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Rocketman
06-04-2010, 09:43
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602121000.htm

Science News

How Trekking-Poles Help Hikers Maintain Muscle Function While Reducing Soreness

ScienceDaily (June 3, 2010) ó A study by academics at Northumbria University has shown for the first time that trekking-poles help hikers maintain muscle function while significantly reducing soreness in the days following a hike.


In the study, 37 physically active men and women were split into two groups of equal fitness and asked to hike up and down Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales.


One group was issued with and trained in the use of trekking poles while the other group made the climb unaided. Each group ate the same evening meal on the night before; they ate the same breakfast, carried similar weight in day packs and took the same scheduled rests during both the ascent and descent.


The participants' heart rates and their personal perceived exertion ratings were recorded during the hike. Then, at the end of the hike, and at 24-, 48- and 72-hour intervals afterwards, muscle damage and function were assessed through a variety of tests.


The results showed that there was significantly less muscle soreness in the group using trekking poles. This group demonstrated a reduced loss of strength and a faster recovery immediately after the trek compared to the control group. Self-rated soreness peaked at 24-hours in both groups but was significantly lower in the trekking-pole group, both at this point and at the 48-hour point. In addition, levels of the enzyme creatine kinase (which indicates muscle damage) were much higher at the 24-hour point in the non-pole group, while the trekking-pole group's levels were close to the pre-trekking levels. This shows that the muscle damage they were experiencing was negligible.


Pole manufacturers have suggested that trekking poles can reduce forces on lower-limb joints by as much as 25 %. However, the existing research has been restricted to the laboratory or to non-mountainous outdoor settings, such as running tracks, and has only focussed on biomechanical investigations into stress on the ankle, knee and hip. This is the first documented study into the effectiveness of trekking poles in the environments for which they were designed.


"The results present strong evidence that trekking poles reduce, almost to the point of complete disappearance, the extent of muscle damage during a day's mountain trek," says Dr Glyn Howatson, who conducted the study.
"Preventing muscle damage and soreness is likely to improve motivation and so keep people enjoying the benefits of exercise for longer. Perhaps even more advantageously, the combined benefits of using trekking poles in reducing load to the lower limbs, increasing stability and reducing muscle damage could also help avoid injury on subsequent days trekking. It is often the reduced reaction time and position sense, associated with damaged muscles that cause the falls and trips that can lead to further injury in mountainous or uneven terrain.


"These findings have particularly strong application for exercisers wishing to engage in consecutive days' activity in mountainous terrain."

Pedaling Fool
06-04-2010, 10:00
This looks to be a short term study. It would be similar to studying a group of people that performed specific exercises at the gym with the only difference being the weight lifted. Well the people that lifted the least weight would exhibit similar things, i.e. less soreness, less muscle damage, less recovery time...

But the ones that lifted the least amount of weight would also be weaker (overtime), because they simply did not push themselves harder.

I know this opens the question of how much one should push themselves, but that really is a whole different topic that we should not drift into here.

I smell a marketing campaign.

The Solemates
06-04-2010, 10:17
This looks to be a short term study.

I smell a marketing campaign.

The study would obviously have a strong amount of bias, and the conclusions given in this write-up do not inform the reader without any actual data-based results to back them up. There are too many unknown variables and how they controlled them in the study without reading the whole report.

Pedaling Fool
06-04-2010, 10:22
The study would obviously have a strong amount of bias, and the conclusions given in this write-up do not inform the reader without any actual data-based results to back them up. There are too many unknown variables and how they controlled them in the study without reading the whole report.
Sounds like a marketing campaign:D

JAK
06-04-2010, 10:33
"Muscle Damage" ?

I can see the advantage of hiking pole when hiking down hills, especially on wider footpaths where there are no tree available to grab onto or push off of now and then to control your descent. For myself, if there are no trees around and the trail is slippery I will grab a stick, but I don't need trekking poles. People that use trekking poles to allow them to carry more weight are really misguided. You should reduce your pack weight before resorting to trekking poles, and the best thing to do for yourself to enjoy a lifetime of hiking, or running, is to reduce your body weight to' well within the so-called 'normal range', which isn't very normal by today's standards.

"Muscle damage", as they call it, is how we get stronger. If it isn't excessive, it is good for you. If you have weak joints, or are overweight, then you will benefit more from treking poles in order to allow you to get out there, but by the logic of this study people should never run, they should always walk. Some people shouldn't run, and some people should only hike with poles, but in general, studies like this tend to over-promote the use of trekking poles. The study is likely sponsored in some way. Run when you can. Hike when you can. Use poles if you must, or when they are helpful. Don't overuse them, as a crutch, or like overbuilt hiking boots or running shoes.

Most important - lose some weight !
If poles help you do that, by all means hike with poles.
Pole vs No poles is insignificant compared to the benefits of weight reduction.

Panzer1
06-04-2010, 10:40
The study is likely sponsored in some way.

The article said "A study by academics at Northumbria University"'
Sounds impartial to me.

Panzer

JAK
06-04-2010, 10:42
Most academic studies are sponsored in some way, and many are not as objective as they should be.

JAK
06-04-2010, 10:48
It would also be nice to read the research paper, rather than an article about the paper.

