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Would like to hike, concerned about pain. Any advice?

For two weeks my family and I traveled to 7 national parks in Utah and hiked about 5 miles a day. Even though I have gout and my feet can get sore easily I had little to no pain from hiking these beginner to moderate trails- most were hard packed ground with lots of elevation changes. I liked it enough I decided to hike more at home and so this last weekend went on a short 3 mile ‘hike’ on a very flat paved path. My feet and ankles were in tons of pain even halfway through that walk. I wore the same shoes as in my national park hikes. Any tips from avid hikers/walkers as to what might be going on? I'd really like to add this activity to my life.

Gout is highly affected by dietary habits, things like red meat and alcohol are not good in this regard.  You doctor should be able to address this concisely.

Maybe some better shoes also. Walking on concrete kills me and I don't have your condition. pavement is unforgiving on joints

Add some insoles.

Glucosamine, chondrotin supplements

Hydration

I have some metal parts that cause moderate to severe hip pain past about 8-10 miles with a pack. I carry some DMSO gel. Also some hydrocodone for emergencies, and a little CBD from Cannabis. 

I appreciate people weighing in. I have control over the gout with medications and diet- it's just that some damage is already done and I can handle that. I was just surprised that I did all those miles of trails with no issue and then was defeated by a bit of flat pavement. Some better footwear is probably in order and I should avoid pavement. I'll see how that goes while i research adding new chemicals to the mix.

Jason,

For what its worth, it's often difficult to come up with clear cause and effect for feet issues. I struggle with foot pain myself and observed such quandaries also.

I've been to podiatrists and had inserts custom made by podorthists ,etc... and after years of using orthotics I think I've had some correction affected by their use; recently I've had pretty good results with some off the shelf inserts which I desperately want to achieve as the custom ones are so very expensive. 

If this is important enough to you I would seconds Ed's advice and go ahead and get a professional opinion.

I can only imagine what being pain free would be like.  Motorcycle wrecks, broken bones, years of running and former gout problems all have left reminders that can become major issues if I don't tend to them.  Everyone has unique foot concerns, heck my left and right feet are dis-similar, so keep looking for the best solution for your feet.

I use classic style full leather hiking boots, nothing else I have tried works for me.  Compression socks, ice packs afterward and frequent stretching exercise and good insoles all help.

The pain is less than before if I approach it from multiple angles.  Good luck, try all sorts of things and you will probably find what works for your feet.

Patman said:

Jason,

For what its worth, it's often difficult to come up with clear cause and effect for feet issues. I struggle with foot pain myself and observed such quandaries also.

I've been to podiatrists and had inserts custom made by podorthists ,etc... and after years of using orthotics I think I've had some correction affected by their use; recently I've had pretty good results with some off the shelf inserts which I desperately want to achieve as the custom ones are so very expensive. 

If this is important enough to you I would seconds Ed's advice and go ahead and get a professional opinion.

 X2

I always wear thick soled sneakers on long walks in town. I feel like it's important to have a thick sole between your foot and solid surface to avoid harm.

As people age, it gets tougher to overcome pain, because there is more of it.  It takes some mental toughness to continue. You have to modify your goals. I believe I can keep going out there as long as the will and mental toughness can overcome the pain. 

Diet plays a big factor. You should avoid shellfish, rich meats - especially organs like liver - incomplete proteins, and alcohol. Also take Vitamin E and B supplements. 

Jason,

I my experience there is A LOT of difference between walking on trails and pavement.  I need lots of cushion when walking on pavement, for me, even running on pavement is better than walking.  

I also have gout.  Fortunately the damage is mostly limited to my right big toe.  With allopurinol and better hydration I've no flares for a couple years, but oh boy can it wreck a week long backpack.

It wasn't always the case, maybe it is the gout or maybe it is just age, but all said, I need different shoes for each:  running on pavement, hiking/backpacking on or off trail, and walking on pavement with walking on pavement needing the most cushioning or a need to take it slow and easy.  I wear nothing special running shoe, for hiking a trail runner with a rock plate, and for pavement walking a high cushion trail runner (no rock plate).

Sucks to need 3 pair of shoes but that's what I need.

Steve

  

 

Trekking poles can take up to 20% of the weight off your feet. When arthritis hobbled me up, they got me back into hiking. 

+1 to insoles, +++ for custom orthotics...

+1 Trekking Poles

Keep moving (rust prevention)! I've been moving with a spinal injury (ruptured L5-S1), and the reason I don't stop is because I can't. 

Good luck, and please share your success!

November 24, 2020
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