Close up of girl's legs and muddy sneakers hiking with poles

HealthSource: The Benefits of Hiking with Poles

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Christian H.G. Bean, MD

Christian H.G. Bean, MD specializes in hand and microvascular surgery, sports medicine, joint replacement and general orthopedics. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery with specialties in hand and microvascular surgery, as well as, in sports medicine.

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As the trails and woods dry up, we all want to get out and enjoy our picturesque state. A great way to get an upper body workout while hiking is to put poles in your hands.

The following are some great benefits you may get by hiking with poles, along with some tips for keeping your joints healthy:

  • If you want to run up or down the mountain poles will make you a little faster.
  • If the weather suddenly turns wet, poles can help you stabilize yourself on the slick rock and dirt.
  • Using poles also takes the strain off your knees. You’ll definitely notice the difference after a long descent.
  • If you’re knees are feeling it, try a little cold therapy with an icepack (or water from a nearby stream) to stop the inflammation and lessen post-hike soreness.
  • Tendonitis can make a knee, ankle or hip unusable. Having a few ibuprofen in a bag along with your Band-Aids, moleskin, and toilet paper can also save the day.

If you do slip and injure yourself, visit your doctor and ask if you should get an x-ray. It’s the best insurance for avoiding a problem later.

Happy trails!


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