Safe Summer Hiking in Arizona

Jul 30, 2013

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

by Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

physical rehabilitation Arizona
The unique characteristics of the valley can create a special need for physical rehabilitation in Arizona. Phoenix and surrounding areas offer excellent opportunities for hiking year round. Though, in the extreme heat of summer, there are steps that every hiker should take to prevent injury.
One challenge facing hikers on high temperature days are heat cramps. Heat cramps are defined as an involuntary muscle contraction; they’re usually caused by an excessive loss of salt through perspiration. These muscle cramps can be quite painful and lead to serious injuries if they are not properly cared for. Heat cramps can create a need for knee or back pain therapy in AZ and should be taken seriously. When you experience a heat cramp, it is important to rest the muscle that is cramping. You can also relieve some pain through stretching. The next thing you should do is begin replacing sodium and potassium in your body. By drinking plenty of water and electrolyte drinks, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and taking frequent breaks, you can prevent heat cramps.
Heat exhaustion can also result from hiking during the long hot days of summer. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are trembling, weakness, and loss of coordination. These symptoms can not only be dangerous in their own right, but they can also lead to a fall or misstep that can cause a major injury to an ankle, knee, back, or shoulder. Heat exhaustion is often caused by low blood pressure (a result of water loss) and an electrolyte imbalance.
If you are currently seeking treatment for back pain therapy in AZ it is especially important to prevent any injury while hiking across the valley. When hiking, just remember:

  • Bring plenty of water, snacks, and electrolyte drinks with you on the trail.
  • Hike earlier in the day, before temperatures reach their peak, and when the sunlight isn’t direct.
  • Stretch before you hike.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks as needed.
  • Always inform someone close to you of where you are hiking, and when you intend to be back…. just in case.

Remember to take caution when you are hiking regardless of the season. If you need physical rehabilitation in Arizona as a result of hiking, running or any other injury, contact Foothills Sports Medicine at www.foothillsrehab.com.
Photo By: Kevin Dooley

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