Rain Man
06-04-2010, 11:01
Perhaps even more advantageously, the combined benefits of using trekking poles in reducing load to the lower limbs, increasing stability and reducing muscle damage could also help avoid injury on subsequent days trekking. It is often the reduced reaction time and position sense, associated with damaged muscles that cause the falls and trips that can lead to further injury in mountainous or uneven terrain.

I've hiked with and without trekking poles, with and without heavy packs. Didn't really need a study to teach me the above conclusion, but still nice to read that my anecdotal experiences are confirmed by scientific study.

Rain:sunMan

.

Yukon
06-04-2010, 11:06
My own personal study has shown me that trekking poles work great for me...that's all I need to know.

JAK
06-04-2010, 11:08
It's not that I doubt that hiking poles can reduce the strain on the leg muscles and joints. It's the use of the term "muscle damage" that raises a flag for me. Also the articles reference to trekking pole manufacturers claims and so forth, and the way the conclusions and implications of the study are worded. Also, anytime a commerical product is endorsed by a 'scientific study', you have to ask questions, especially when it is a magazine or e-zine article about the study, and not the peer-reviewed paper itself.

This is junk science, maybe not the research itself, or the research paper, but the article is for sure, whether there was any direct advertising associated wirth it or not. If it isn't deliberately misleading, it is certainly leaning in the direction of allowing people to become ill-informed and mislead. It provided very little in the way of useful information.

JAK
06-04-2010, 11:12
I would agree with rainman that the article provides no information that people should not be able to figure out for themselves with a limited trial, or even without trial.

So what is the purpose of this research, or this article? Junk science.

Rocketman
06-04-2010, 11:23
It would also be nice to read the research paper, rather than an article about the paper.

I agree.

Then why do you do all of this "Junk Science" labeling?

You haven't read the paper, so shouldn't you avoidthis kind of namecalling?

jesse
06-04-2010, 11:39
The article said "A study by academics at Northumbria University"'
Sounds impartial to me.

Panzer

They could have had funding from an outside source. The article did not say. Few studies are impartial.

bigcranky
06-04-2010, 11:40
This looks to be a short term study. It would be similar to studying a group of people that performed specific exercises at the gym with the only difference being the weight lifted. Well the people that lifted the least weight would exhibit similar things, i.e. less soreness, less muscle damage, less recovery time...



In this case, the subjects hiked the same mountain with the same pack weight -- so no, it's not at all similar to studying two groups of people lifting different amounts of weight. Sheesh.

It takes the same amount of energy to climb the mountain -- possibly more if one is lifting hiking poles with each step. From my own experience, I suspect the reason for the study's findings is that the subjects spread the load out to all four limbs, reducing the impact on the legs (and knees, etc.) From my own anecdotal evidence, I do experience less soreness and have more energy left at the end of the day when I am using poles, than when I don't use them -- even though I am walking the same mountains carrying the same pack.

GGS2
06-04-2010, 11:44
No! Namedalling is FUN! Besides, without namecalling, WB would be practically silent. Just saying. :)

JAK
06-04-2010, 11:47
I agree.

Then why do you do all of this "Junk Science" labeling?

You haven't read the paper, so shouldn't you avoidthis kind of namecalling?True, I haven't read the research paper, so I can't really comment on it.

The article is junk science.

JAK
06-04-2010, 11:53
I am more sore after I run. Does that mean I should walk? Maybe. Maybe not.

More to the point, does that mean that no one should run on trails? I don't think so.

The research paper, as described by the Science Daily article, is meaningless nonsense.

peakbagger
06-04-2010, 12:03
My positive conclusions for poles are based on observations of northbound through hikers. Generally when they make it to Gorham NH, they have pared back the non essentials they are carrying to only things that are a net benefit to the hike. The majority of the apparent through hikers coming through town usually have poles or hiking sticks, so my conclusion is that poles must have been a net beneift to their hike.

Now obviously there are potential errors in this type of observational study. I dont keep numerical results and dont stop and ask a person if he or she is a through hiker. It also may be the people who dont use poles only enter the town under cover of darkness or skip it altogether. ;). Another possibility is that the damage to the hiker has already occured and the poles are used as aids.

Sure sounds to me like this is a good research topic for a PHD candidate as it comes up frequently.

JAK
06-04-2010, 12:07
Would the Phd be in kinesiology, or psycology or sociology or marketing? ;)

One thing I know well is that it isn't easy to make money selling nothing.

JAK
06-04-2010, 12:10
peakbagger,
Interesting observation though.

What is the average weight of gear of NOBO thru-hikers by NH?
Also, the average body weight? Would most people still be overweight?

Pedaling Fool
06-04-2010, 13:02
In this case, the subjects hiked the same mountain with the same pack weight -- so no, it's not at all similar to studying two groups of people lifting different amounts of weight. Sheesh.

I don't see it as being all that different, however, the two forms of exercise are different, one being cardio and the other resistance. Which reminds me of something I often wonder about: when does an exercise transition from cardio to resistance and vise versa...but that's another issue...

Let's us another analogy, this is a cardio exercise: cycling. You can do the same simplistic study on a group that rides a bike with big gears vs. small gears. The group that rides with big gears are going to experience more muscle damage, take longer to recover.... Yes different activities, but it's all about the force exerted on the body.


