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Common Colorado Hiking and Biking Injuries

Colorado has roughly 14.5 million acres of national forest land, providing a virtually limitless playground for hiking and biking aficionados. Our state boasts some of the best hiking, mountain biking and road biking trails in the country, and many of these trails are very technical and challenging. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that even very experienced hikers and bikers sustain sports injuries on a regular basis.

Common Orthopedic Injuries from Hiking

Between the long distances walked, the significant elevation gains, the uneven surfaces and the heavy loads in a backpack, there are many ways to suffer an orthopedic injury on a hiking trail. Below are some of the most common hiking injuries our orthopedic team treats.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are very common hiking injuries, as it’s easy to misstep on an uneven trail surface and twist your ankle. Depending on the severity of your ankle sprain, you may experience constant, low-grade pain that gets worse over the course of your hike or intense, immediate pain. Very severe ankle sprains may result in such debilitating pain that it becomes difficult to make it through the hike, and you may find that turning back is the better approach.

Muscle Strains

Muscle strains from hiking commonly impact your hamstring, quad and calf muscles. They can result in pain, swelling and restricted range of motion. In most instances, the pain will intensify as you move the part of your leg with the muscle strain, often making it challenging to continue the hike. These injuries require rest and if you’re experiencing a significant amount of pain, it may be best to head back to the trailhead instead of fighting through the injury.

Broken and Dislocated Bones

hiking knee injury Falls on a hike can result in broken or dislocated bones. The most common places for a fracture are the wrist, leg or ankle. Dislocated bones most commonly impact the shoulder. These injuries have similar symptoms to strains and sprains, but the pain and restricted range of motion is typically more severe.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries are common during hiking. You can suffer a sprained or torn ligament from a misstep on an uneven surface, resulting in an awkward twisting motion. It’s also possible to suffer a fracture of the knee during a fall.

Common Orthopedic Injuries from Biking

Even the most experienced cyclists can experience injuries. The most common sports injuries occurring from biking are either associated with overuse or trauma.

Common Overuse Injuries

Individuals who mountain bike or road bike regularly can suffer a variety of injuries from performing the same motion over and over again. These overuse injuries often develop due to muscle fatigue. Some of the most common overuse cycling injuries include:

Common Trauma Injuries

While highly skilled and experienced cyclists may be more likely to develop overuse injuries, there is always a risk of a crash when riding a bike. This is especially common on highly technical mountain bike trails. Bike crashes can result in a variety of trauma injuries, including:

Colorado Advanced Orthopedics Can Help After a Hiking or Biking Injury

Even highly skilled hikers and bikers who stay in great shape for summer and fall activities can suffer an injury on the trail. If you’re injured while hiking or biking, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics can help. We offer advanced orthopedics and sports medicine treatments to address just about any hiking or biking injury you may develop.

Our team includes some of the most highly experienced, board-certified and fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons on the Western Slope who regularly achieve surgical outcomes that exceed industry standards. For minor injuries that don’t require surgery, our sports medicine doctors can administer minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatments that will help you restore a pain free life.

Most orthopedic injuries will require physical therapy as part of the rehab process, and our in-house physical therapy team will work closely with our orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors to ensure everyone providing treatment is aligned on your care plan. This collaboration ensures the best possible outcome with your treatment.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.

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