What Working With An Orthopedist Can Do For You As A Hiker

Orthopedic doctors are often thought of as the professionals you see if you break a limb, or perhaps if you're a professional athlete in a sport like football or soccer. Indeed, these are core components of an orthopedist's job. But orthopedists also work with recreational athletes and active folks, in general. If you are a hiker, you may want to see an orthopedist from time to time — perhaps for an annual or biannual appointment. Here's how working with an orthopedist can benefit you as a hiker.

Dealing With Nagging Pains and Injuries

Even if you don't develop any distinct, overuse injuries as a hiker, you might occasionally have some nagging pains. Maybe, for example, your left knee tends to bother you from time to time. Or perhaps your hips always get sore after a long hike. An orthopedist can give you ways of dealing with these nagging pains and repeated aches. They may recommend certain over-the-counter medications, or they may give you an icing routine to follow. You can certainly experiment with these protocols on your own, of course, but an orthopedist can give you specifics, and those specifics often make a big difference in the effectiveness of the protocols.

Identifying Weak Spots

Hiking requires the use of a lot of different muscles. Your orthopedist can help determine which of your hiking muscles are weaker than they should be. Once this information is pinpointed, you can start taking steps to strengthen those weaker muscles and areas. Doing so will make you a faster, stronger, and more durable hiker. You may find yourself better able to tackle tougher trails or knock out a few extra miles on the weekends.

Improving Form

Have you ever paid attention to your form when hiking on flat land, uphill, and downhill? You need different forms in all of these scenarios. Failing to use good form will increase your risk of injuries and soreness. An orthopedist can help assess your form and make recommendations for improvements. For example, they may notice that you're not lifting your knees enough when walking uphill and recommend you focus on that a bit more. Doing so can help prevent soreness in the quads.

Hiking may not be an overly competitive sport. But it is a physically demanding activity. As such, you need to take good care of your body as a hiker, and visiting an orthopedic doctor is a good way to do that.

For more information, contact orthopedic doctors near you.