The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that there are 20.6 million active hunters in the United States, yet many of them may not realize the physical demands that come with the sport. The combination of walking on uneven ground, climbing into tree stands and sitting in cramped camps for hours can strain the human body.
â??Well, a lot of the hunters go out that maybe arenâ??t as active as they should be all year-round,â?? explains U.P. Rehab physical therapist, Sara Edlebeck.
Mike Pastor came to U.P. Rehab in search of pain relief after years of hunting in a 5â?? x 5â?? dog house, sometimes from dawn until dusk, giving him a knee injury.
â??Youâ??re sitting in one position for so long,â?? explains Pastor. â??You get areas of your body that get cramped up--your legs, your back.â??
Experts, like Edlebeck, say subjecting your body to these uncomfortable conditions can do permanent damage. The therapist says â??it results in back painâ?? as well as â??muscle strains and knee and hip injuries.â??
However, a simple 30-second stretch every few hours can avoid straining yourself.
â??Ideally get out of the sitting posture,â?? Edlebeck explains. â??Reverse the strain you put on those muscles.â??