Recovering from Hiking Injuries

Recovering from hiking injuries took me months.  How did I, the “Original” Couch Potato, get a hiking injury?

Just like everyone else, I tend to overdo things if I am enjoying what I’m doing.  As a result, I wound up with plantar fasciitis, a very painful injury that results from tiny tears in the tendon at the bottom of the foot.

I’ve been in labor during childbirth and I have to tell you, this hurts worse! (You mostly feel it when you first put your foot on the floor first thing in the morning.  If you have this happening, get to a podiatrist quickly!)

After hiking and walking much more than I ever had, I had not taken it gradually and, as a result, the injury resulted.

How to treat plantar fasciitis – which is not a treat

What do you do for plantar fasciitis?  According to my foot doctors – podiatrists – you stop walking as much as possible for about six weeks and let it heal!

Oh – sedentary again – not a good feeling!  But, I persevered and spent a lot of time getting ultrasound treatments to accelerate the healing.  I was also strapped to support my feet and strengthen them.

When my rehabilitation was complete, I started walking again and  – slowly  – gradually – began adding time to my walks and, eventually hikes.  Being careful was my strategy so I would not have a recurrence of hiking injuries.

Fast forward two years.  Again earlier this year, I woke up, put my foot on the floor and felt – uh oh!  Pain!  I made an appointment with my podiatrist right away.  This time I was fortunate and he said I was not bad this time.  After one try with a rocking support boot, we decided that a softer Velcro–strapped partial boot was going to do the job better.

Foot in soft brace to aid in recovering from hiking injuries

Using this soft brace enabled the Original Couch Potato to recover from a hiking injury of plantar fasciitis

Two weeks later, (after I had lessened my weight-bearing activities a bit), my foot felt healed. I started, again, to gradually increase my walking.

What do we learn from this?

First, learn not to overdo anything!  Our bodies will resist and respond in ways we can’t predict and probably won’t appreciate.

Next, find a good podiatrist who can help when/if you need one.  He/she will make all the difference!

And, most importantly, know that even if you have good intentions and get active, sometimes things might be a problem.  Be careful and take care of your body, since it’s the only one you have!  Learn from my experience and take it a bit at a time.  You don’t have to prove anything to anyone!  And, if you do the right things, you can be back hiking again! Recovering from hiking injuries is possible, but takes a little help and some patience.

Please don’t let a setback stop you from achieving the healthy results you can reach by consistently going hiking or healthy activities.  I did it, and you can, too!

After a break, the joy of hiking will be even sweeter when you get back on the trail again!

 

  • Trudi

    I agree with the Hiking Potato! We don’t have to come to a resting hault to get over plantar fasciaitis. I had a severe case as a college runner and complete rest was not an option I was willing to consider. The cure? I changed running shoes (with instant improvement and also gave it lots of TLC: ice cup massage following each workout and giving myself a complete foot massage before morning runs (including the Achilles, the heel, the arch, metatarsals, and toes).

    • hikingforthecouchpotato

      Thanks for the great, first-hand input! It really helps to “real” input.