It takes the same amount of energy to climb the mountain -- possibly more if one is lifting hiking poles with each step.
Energy lifting the poles..............:rolleyes: Besides this isn't really about energy expended, it's about stress on one's skelatal/muscular system

From my own experience, I suspect the reason for the study's findings is that the subjects spread the load out to all four limbs, reducing the impact on the legs (and knees, etc.) From my own anecdotal evidence, I do experience less soreness and have more energy left at the end of the day when I am using poles, than when I don't use them -- even though I am walking the same mountains carrying the same pack.
I don't argue that poles can reduce pain, especially in the joints. I'm just saying that one can build up the body without poles.

This "study" seems to be saying, albeit in a subtle way, that you NEED to hike with poles or else you will suffer debilitating injury later in life.

flemdawg1
06-04-2010, 13:21
This "study" seems to be saying, albeit in a subtle way, that you NEED to hike with poles or else you will suffer debilitating injury later in life.

No it only talks about soreness and damage. Nothing about injury, debilitating or otherwise.

Notice how the only folks trashing the article are the same ole "anti-pole" folks.

Lone Wolf
06-04-2010, 13:33
Notice how the only folks trashing the article are the same ole "anti-pole" folks.

i ain't "anti-pole" but the article proves nothing. some folks are just tougher than others

Feral Bill
06-04-2010, 13:34
This sounds like a study that could be readily replicated to see if the results are the same. That's how science works. Science Daily, incidently, is hardly a junk science site. They summarize all sorts of interesting work, and anyone can probably get the original paper easily enough.

And no, I am not a pole person as a rule.

Alligator
06-04-2010, 13:42
The fellow that conducted the study is Dr. Glyn Howatson (http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/psychsport/ses/sportstaff/GlynHowatson/).

Elder
06-04-2010, 14:57
i ain't "anti-pole" but the article proves nothing. some folks are just tougher than others

"Ain't anti-pole" can I quote that! :eek:

JAK
06-04-2010, 15:25
Most people wouldn't know what real objectivity was until it left them out on an ice flow for the polar bears.

Pedaling Fool
06-04-2010, 15:39
No it only talks about soreness and damage. Nothing about injury, debilitating or otherwise.
I said this: "This "study" seems to be saying, albeit in a subtle way, that you NEED to hike with poles or else you will suffer debilitating injury later in life."

note the words "seems" and "subtle way". I did NOT say it said it as fact.

Notice how the only folks trashing the article are the same ole "anti-pole" folks.
Wrong: If you look at my posts in the past you would see that I've recommended a particular brand of hiking poles. My opinion is simply unbiased. I have nothing against hiking poles, the researcher or the magazine.

Pedaling Fool
06-04-2010, 15:54
Like I said I believe this so-called study is part of a marketing campaign, nothing wrong with that in itself, I'm all for capitalism. But what other reason can anyone else believe is the purpose of this study?

Basically the study says that if you use hiking poles you will experience less soreness...well no sht, of course you do because you are distributing weight from your lower body to your upper body, in other words you're reducing the weight that your legs must support. duh...


So what's the point of this study....

Pedaling Fool
06-04-2010, 15:57
I'd like to see a study that claims hiking poles cause "tennis elbow":D

You know from all the extra weight your arms must now support:rolleyes:

Big Dawg
06-04-2010, 17:28
I love science!!! oh,,, and trekking poles!!

Miner
06-04-2010, 18:10
I personally find that Trekking pole definitely helps when I hike when I'm not in great condition which is often the case when doing short length trips while working at a desk most of the year. But after being on a long trail for 1000+miles, their benefit is minimal at best; except when you stumble over a rock. For those who keep themselves in far better physical condition to begin with would likely find their need for poles to be lower.

flemdawg1
06-04-2010, 18:10
Like I said I believe this so-called study is part of a marketing campaign, nothing wrong with that in itself, I'm all for capitalism. But what other reason can anyone else believe is the purpose of this study?

Basically the study says that if you use hiking poles you will experience less soreness...well no sht, of course you do because you are distributing weight from your lower body to your upper body, in other words you're reducing the weight that your legs must support. duh...


So what's the point of this study....

So the hiking manf wanted to back claims of its products benefits, why is it such a big deal for you?

I've worked on spotting equip research (Easton bats), so yes a trekking pole co probably did fund this study and provided poles packs, etc for it. That doesn't invalidate the study. The methodology of which is easy enough to replicate that it could be invalidated easily by further research. However, most people, anecdotally, do experience the benefits listed. This just confirms those benefits by way of a scientific study.

weary
06-04-2010, 21:31
From a couple of decades of practice, I know a stick helps on rough trails. The question in my mind is whether two sticks, add to or subtract from that help.

Blue Jay
06-04-2010, 21:43
From a couple of decades of practice, I know a stick helps on rough trails. The question in my mind is whether two sticks, add to or subtract from that help.

