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9 Tips to Have You Enjoying Hiking without Stiffness, Soreness, or Pain

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About the Author

Every month for almost a decade, 100’s of people have worked with or consulted Jamie Bovay concerning questions about a quick end to their pain and how to stay active.  He is a trusted advisor not only to patients and athletes, but several fitness and medical companies as well.

Jamie works everyday with people in their 30’s- 60’s on ways to end their pain and stay hiking.  He writes on various topics around outdoor recreational injuries and frequently lectures on the topic.

While helping patients and athletes he has worked with a wide variety of activity levels from people who are just getting started with an activity all the way up to Olympic and Professional athletes and enjoys helping others return to an active lifestyle.  He teaches other medical professionals around the country on rehabilitation topics revolving around injuries and rehabilitation.


In this special report, I reveal the 9 Top Tips To Have You Hiking without Soreness, Stiffness, or Pain.  Some of these strategies and tips will make you aware of what is stalling you from getting better, others give you a plan to get better, and lastly gives suggestions to prevent pain in the future.

The simplest advice many times is always the best and usually the best place to start.  The truth is without knowing your medical history I cannot know what will work the best for you and even if I did know the details of the root cause of your pain there are no guarantees that any one strategy will work. 

But over my career I have learned how to narrow down what works and what doesn’t for hiking pain and stiffness. These tips are included in the list of things that work. 

But Imagine this…how great would it be if you try one of these “tips” every day… and within two weeks you could have all of these strategies working for you-giving you back the activity you love. How amazing would a hike in the mountains be right now?

So here is my challenge to you…Read this plan and get to understand how it helps.  Make your adjustments in your life and see what happens.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better and healthier you will feel for doing so.

9 Tips to Have You Enjoying Hiking without Stiffness, Soreness, or Pain

  • Use Poles

While you may not really want to use hiking poles they can ease the load on your muscles and joints.  By using hiking poles, or walking sticks, you are spreading your weight out over two additional points and making yourself more stable which allows you to climb or descend more sure-footedly.  As you are more stable your muscles won’t have to do as much work and you will be more likely to twist an achy or sore joint.

  • Don’t go straight up hill (or downhill)

Going the fastest way straight up or down a hiking path is good for time, but may not be good for your body if you have stiffness or pain.  Try taking zig zagging lines to get to the top or bottom.  If this is not an option you can try going up a steep part facing 90 degrees to the left or the right of the path.  This will make you use the muscles in the side of your butt (your glutes) more and can ease the load on your knees, feet, and ankles.  This will be especially important downhill which puts a larger load on your knees.  On long hikes you may have to try this sideways technique to avoid achiness. 

  • Stretch

Tightness around the knee and ankles can cause you to move differently and add tension to the joints.  Regularly stretching can ease this tension around the joints and may make hiking easier.  Try stretching your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves regularly.

  • Try a dynamic warm up

While stretching may give you some long-term flexibility gains this idea can give you an immediate mobility improvement that can decrease your pain or make it more likely to not happen at all.  A dynamic warm up takes all of your joints through a full range of motion and primes your body for the movements it is about to make.  Since we are hiking we will want to do movements that are as close to hiking as possible.  Think lunges and side squats for the lower body and arm pumps for the upper body.  These movements should start slow and build up speed similar to how fast you may be moving.  A total body dynamic warm up should last at least 5-10 minutes. 

  • Adjust your gear

Heavy or unevenly weighted backpacks can aggravate your shoulders or low back and poor shoes can give you arch, ankle, or calf pain.  For the backpack make sure it is snug to your chest and you feel minimal tension.  If possible try to get a pack with hip support to more evenly weight the backpack across your shoulders, back, and hips. Try adjusting your shoulder straps, hip straps, and the strap across your chest if there is one.  

 For the shoes make sure they fit you well, support your feet, and that you can easily move in them across a variety of terrains for a long time.  Never try a big new hike with new shoes!  It can be a disaster or injury waiting to happen.  

Tip-Bring a blister kit just in case you might need it.  On longer hikes you may bring more socks than needed just in case you need to switch. 

  • Make sure you bring enough food and water

Without enough food and water to fuel your body you may feel weak or try to rush the hiking to get back to your car or camp.  If you feel weak you may stumble on some rocks or down a steep embankment and if you rush your hike you are likely to suffer the same fate.  Make sure you fuel your body for the challenges of the hike.  It’s always smart to bring more than you think you will need.

