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How to protect knees when hiking downhill

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-06-18      Origin: Site

How to protect knees when hiking downhill

Life is full of activities that can physically and spiritually fulfill us. That being said, hiking is an extraordinary experience. It is really difficult to find someone who will not agree with the fact that going to nature is a relief from stress and ongoing problems.

However, that experience will not change the fact that hiking comes with specific difficulties and injuries, specifically on the knees. In the rest of this article, I will focus exclusively on injuries that occur during downhill hiking and on the ways in which they can be prevented.

What causes knee problems

The primary reason why you have pain in your knees when walking downhill is precisely the pressure. The compressive forces put pressure on your knees as additional force is added to the joints that are already carrying your weight anyway. However, many other causes contribute to the feeling of pain in the knee due to this extra pressure.

Some of the causes of knee pain:

●     Excessive knee extension. This would mean that you are stretching your knee in the opposite way than it should, which can cause swelling and instability.

●     Weak and unbalanced leg muscles. An older ankle injury, whether major or minor, can cause an injury to the knees.

●     Bad shoes. Your hiking shoes are also crucial in cushioning your stride, which can reduce the pressure on your knees.

●     Rigorous hiking and backpacking can also lead to knee pain issues if you don't protect your knees. Not only downhill but also uphill hiking takes significant energy and pressure on the knees to hike.

●     Injuries can also lead to possible knee issues. If you fell on rocks or were hit by something or damaged your knees or other body parts, that might also lead to knee pain issues.

Tips to protect knees while hiking downhill

While you might be scared to hike downhill, these  tips might help you get over it:

●     Using hiking poles is extremely helpful in shifting the weight from the legs to the torso or upper body. This will reduce the pressure that is already applied to the legs, more precisely the knees, and it will be distributed. However, you should carry lightweight and sturdy poles. Because if hiking poles are heavy, you might stress your hands and body more. You will be tired of the extra weight. And also, you should maintain the quality of the poles since they can be life saviors, especially on challenging trails.

●     Small and quick steps are also important tips. Quick and exaggerated downhill steps should be what you avoid in a wide arc. They increase the pressure and load on those knees, risking hyperextension. Taking small steps that move evenly keeps you balanced. Even though you move a little slower, you greatly reduce your risk. If you want to prevent your torso from falling forward or backward, an effective way to monitor this is to keep your shoulders above your chest and your chest above your hips. This will also help your balance a lot as you switch from one foot to the other.

●     After the already mentioned difficulties that can cause injuries to the knees, I will offer the best way that can help you protect against further injury: A knee brace. The best knee brace for hiking is catered to your needs, especially if it's a doctor's recommendation. If you are already wearing a knee brace due to some recent injuries, it is essential that you have the approval of a professional, in this case, a doctor.

●     Therefore, you must use the knee support for hiking, which will prevent the stretching that we have already mentioned in the text.

●     Avoid hiking continuously for days if you already have bad knees. We suggest taking regular breaks, do camping(during long hikes) to give plenty of time to your knees for rest.


Just like with other physical activities, injuries will always be present, and hiking is not an exception. Therefore, in addition to all the techniques that can help protect ourselves from these difficulties, it is important to pay attention to the protection of the health of the knees, which are essential for our movement.

The best and already a quite prominent way to achieve this is to use the knee braces for hiking that help preserve them. The knee brace will allow you to stay in one piece when going downhill, which is the primary goal of the product.

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