Trees, who manufacture sticks, rarely fund "scientific" studies. It's just not figured into their budget. Since you're talking marketing, it's clear Leki has now moved on to targeting the larger market of exercise walkers. They are claiming that using poles uses 25% more energy, so you can lose weight faster. This is just what thru hikers need, to have to carry 25% more food.
On a side note, in the past, for years when I hiked south thru the thru, 99% used 2 poles. This year around 80%. The pole religion has peaked, tick tok says the harlequin.:welcome

Cookerhiker
06-04-2010, 21:49
Well I'm committed to poles by definition - I'm on-record (http://www.trailspace.com/articles/trekking-poles-benefits.html).

fiddlehead
06-04-2010, 21:52
Looks like a study funded by trekking pole companies.

I'm sure you folks buy a lot to keep them in business so that they have the money to put out this kind of propaganda.

Lone Wolf
06-04-2010, 22:23
unreal y'all. it's just walkin'. i've hiked 16,000 miles with a 35+lb. pack and never felt no pain or nothin'. never had no sticks. never slackpacked either. poles schmoles

Elder
06-04-2010, 22:35
Trees, who manufacture sticks, rarely fund "scientific" studies. It's just not figured into their budget. Since you're talking marketing, it's clear Leki has now moved on to targeting the larger market of exercise walkers. They are claiming that using poles uses 25% more energy, so you can lose weight faster. This is just what thru hikers need, to have to carry 25% more food.
On a side note, in the past, for years when I hiked south thru the thru, 99% used 2 poles. This year around 80%. The pole religion has peaked, tick tok says the harlequin.:welcome
Blue Jay.. NORDIC Walking poles increase energy used.
TREKKING poles..Lekis especially, MINIMIZE the effort needed.
Where did you get an 80% this year ? Use is not down.
Weary, using TWO poles, over one, or none, AVERAGES 6% fewer footsteps per mile YMMV. Longer, more relaxed stride, no hesitation on hop ups/downs. 6% easy.
Why does anyone who choses NOT to use poles even comment?

fiddlehead
06-04-2010, 23:02
Blue Jay..
Why does anyone who choses NOT to use poles even comment?

Maybe because we feel it is obvious who put out the study, and it is flawed.

I guess we are just trying to open some minds a bit.

Why? ...............Some do listen.

Feral Bill
06-04-2010, 23:12
Maybe because we feel it is obvious who put out the study, and it is flawed.

I guess we are just trying to open some minds a bit.

Why? ...............Some do listen.

There is no evidence whatever of who funded the study, or that the methodology is flawed. The fact that the results would please the pole makers shows nothing. The fact that the study controls for other variables and is easy to repoduce says a great deal.

chiefiepoo
06-05-2010, 00:19
As noted above, that weight did not levitate up the mountain. I had seen another study that had the pole users feeling less fatigued in calves, quads and hams, but reporting more stiffness, sore spots, fatigue in the upper torso that carried that weight up the hill. Me, i use two poles principleyfor stability and uneven surfaces. They are a net positive for my experience

Rick500
06-05-2010, 01:07
I started hiking without poles, and never thought I'd use them; thought they were a gimmick.

Then my knee started acting up, and I tried using poles. Now that I've used them, I wish it hadn't taken a knee injury to get me to try them. I don't hike without them now.

For me, they're very much a net positive. To each his own, though, of course.

jesse
06-05-2010, 01:07
Why does anyone who choses NOT to use poles even comment?

cause its a blog.

Franco
06-05-2010, 05:05
"Maybe because we feel it is obvious who put out the study, and it is flawed."

I do find this statement and similar comments from others rather curious.

The very first paragraph in that article states " A study by academics at Northumbria University..." so yes it is obvious who put out that study...
On the other hand if you intended to say "who financed that study" I would like to know who that is since it is "obvious" to you.
Is that the International Trekking Poles Manufacturers Association ?
Leki,Black Diamond.Exped,Komperdell, Fizan,Griphon ?
Why would any of them finance a generic ,IE non brand specific, study that benefits their direct competitors ?
Flawed ?
How is it flawed when you have (or maybe not...) just read an article about that study ?

Franco

JAK
06-05-2010, 06:19
These days, everything is flawed that involves people. People suck.

fiddlehead
06-05-2010, 06:59
"Maybe because we feel it is obvious who put out the study, and it is flawed."

I do find this statement and similar comments from others rather curious.

The very first paragraph in that article states " A study by academics at Northumbria University..." so yes it is obvious who put out that study...
On the other hand if you intended to say "who financed that study" I would like to know who that is since it is "obvious" to you.
Is that the International Trekking Poles Manufacturers Association ?
Leki,Black Diamond.Exped,Komperdell, Fizan,Griphon ?
Why would any of them finance a generic ,IE non brand specific, study that benefits their direct competitors ?
Flawed ?
How is it flawed when you have (or maybe not...) just read an article about that study ?

Franco

Ok, let me put it this way: Who controls the media?
How are they projecting the attack on the aid ship heading to Gaza?
Do you think perhaps the media is biased?
I think trekking pole studies are biased.
Those who think they are great, will say they are great.
Those who don't, well, they probably won't get much of a chance to offer their opinion.
This trekking pole debate has been around for about 15 years now. Before that, you only saw old, half crippled people (who probably really needed them) using these poles.
Put it this way: How many thru-hikers do you know that have at least 6 thru-hikes under their belt use trekking poles compared to newbies?
Wouldn't that be a better study? Or a more honest one anyway.

