My feet are swollen from hiking. What’s wrong? The swelling of a hiker’s feet is a typical ailment. In the case of short hikes, this is terrible enough, but even more so if you plan on traveling the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. Swelling is a common problem for thru-hikers who discover that their boots no longer fit.
As a thru-hiker, it’s impossible to find a solution after you’re halfway along the trail (unless you had the forethought to mail-drop some larger boots). So, before going on a trip, make sure you know how to avoid and manage hiking foot edema.
Swollen Feet in Hikers: How Common Is It?
Depending on the length and difficulty of the trek, hikers are more likely to have mild to moderate edema. Swollen feet, ankles, and legs are common side effects of strenuous outdoor activities. Muscle discomfort in the foot is also possible. Resting for a few hours should cure this ailment.
Foot swelling may be caused by a variety of things, as will be discussed further on in this article. However, if the swelling is excessive and does not subside after several hours of rest, a medical issue may exist that necessitates a trip to the doctor. It’s crucial to know the difference between typical post-workout swelling and excessive swelling that doesn’t go down in a reasonable amount of time.
Do your feet usually swell after going on a hike?
Water retention is a typical cause of leg edema on high-heat walks. Being hydrated is both preventive and curative in many ways. Support socks, also known as support hose, are used by certain hikers who endure edema no matter what they do. These socks exert pressure from the toes to just below the knee.
Having swollen feet after a long hike can be alleviated by what?
Raising your hands and feelings You can increase circulation and minimize edema by raising your legs and feet when sitting or laying down. It also aids in the removal of accumulated fluid and the restoration of blood to the heart.
When and why do your feet swell when you’re hiking?
It’s not clear exactly what causes hiking-induced foot swelling, although there are a number of hypotheses out there. Hiking might cause your hands to swell, too.
Edema in the Peripheral Circulation
Edema happens when extra fluid entered and make a room, then failed to come out from your body’s tissues. When trekking, swelling of the hands and feet is not uncommon. It might happen while doing any type of workout. The reason why is this:
During physical activity, the heart, lungs, and muscles receive more blood. In addition, your body is generating a great deal of heat. As a result, your blood vessels dilate to allow you to expel this heat.
The body has a hard time getting blood to the heart because the blood arteries are so dilated. Gravity forces your body to work harder in the lower extremities. The heart is far away from the hands, so they might enlarge as well.
Is your post-hike swollen leg related to peripheral edema or anything else? Swelling should subside if you raise your feet or hands.According to one study, weight-bearing exercise can increase the volume of the foot by as much as 8%.
Because of hyponatremia
While trekking, the author of Outside Online’s piece on hand swelling blamed hyponatremia, a condition in which your salt levels drop. Here’s everything you need to know:
Your body does not act as a sponge, soaking up water. Water absorption is dependent on the presence of nutrients such as salt. You’ll experience edema in your body since you’ll be drinking a lot of water while trekking but not getting enough sodium.
I doubt that a shortage of sodium is the problem, as many of us eat salty snacks like GORP while hiking.
Hyponatremia may be to blame if your feet swell even when you elevate them. However, this still isn’t an excuse to stuff yourself silly with salty fast food.
The third reason is overworked muscles.
My husband is prone to this sort of swelling. Having weak leg and foot muscles makes it easy for him to overwork them.
“Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” is the medical name for this. DOMS is based on the idea that your muscles injure themselves during physical activity. Once you’ve finished working out, your body goes to work mending any damage it’s sustained. As a kind of defense, the body inflates these places with fluid.
Because your feet are subjected to so much wear and tear during trekking, DOMS may be to blame for the swelling.
Gears that are too tight
The blood in your body must be continually circulating. Anything that causes pressure on your body might cause blood to become trapped, resulting in a lack of oxygen and nutrients.
Swollen Feet After Walking: What to Do to Prevent It?
Standing for lengthy periods of time, going for a long walk, or being pregnant might cause your feet to swell. Edema, a disorder in which fluid accumulates in the legs, ankles, and feet, can cause this form of swelling. Gravity drags the fluid downhill, making it more obvious in your feet where you’re experiencing the discomfort-free swelling. Edema can be avoided or minimized by taking a few precautionary measures before you begin walking.
Take in at least half of your daily water intake, which is equal to at least 150 ounces if you weigh 150 pounds. You can lose up to 75% of your body weight if you’re an extremely active person. If you find plain water dull and find it difficult to drink eight glasses a day, try adding slices of lemon, cucumber, or orange to the water.
Keep your mouth open.
Walking in trousers or shorts that are too tight in the thighs is not a good idea.Tight-fitting clothing around the thighs might reduce blood flow, which in turn increases edema in the feet. It’s not only painful to wear tight shoes, but they can also cause edema. Swelling and blood clots can be prevented by using compression stockings. A wide assortment of compression stockings are available, with varying lengths and levels of pressure.
Elevate your feet.
When you return home after your walk, elevate your feet. Place a cushion beneath your feet and ankles to raise them above your heart while lying on your back. When you use this technique, your blood flow will be enhanced and the quantity of fluid in your feet will be reduced.
Blood flow rises “to provide the muscles with oxygen,” says Langer. “The muscles’ volume momentarily increases” as a result. Swelling isn’t a medical term, but it can have an impact on the fit and function of a shoe.
What’s the best duration for a swollen foot?
Swelling often worsens within the first two to four days following an accident. It’s possible that your therapist or doctor might have to examine the area more closely if swelling persists for an extended period of time.