  • Get in hiking shape

Hiking can be very difficult.  Most people underestimate how good of shape they need to be in to enjoy hiking.  Add in the high altitudes we have in the Rocky Mountains and this makes hiking even more difficult.  Your training should include lots of cardio that gets your heart rate up and you will want to be able to keep it up for a long time.  Strengthening your lower body will help for steeper climbs and descents as well.  Stair climbing or walking/jogging on a treadmill with an incline are great ways to train for hiking. 

  • Try the right exercises

While getting in shape can really help you hike and can prevent many injuries once you have some aches, pains, and soreness you will have to be more specific. Exercising the quadriceps around the knee won’t help if the problem is actually at the hip.  General exercise likely won’t help either as it isn’t addressing the root cause.  The issue may require you to improve the strength or flexibility of your muscles, joints, nerves, or may other things so addressing those issues with the right exercise is crucial.  If you don’t know how to do that then you could…

  • Try Physical Therapy

This is the absolute fastest way to get rid of your pain and get you enjoying the trails without aches, stiffness, or pain.  Physical therapy can make your hikes seem easy and make you forget how much you don’t like the feeling of not fully enjoying a hike.  Physical therapy will be focused on giving hands on treatments to quickly ease your pain, exercises to improve how you move, and a plan for you to keep the pain, aches, and stiffness away now and forever.  Imagine how great it would feel to fully enjoy the outdoors with an amazing hike without stiffness, aches, or pain.  That’s what physical therapy can do for you.

Did You Know….

You can come see us for Free

You don’t need a referral from your doctor and as a thank you for downloading this report we will give you first priority for our open appointments and get you scheduled for a no commitment FREE Discovery Visit within the next 48 hours after you fill out the form below or call.

A Free Discovery Visit is a chance for us to meet in person or talk on the phone and discuss in detail your personal struggles with hiking, what your goals are, and to determine if we are a good fit to help you reach those goals.  We offer these Free Discovery Visits because we understand it can be confusing and frustrating to navigate the health care system and determine who is the best person to help you.

A discovery session is an opportunity to figure out what is the root cause of your pain or stiffness, and most importantly what is the best plan of action to start getting immediate improvements to get you back your preferred active lifestyle-all for FREE!

Even if the solution isn’t physical therapy we will still help.  As hiking specialists we can give you the proper recommendations and know how to figure out where to send you to get help.  

The best way to schedule a discovery visit is to fill out this form and we will contact you about scheduling a free discovery visit.  Alternatively, you can call this number (720-651-0674) and either talk to one of our patient care specialists or leave a message.  

Whether you schedule a discovery visit with us or not I would love to hear how these tips are working for you.  Please do let me know how these tips are working for you and if you have any questions by emailing me at   


So, there you have it: 9 things that you can do TODAY to improve your hiking, general health, as well as EASE Your Pain and Stiffness to stay active.  Keep in mind that this isn’t all that can be done, especially if you are in considerable pain.  There’s obviously more you can do and I could talk for days about the various ways to help you as well as go much more in depth with all of these tips improve your hiking, but these basics, if you apply them, can make a huge difference to the activities you love and the quality of your life.  Imagine, even with serious pain or stiffness, if these tips could give you even a 25% reduction in your pain or stiffness and what that could do for you.

In the weeks ahead I’ll be sending you even more tips and advice on how to restore your active and healthy lifestyle and will share with you how physical therapy can make a huge difference to your life. 

I hope this is the beginning of a great long-term relationship, where myself and the rest of the team at KinetikChain Denver become your go to source for health and activity advice for you and make a real difference in your life.  

Dedicated to Helping You Live an Active Lifestyle,

Jamie Bovay  

Specialist Back Pain Physical Therapist

Denver, CO


Health Advice Disclaimer

We make every effort to ensure that we accurately represent the injury advice and prognosis displayed throughout this Guide. 

However, examples of injuries and their prognosis are based on typical representations of those injuries that we commonly see in our physical therapy clinics. The information given is not intended as representations of every individual’s potential injury. As with any injury, each person’s symptoms can vary widely and each person’s recovery from injury can also vary depending upon background, genetics, previous medical history, application of exercises, posture, motivation to follow physical therapy advice and various other physical factors.

 It is impossible to give a 100% complete accurate diagnosis and prognosis without a thorough physical examination and likewise the advice given for management of an injury cannot be deemed fully accurate in the absence of this examination from one of the physical therapists at KinetikChain Denver.

 We are able to offer you this service at a standard charge. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied in this report.

KinetikChain Physical Therapy

We Help People In Denver Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active In Their Favorite Sport/Hobby, Continue Exercising, And Get Back To What They Love To Do.


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