I'll let you guess if I use them or not.

Pedaling Fool
06-05-2010, 09:08
So the hiking manf wanted to back claims of its products benefits, why is it such a big deal for you?

I've worked on spotting equip research (Easton bats), so yes a trekking pole co probably did fund this study and provided poles packs, etc for it. That doesn't invalidate the study. The methodology of which is easy enough to replicate that it could be invalidated easily by further research. However, most people, anecdotally, do experience the benefits listed. This just confirms those benefits by way of a scientific study.
I basically agree with you on one level, because I believe in capitalism, which is basically a system that separates idiots from their money (they were going to blow-it any way).

However, on the other hand, whenever I see BS, I canít help but to call it out. Therefore, all I'm saying is that just because one experiences more pain after hiking without poles is not necessarily a bad thing; the pain is simply the body repairing itself. But we all know the implication from the companies will be to distort the facts by highlighting the positive and downplaying the negative, who can argue that?

BTW, I donít know if any company financed it, I suspect it, but regardless they will use it to their advantage and, as always, the way they will use it they will distort the facts in the process of getting their message out. And Iíll say BSÖbut in the end if someone buys the BS, Iím all right with that.

I use poles and there's photographic evidence in my gallery. But I also think maybe I've developed a weakness in using them, and Iím considering not using them anymore (but I really like the stability I get from them), but I'm not anti-pole. But I will admit that poles are probably a good thing for people starting out to lessen the impact (sort of like training wheels are good for little kids), but you should be mindful of a weakness they develop. I just always try and evaluate things separate from my biases.

Itís really no different from shoes, the higher quality shoe one wears the more comfortable the hike, but with that one develops a weakness, the weakness of tender feet and reduced strength in stabilizing muscles/structure in oneís ankles. So shoes cause weakness, but Iím not anit-shoe.

weary
06-05-2010, 15:06
I found the study interesting, though I wish it had involved a comparison between using two poles or one pole.

I'm of the one pole school, mostly because one pole gives me the stability I need, reduces the weight somewhat, leaves one hand free for grasping trees, rocks and shrubs, picture taking and stuff, and one pole reduces the tendency I see in many two-pole users to vault along too fast for conditions, resulting in needless falls and near falls, and more joint problems.

Or that's my observation, at least. I very rarely fall while hiking. Something like once every several years, while two pole users on White Blaze seem to fall almost daily, if their reports are to be believed.

Yup, they certainly also walk faster and less carefully than I do. Especially, now that the deterioration of age has set in. But I never fell very often when I outwalked most people I regularly hiked with.

Weary

JAK
06-05-2010, 15:28
The research paper itself is not a research paper at all, but more of a press release, and does not provide anything more than the article. This is weird.

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=77477&CultureCode=en

JAK
06-05-2010, 15:37
Same stuff, straight from Northumbria University, but really just a news article, not a research paper...

http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/browse/ne/uninews/hikerspoles

This is too weird, that a university would state that research has been done, which shows something 'for the first time' without citing any peer review research paper. All the do it provide 3 quotes from the researcher. They should have at least stated when something might actually be published. This does not seem right.

Pedaling Fool
06-05-2010, 15:44
:-? This study got me thinking...maybe I should start squatting less weight in the gym and maybe, just maybe, I'll experience less muscle damage and quicker recovery time:D I wonder if they'll do a study on that:rolleyes:

JAK
06-05-2010, 15:56
Here we go...

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/publishahead/Trekking_Poles_Reduce_Exercise_Induced_Muscle.9918 5.aspx

I don't know why this paper wouldn't have been cited in all the other places.

Feral Bill
06-05-2010, 15:59
The research paper itself is not a research paper at all, but more of a press release, and does not provide anything more than the article. This is weird.

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=77477&CultureCode=en

Maybe the paper as such has not been published yet. I'd sure like to know what's up.

Big Dawg
06-05-2010, 16:06
unreal y'all. it's just walkin'. i've hiked 16,000 miles with a 35+lb. pack and never felt no pain or nothin'. never had no sticks. never slackpacked either. poles schmoles

maybe if I had 16,000 miles under my belt, I wouldn't need no stinkin poles either. you're the man:clap

Egads
06-05-2010, 16:58
Do your own independent study, draw your own conclusions, then hike your own damn hike :-?

Rocketman
06-05-2010, 19:57
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=trekking%20poles%20medical&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=ws

Scholar http://scholar.google.com/scholar/scholar_envelope.png (http://scholar.google.com/scholar_alerts?view_op=create_alert_options&hl=en&alert_query=intitle:%22trekking+poles%22++medical&alert_params=hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D1000000) New! Articles and patents Articles excluding patentsLegal opinions and journals Federal cases Iowa cases Advanced searchÖ anytimesince 2010since 2009since 2008since 2007since 2006since 2005since 2004since 2003since 2002since 2001since 2000since 1999since 1998since 1997since 1996since 1995since 1994since 1993since 1992since 1991 include citationsat least summariesResults 1 - 10 of about 6,070. (0.11 sec) Effects of hiking downhill using trekking poles while carrying external loads (http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2007/01000/Effects_of_Hiking_Downhill_Using_Trekking_Poles.26 .aspx)


