Have you overdone it hiking or up in the mountains?
We often take advantage of the holidays and rest from work to go to the mountains or hiking in nature. Surely it is a de-stressing activity and it brings many benefits for physical and mental health. Of course, if your fitness basis is not optimal for this activity or you have done an ascent for which you were unprepared you may suffer from stiffness or trigger points somewhere in your legs.
Depending on the activity and the cumulative climb that one has accumulated during the walk, typically one muscle group or another will be overworked. But ultimately, if the muscle tone and general basic physical condition are very low, several muscle groups and pairs, both agonists and antagonists, can be affected and sore.
Generally speaking, we could say that to make the ascent often requires the work of the muscles of the posterior chain; calves, hamstrings and glutes, much needed in driving the foot to launch the stride and bend the knee when the leg is in the air and prepare the next step and strike with the ground. This sustained muscle solicitation during an ascent requires more strength, muscle contraction and fibres recruitment that have not normally been trained for these overexertions and overloads.
The same occurs in the descents with the anterior muscle chain which is responsible for slowing down and controlling the speed during the descent and must retain our body mass from advancing and moving down faster due to the favourable slope. Thus, aerobically and cardiovascularly the effort will be smaller but muscle wise, the tibialis anterior and, above all, the quadriceps will be very demanded, particularly the eccentric force. Of course, the tibialis anterior also plays an important role in the ascent to perform dorsiflexion of the foot. Here again, the problem is the lack of muscle adaptation to solicitations for which we are not prepared or trained, resulting in the known "DOMS", muscle soreness or trigger points that usually manifest within 24-48 hours after exercise.
Traditional solutions to these annoyances in the way of "DOMS" usually consist of light exercise even with mild discomfort to promote blood flow and subsequent nutrient supply. The same objective is pursued with gentle massage of the area, besides releasing hormones that reduce pain or provide wellbeing sensations. Gentle and maintained stretches for at least 30 to 60 seconds are also recommended. Another option that may be of interest and improve the situation is to consult a physiotherapist who with the help of 3TOOL can carry out massage, functional massage associated with stretching or if he finds any taut band or trigger point carry out compression over the painful spot as demonstrated in the following videos:
Furthermore, the great advantage of 3TOOL is that the physiotherapist can tell you the most appropriate exercises for your issue so you can do them at home as self-treatment to continue with the therapy and relieve symptoms at any time and get rid of the discomfort as soon as possible . Here you can watch some videos of exercises that you could use: