt, gravel, grass, snow and sand. The poles reduce the pressure placed on joints and can lead to reducing bouts of arthritis caused by friction. Choosing a lightweight pair of trekking pole should also be considered to prevent arthritis from flaring up in the arms, hands and fingers.
Stretching before any type of exercise, including hiking, will help reduce the risk injury, muscle inflammation and the flare-up of arthritis. Stretch hamstrings, lower back, shoulders and arms. Stop and rest periodically throughout the hike and repeat stretches for muscles that may tighten up or get overworked.
Before venturing out, taking the recommended dosages of anti-inflammatory medications may assist with arthritis pain. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen may help ward off pain. A lightweight icepack or wrap may also help with sore muscles and joints. Keep in mind, though, the icepack may not stay cold for too long. Use the icepack as arthritis flares up.
Starting a hike early in the day before other strenuous physical activity can help minimize arthritis pain. Some people experience arthritis pain during certain types of approaching weather, such as rain, storms or cold fronts. According to studies conducted at Johns Hopkins Medicine, many people had inflammation and arthritis pain during these conditions. If cool, damp weather causes arthritis pain, hike on warm, dry days.
Article Written By Julie Boehlke
Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.