Autumn is a beautiful time of year to get outside and enjoy the moderate temperatures and changing scenery! Hiking and hunting are a few popular hobbies that people like to enjoy during the Autumn months. Just like any physical activity, hiking and hunting can carry risks of injuries, especially to your feet and ankles . It is important to understand the risks and take the necessary precautions when participating in these activities to prevent injuries. Any trip can bring about unexpected situations that you may or may not be prepared for. With a few extra steps, you can protect yourself!
Common injuries that can occur to the foot and ankle during hunting and hiking are sprained ankles , ruptured Achilles tendons , and bone fractures . These injuries can occur from walking or tripping on uneven terrain or debris, or even from falling from tree stands. Each injury can vary in severity and treatment depending on the person, but waiting to seek treatment can cause more problems down the road. If you are planning a hiking or hunting trip, follow these tips to help ensure your safety:
- Physically condition before you go. Strengthening, stretching, and balancing exercises beforehand will help with challenging terrain conditions. Ease into your activities and don’t try to do too much too soon.
- Inform someone of where you will be and when you expect to return home.
- Pack an extra pair of socks in case of wet conditions to avoid blisters and athlete’s foot .
- Wear proper footwear. Hiking boots can provide better protection than tennis shoes against uneven, steep, or slippery terrain. Make sure they are well-insulated and moisture proof with a stiff sole for maximum support.
- Be mindful of the terrain while hiking in and out.
- Use a safety harness to avoid unexpected falls from the tree stand.
- As always, watch your step!
- Listen to your body. Take a break if something starts hurting. Hiking in pain can cause injuries to worsen and more problems down the road.
If you do injure your foot or ankles on the trail this fall, remember to follow the R.I.C.E. protocol- Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. If your pain doesn’t improve or you are unsure of the extent of your injury, contact Idaho Foot and Ankle Center. Idaho Foot and Ankle Center offers many different treatment plans including a treatment called MLS Laser Therapy . This therapy can speed the healing process for sprains, tendonitis, and many other injuries. Schedule an appointment to find the right treatment plan for you to help you get back to the activities you love!
Some content provided by The ACFAS.