M Bohne, J ABENDROTH-SMITH - Medicine & Science in Sports Ö, 2007 - journals.lww.com
... Peak ground reaction forces and braking forces while walking downhill with and without the use
of trekking poles. ... Load carriage using packs: a review of physiological, biomechanical and medical
gait. ... Kinematic effects of hiking pole use in simulated uphill backpacking. ...
Cited by 9 (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=6793589936224567764&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - Related articles (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:1IFVkg2uR14J:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - BL Direct (http://direct.bl.uk/research/0C/3D/RN202067229.html?source=googlescholar) - All 5 versions (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=6793589936224567764&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000)
Trekking poles increase physiological responses to hiking without increased perceived exertion (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2008/09000/Trekking_Poles_Increase_Physiological_Responses_to .12.aspx)


MJ Saunders, GR Hipp, DL Wenos, ML Ö - The Journal of Strength Ö, 2008 - journals.lww.com
... Before testing, all subjects signed an informed consent form and completed a comprehensive
medical questionnaire to determine the presence of any ... was a practice trial, in which subjects
were provided instructions regarding how to properly use the trekking poles and walked ...
Cited by 5 (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=9138552588356524986&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - Related articles (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:ups3Nimp0n4J:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - All 3 versions (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=9138552588356524986&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000)
Custom skiing and trekking adaptations for a trans-tibial and trans-radial quadrilateral amputee (http://www.informaworld.com/index/913065049.pdf)


R Farley, F Mitchell, M Griffiths - Prosthetics and orthotics Ö, 2004 - informaworld.com
... standard prosthetic components and a description of the custom- adapted alpine trekking sticks
used also as ski poles. Reference is made to the role of risk assessment, the design and
manufacture in providing this type of custom-made rehabilitation device. Medical history A 30 ...
Cited by 1 (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=615942880273964344&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - Related articles (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:OB2pRMlEjAgJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - BL Direct (http://direct.bl.uk/research/15/26/RN149436223.html?source=googlescholar) - All 5 versions (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=615942880273964344&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000)
Trekking Poles Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Injury during Mountain Walking (http://pdfs.journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/9000/00000/Trekking_Poles_Reduce_Exercise_Induced_Muscle.9918 5.pdf)


G Howatson, P Hough, J Pattison, JA Ö - Medicine & Science Ö, 2010 - pdfs.journals.lww.com
... MVC of the non-dominant knee extensors was determined using a strain gauge (MIE Medical
Research Ltd., Leeds, UK). The strain gauge was attached to the non- ... Page 11. DISCUSSION
Paragraph Number 15 We hypothesised that the use of trekking poles would maintain ...
[CITATION] Load Carriage Force Production Comparison Between Standard and Anti-shock Trekking Poles


BH Jacobson, J Kaloupek, DB Smith
Related articles (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:pDr0si8K7qoJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000)
[PDF] CONSENSUS STATEMENT OF THE UIAA MEDICAL COMMISSION (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcNews/media/u_content/File/medicine/uiaa_factsheets/UIAA_MedCom_Rec_No_11_Hiking_sticks_2008.pdf)


thebmc.co.uk (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmcNews/media/u_content/File/medicine/uiaa_factsheets/UIAA_MedCom_Rec_No_11_Hiking_sticks_2008.pdf) [PDF]A Koukoutsi - thebmc.co.uk
... Intended for Physicians, Interested Non-medical Persons and Trekking or Expedition Operators ...
The reductions during downhill walking with hiking poles are caused primarily by the forces
applied to the hiking poles and by a change in posture to a more forward leaning position ...
Related articles (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=related:opOR0B3RujQJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - View as HTML (http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:opOR0B3RujQJ:scholar.google.com/+trekking+poles+medical&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000) - All 6 versions (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=3799579161623892898&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000)
Essay: Wilderness medicine and creativity (http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0140673606699248)


L Freer - The Lancet, 2006 - Elsevier
... a few trekking poles. Our staff and I have survived (as have our patients) in the shadow of the
world's highest mountain, the most austere environment in which I have ever worked, for 2 months
every spring for the past 4 years. I owe everything to the Wilderness Medical Society ...
All 2 versions (http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=1886530150387794181&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000)

(http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:COonzPpRqrAJ:scholar.google.com/+trekking+poles+medical&hl=en&as_sdt=1000000)
JOURNAL OF STRENGTH CONDITIONING RESEARCH Return to Top (http://www.wemjournal.org/wmsonline/?request=get-document&issn=1080-6032&volume=020&issue=04&page=0388)


L Return - Wilderness and Environmental Medicine - wemjournal.org
... (Lancet. 2009;373:58Ė67) AM Noor, JJ Mutheu, AJ Tatem, SI Hay, and RW Snow. Prepared by
Chioma Agbo, MS4 Stanford Medical School, Stanford, CA, USA. ... Trekking Poles Increase
Physiological Responses to Hiking Without Increased Perceived Exertion. ...

Blue Jay
06-05-2010, 22:03
Blue Jay.. NORDIC Walking poles increase energy used.
TREKKING poles..Lekis especially, MINIMIZE the effort needed.
Why does anyone who choses NOT to use poles even comment?

