“How to beat aches and pains if you’re a hunter”
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Very few activities can be as thrilling as getting that 10 point buck or bagging that wild turkey!
And being outdoors either out on your own or with your buddies can be one of the most satisfying experiences imaginable.
Unfortunately, sometimes hunting can also be a painful experience. For instance, shoulder pain can be a result of the hunting process. Carrying your rifle and firing the rifle with the recoil can injure the shoulder. In addition, just carrying all the equipment can be a real burden on the shoulders.
Proper stretching and strengthening exercises can help reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Elbow pain can also develop as a result of lifting and carrying. Cleaning your rifle can also cause elbow problems. Pain on the outside of the elbow is called lateral epicondylitis and can be very painful. It is often brought on by repetitive activity. For instance, if you’re camping out and need to do a lot of hammering stakes into the ground, this type of tendonitis can be a problem. Avoiding a lot of repetitive arm use is probably the best way to avoid this happening. Immediate icing of the elbow can also help.
Wrist and hand pain can also develop. Loading cartridges and getting your gear ready can be a set-up for future problems. It’s important to take frequent breaks while you’re getting ready. Instead of one big load, do more trips in loading up the car.
As with any activity where there is lifting and carrying, low back pain can be a consequence. Stretching and strengthening is important both before as well as after your hunting excursion. Lift with your knees, keep your back straight, and your head up. If necessary, get down on one knee. Test the load before you actually lift. Keep the load close to your body as you lift.
Neck problems can also be a problem. For instance if you’re a duck hunter, keeping your head up and scanning the skies can be tiring for your neck. Prior to the hunting season, it’s important to do stretching and strengthening of your neck on a regular basis. If you use a heavy back pack, this can cause neck strain.
Walking on uneven ground can make your knees hurt. Strengthening of the quadriceps muscles in the thigh can help with this problem. After you home from your trip, if you have knee soreness, put ice packs on the sore knee. Keep a towel between the ice pack and the skin. Use the ice for 20 minutes. If the knee pain persists, contact your physician.
Ankle and foot problems also can come on particularly if you walk a long time. Prolonged walking can cause a condition called plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the heel), metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot), and can also cause stress fractures in the foot!
Well-fitted boots with good cushioning and arch support can help prevent these problems.
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