Avoid Foot Pain With These 2 Important Tips

foot pain

Hiking is a highly sought-out activity in Arizona. Many people live or vacation in Arizona for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, trail running, and horseback riding. 

With the sun beating down on you while enjoying the great outdoors,  your feet are surely going to start sweating and rubbing. This can cause foot pain such as blisters, hot spots, and plantar fasciitis.

Common Foot Pain

Blisters can be painful, especially when you have to keep moving with blisters forming and rubbing on your shoes or sock. The friction can cause blisters, especially when your feet get sweaty and that moisture is trapped in your sock and shoes. Blisters can be painful and if not taken care of properly can get infected.

Plantar fasciitis is more common in people who have flatter feet. Heel pain can be a sign of plantar fasciitis. While hiking may not cause plantar fasciitis it can cause it to flare up when hiking. The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot and absorbs the shock when you walk. 

A sprained ankle occurs when your ankle rolls or turns in an awkward way resulting in soreness and swelling of the ankle. It can be painful but taking it easy on your ankle and using ice to reduce the swelling can be helpful. 

To prevent a sprained ankle when hiking a good solution is to use high-top hiking boots to provide more support and minimize the risk of an ankle sprain.

Listen to this podcast about ankle arthritis from a certified physical therapist and guest Dr. McAlister DPM, FACFAS.

How To Avoid Feet Pain When Hiking

1. Proper Hiking Boots

As mentioned before for more ankle support high-top hiking boots may be for you. Your boot should fit snug but offer room for your toes. Try them on with the socks you plan to wear and make sure there is enough room for your feet to swell up. 

When completing a lot of walking, running, or hiking your feet tend to swell and need that room for you to be comfortable when exercising. Make sure the boot has a good mixture of support, cushioning, stiffness, and breathability. 

A good habit to get into is to also bring an extra pair of socks for when your feet get sweaty and start to slip around. This can even help to prevent blisters as well. If able, take a rest and take your shoes off to dry out along with your feet. You can even take this time to have a snack and some water.

Investing in compression socks can be very beneficial when going on longer hikes. The compression socks help to increase blood flow and help repair muscles faster.

2. Bandages

Making sure you have an ample amount of bandages and moleskin can be a lifesaver when going on a hike. If you do incur a blister you need to make sure you can comfortably cover your blister and continue on your hike. If you’re prone to getting blisters somewhere on your foot try covering that area with moleskin so it does not run on your sock or foot. 

Another really good item to carry with you is blister patches, where your whole blister can be increased and safe from sweat and other factors. Another common item people may use is toe- spacers. If you get blisters between your toes you can use toe spacers that go in between your toes to separate them so you do not create a blister on your hike.

watch this video for some simple foot and toe exercises.

How To Heal Foot Pain After Hiking

Once you complete your hike, you may be exhausted and want to sit right away. But before you do, make sure you cool down and stretch! Cooling down gives your muscles and body temperature time to regulate and slow down. 

Make sure to rehydrate and refuel after your hike as well. If you’re feeling extra sore a day or two after you can always soak your feet. Don’t be afraid to get a foot massage as it can help to increase blood flow and recovery. Don’t downplay a good night’s sleep as it can be very beneficial. While you sleep your muscles have time to recover.

Read this blog if you have heel pain when walking.

Foot Pain Relief, Glendale

When looking for foot pain relief Preferred Physical Therapy in Glendale, Arizona is a perfect place for you. We help people who are looking to stay away from surgery and avoid painkillers. Our physical therapists work one-on-one with our patients providing hands-on care and exercises with your personalized plan of care.

Unlike other clinics where they may leave you to wait and then meet with a physical therapist for only 10-15 minutes and then leave to do the exercises unsupervised. Here at Preferred Physical Therapy, we want you to achieve your goals and reach an active lifestyle again.





Nick Hunter, PT, DPT

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