And the difference between Nordic and Trekking poles is????? I can't wait to hear this one. Why do I comment, because I can.:eek:

Blue Jay
06-05-2010, 22:12
As noted above, that weight did not levitate up the mountain.

You might be onto something, pole people forget their arms and legs are both connected to their body. Once you take the force off your arms the weight is still carried by your body and all of it is transferred, including the force your arms briefly took off, back to your legs. If your knees are damaged steady pressure just might be better than constant half, twice, half, twice, half, twice. Just a theory, doubt a "study" will be done.

Blue Jay
06-05-2010, 22:14
Do your own independent study, draw your own conclusions, then hike your own damn hike :-?

And the alternative is????? I can't wait to hear this one either.

Elder
06-05-2010, 22:33
And the difference between Nordic and Trekking poles is????? I can't wait to hear this one. Why do I comment, because I can.:eek:

:rolleyes: Nordic Walking poles use a smaller, thinner grip to enhance (increase) the grip/ release motion and create more exercise. They are used in the power/ push/ position; like a cross country skier. They were developed by skiers looking to get exercise/training without snow. Nordic walking is a excellant exercise. No impact, great return.
;) Trekking poles are used and designed to minimize the effort of hiking uphill, downhill and even adds rythm to flat walking. Remember 6% fewer footsteps per mile?
Have you anything constructive to say? :eek:

Blue Jay
06-05-2010, 22:37
:rolleyes: Nordic Walking poles use a smaller, thinner grip to enhance (increase) the grip/ release motion and create more exercise. They are used in the power/ push/ position; like a cross country skier. They were developed by skiers looking to get exercise/training without snow. Nordic walking is a excellant exercise. No impact, great return.
;) Trekking poles are used and designed to minimize the effort of hiking uphill, downhill and even adds rythm to flat walking. Remember 6% fewer footsteps per mile?
Have you anything constructive to say? :eek:

Regarding your explaination, hell no.

Elder
06-05-2010, 22:45
And the difference between Nordic and Trekking poles is????? I can't wait to hear this one. Why do I comment, because I can.:eek:
Nordic Walking poles. They have smaller, thinner grips designed to enhance and create the grip/release motion similar to cross country skiing. They are used predominantly in the power/push motion and add tremendous return on your exercise.
Trekking poles have grips and straps designed to minimize the effort to hold and use them. they swing freely forward and take a huge amount of shock load off your body, even more with shocks. Then there is the 6% reduction in footsteps per mile. YMMV...usually more.
Propulsion, balance, braking, stability, cadence and rythm...lots of good reasons to use them.:D

and for John Gault 1000's SOLD!!! ;)

Elder
06-05-2010, 22:46
Sorry for the multi-post,

Tinker
06-05-2010, 22:49
i ain't "anti-pole" but the article proves nothing. some folks are just tougher than others

Or more resistant to change :rolleyes:.

Although tough and stubborn do seem to pal around together a bit ;).

One thing I'll agree with LW on is that people who do without (whatever) tend to be less likely to moan and groan when the going gets tough.

I use poles, so I guess I'm a little soft :D.

fiddlehead
06-06-2010, 02:51
:rolleyes:
;) Trekking poles are used and designed to minimize the effort of hiking uphill, downhill and even adds rythm to flat walking. Remember 6% fewer footsteps per mile?
Have you anything constructive to say? :eek:

I don't hike with the things but I do believe that trekking poles have some very important uses in the backpacking game:
1/ they can (and I have) be used in place of an ice ax to self arrest in some snow conditions.
2/ they are great for setting my tarp/tent
3/ they are a good aid in fording rivers, especially deep ones.
4/ they help keep dogs at bay when hiking near houses with protective dogs.
5/ help in getting your food down in the morning if you hung it high

In all the above cases, you only need one though.

I don't recall the study promoting any of these benefits though.

ps. i can walk faster uphill, downhill or on the level without them. I have tried.

Pedaling Fool
06-06-2010, 08:36
and for John Gault 1000's SOLD!!! ;)
Can't argue with that; when did hiking poles first come out in the hiking community? Probably would have been a smart thing to buy some stock:D

Pedaling Fool
06-06-2010, 09:37
Here's another idea for a study: The social / environmental impact of Hiking poles:D

Not my idea it's on page 10 of the below link

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/atf/cf/%7BD25B4747-42A3-4302-8D48-EF35C0B0D9F1%7D/RGsprg01.pdf

And this is the ATC's recommendation for reducing YOUR impact

Tips for No-Trace Trekking

1. Use poles responsibly. Be sensitive to the potential environmental
and social impacts of pole use. Avoid or minimize
damage to vegetation, soils, and rock.


2. Use rubber tips when possible. Carbide tips scar rocks, can be
noisy, and leave holes in soft soils.


3. Remove baskets unless traveling in snow. Pole baskets catch
and can damage vegetation and are rarely needed.


4. Minimize pole use. Evaluate whether you need poles for a
particular hike or for all sections (e.g., flat or sensitive terrain) during your hike.


