When I went on our first trek having moderate difficulty, one of our mate suffered knee injury. Few of us also had knee pain. It was obvious because the trek was of 8 days. Knee pain arises after several hours of trekking, especially when trekking downhill. Going downhill puts more stress on your joints.
Knee Injuries take a lot of time to recover. But there are a few ways you can avoid having Knee Injuries. In this article, I will tell you how you can avoid Knee Injuries on treks.
Tips to Avoid Knee Injuries On your Trek
If you are reading this article a week before going on a trek, you are already late. Prevention starts months before you go on a trek. It is because you need to work on your Leg muscles. Quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves play an important role. The stronger these muscles are, the less pressure on your knees. So, you need to follow routine exercises to strengthen your legs.
Here are a few exercises you should start
- Leg lifts
You can use videos to watch how to properly perform Squats, Lunges or other exercises to strengthen your legs. Give 30 minutes of your day to these exercises.
Lose weight if you are above your ideal weight range
On treks, your knees take loads of your body weight and bag weight. If you are overweight, you are more likely to suffer a knee injury. So, do some exercise to lose weight. Losing 2-3 KG can also make a huge difference.
On your trek
There are also a few important things you need to take care while trekking to avoid knee injuries.
Trekking Pole: Trekking Pole is the most important thing. It helps take some of the impacts while going downhill. When you are using Trekking Pole, it redistributes the weight to different parts of your body. Trekking Poles also have shock absorbers to reduce the impact of your step on the ground. So, have a good pair of adjustable poles. If not a pair, at least have one.
You can buy a good Trekking Poles from Decathlon.
Trekking shoes: Having a good pair of Trekking shoes is really important. Good shoes can absorb a bit of the impact and helps ease the pressure off of your joints. You shouldn’t wear any random pair of shoes. Go and get the shoes ideal for trekking or hiking.
Check Decathlon Trekking Shoes.
Descend properly: When you are descending, you should follow a few important things to avoid knee injuries.
- Keep your knee joints loose. If your knees stiff, chances of knee injuries are high.
- Don’t try to make extra efforts in slowing down your speed. It will add enormous pressure on your knee. If you want, use trekking poles to control your speed, not your legs.
- Always step down heel first and then your toe. Putting toe-first results in painful toenails and nails chipping off
Carry less: Pay attention to what you are packing. The lighter the backpack, the less stress on your knees. Do your best to avoid things you can live without. Prefer lightweight dehydrated meals over canned goods. You should also pack your gear in a way that distributes weight more evenly. You should also check the Decathlon Backpacks that are ideal for trekking.
Also see: Essentials Things to Carry on a Trek
Knee brace: If you think the muscles of your leg are not strong enough to support your knee, you should buy knee brace. Don’t wear it all the time, but use only when you start feeling knee pain.
Now you know what things you need to follow to avoid knee pain and knee injury. Being physically fit is really important. So, work on that way and start the exercise. Focus on leg strength but also work on your shoulders because you will be carrying a backpack. If your trek duration is more than 3 days, you shouldn’t avoid tips I have added in this article.