Quad Pain and Hiking

Does anyone experience quad pain when hiking?

Having Type 1 diabetes, I do what I can to stay active, fit and healthy. I’ve tried to take up hiking. Being a avid cyclist and mountain biker, I have no problems in terms of cardiovascular strength. I can climb or hike uphill all day long.

Downhill is where my problems start. After about 0.25 km of walking downhill, my inside quads cramp up just behind the knees. It’s extremely painful and crippling.

From my reading, I think this is eccentric quadricep strain caused by the resisting gravity.

My question, is this related to diabetes? Does diabetes cause the muscles to toughen and stiffen causing more damage?

I am a swimmer, cyclist (roadie) and runner. When my girlfriend wanted to hike up Half Dome (Yosemite) for her 50th, I agreed. We trained just like we would for any race. But honestly, while we cranked up to Half Dome passing lots of young people, we limped downhill. I think we just did not train long enough on downhills. That and our age, made the downhill hike almost unbearable. We hobbled back to camp… it is much easier to train for a century ride than hike downhill at my age!

I can not speak for diabetes and the impact in hiking.

I am almost 47 and that is exactly my experience with downhill hiking. I also have some significant back problems - 1 herniated, and 3 bulged discs as well as OA. My Chiropractor suggested it might have something to do with the angle leaning backwards while hiking downhill. I may be pinching my femoral nerve. Diabetes is only going to aggravate the inflammation. She suggested using walking sticks and leaning slightly forward while going downhill. Hopefully that works.

If I had your disc issues, I would switch to swimming and stick to cycling (no mountain biking) to avoid jarring. I have osteoporosis due to celiac disease. I had to give up skating at the rink. The risk for falling and fractures was too great. I can still fall off my bike, but I am highly skilled and do not have to avoid small kids darting around. I like to exercise, but I just need to manage my risk.

Join a Master’s swim team and compete. If you do not know how to swim well, take lessons. You are never too old to learn. :blush:

Ah … my wife is a swimmer, and both my daughters are competitive swimmers. I can swim, but, it’s not my preferred sport – at all. The mountain biking isn’t very jarring – short of a crash. Remember, we have full suspension bikes to take the punishment for us.

My biggest issue - I also like hiking. But, it is becoming impossible if I can’t find a solution.

I did the bright angel trail in grand canyon . wasn’t diabetic then and thought going down was harder than going
up because of trying not to slip on lose rocks. did the day hike limit in summer about 15 miles . so I think quads
work harder going down.