So what's your priority the environment or your knees?:D;)

:sun

Pedaling Fool
06-06-2010, 09:42
LEKI would have been a great company to invest in back in the 1990's. Look they even support scientific research http://www.leki.com/media.php


Menís Health
Jan/Feb issue "Cardio Bulletin" section details the benefits of trekking poles, includes mention of LEKIís involvement with the scientific study, and the Super Makalu AS pole.


I'm not bashing them, I'm just pissed I didn't invest



:D

weary
06-06-2010, 10:24
....I use poles, so I guess I'm a little soft :D.
Or perhaps just more into marketing hype.

Wags
06-06-2010, 11:01
positive benefits for me:

-less impact on my knees on downhills
-pushes poison ivy off the trail at spots where it's overgrown
-knocks down early morning spiderwebs instead of my face
-creates an awning for my tarp
-balance aid during rock fields
-allows me to go down steep hills in the winter (snow/ice) without falling too much

the above are way more than enough benefits for me to use them

Elder
06-06-2010, 18:27
On the Tips for No Trace..Old Information.
Rubber tips are DANGEROUS, Leki does not recommend them for anything but flat, road walking.
No baskets..sure the old Snowflakes etc. Modern trekking baskets hardly hang and protect the pole from some bends, protect the Trail from plowing instead of aeration...little holes and one more time...the rocks don't care!
One rescue/ evacuation does much more damage than a Lot of little holes!

Weary, how much function use and appreciation can hikers offer, and where do you see hype?
I've been selling them for 30+ years, are the obvious and tested benefits not sufficient?
Of course, HYOH, but why the detraction?

weary
06-06-2010, 20:09
....Weary, how much function use and appreciation can hikers offer, and where do you see hype?
.....
In hundreds of ads and thousands of PR promotions. The evidence is overwhelming that a pole or poles help many hikers. But at a cost of some trail damage, and at a significant calorie penalty.

Plus I remain puzzled by the reports on White Blaze about the numerous falls that hiking sticks avoid, and the "few" that hikers carrying lekis experience -- like only "one a day."

Since learning to walk 80 years ago, I rarely fall down, on or off trails, and in recent years, I carry only one homemade hiking stick fashioned from an alder sapling.

Weary

JAK
06-06-2010, 20:19
I don't use hiking poles, but my daughter got me onto hiking with a single wooden stave, at least when I am hiking with her. I like it to be the same height as myself. I am experimenting with different woods, including light softwoods. I made a couple for two neighbour kids of maple that turned out quite nice and they keep them inside their front door when not out on a hike. The inner bark makes nice designs where it has been scraped off in some places and not in others, as it darkens differently than the other wood, but it all darkens and ages quite nicely.

Egads
06-06-2010, 20:38
My personal experience is that using Gossamer Gear Light-trek 3 poles (at 2.5 oz each) gives me more speed up hills and on flats, gives me better balance, aids me on loooong days, provides traction in snow & ice, and serves as poles for my shelter. They're kinda like shoes, you don't need them but they make the experience much better.

JAK
06-06-2010, 20:48
Ok, I can see 2 poles maybe, but 3 poles? I'm not sure I want more information.

Egads
06-06-2010, 20:57
Ok, I can see 2 poles maybe, but 3 poles? I'm not sure I want more information.
What, no smiling face?

Either I use two poles named Lightrek 3 or I am a blessed man. You figure it out.:D
http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/Lightrek3_Trekking_Poles.html

JAK
06-06-2010, 21:13
Sometimes using a smiley just ruins the beauty of the moment. :)

Dances with Mice
06-06-2010, 22:18
...when did hiking poles first come out in the hiking community? Exodus 4:17

Franco
06-07-2010, 00:27
"when did hiking poles first come out in the hiking community?"

There are 4500/5000 year old rock drawings in Norway depicting a man on two skis holding a stick
(Later someone must have realised that two poles were better than one... )
I am sure that when "modern" ski poles where introduced into the marked some would have gone around denouncing this evil idea and
reminding everyone that sticks had worked for many generations, no need to fall into the marketing trap.

Leki started selling trekking poles in 1974.
In 1981 a Dr G Neureuther published a study suggesting using "ski poles" for jogging(and walking)

That suggests a few points.
One : early adopters did not buy them or used them because of the hype
(What Leki did was to optimise what some of the customers where already doing. Not the other way around. )
Two : it isn't a new "fad" at all, just a modern version of the stick . The same had already happened for skiers .
Three : if indeed there is no benefit , their use would have decreased over the decades.
Franco

JAK
06-07-2010, 05:55
I think the essential debate is not whether or not they are useful to some of the people some of the time, but whether or not they are useful to all of the people all of the time.

I believe they are overused, because of marketing hype, and because our current society overconsumes. I do believe however that more people do need them today, because more people are overweight, and carry more gear weight than they should. Again,this is due in a large part ro marketing hype, and overconsumption. If more people lived more simply, there would be less need for hiking poles when hiking, and people would live longer, and be able to hike more miles later in life. They are useful however, and they should be used when they are needed. Sometimes one is better than two. Sometimes two are better than one. I prefer one over two because I think a single longer pole, of wood, makes a better standoff weapon, and is simpler and more sustainable, but that is a different debate.

Pedaling Fool
06-07-2010, 12:47
"when did hiking poles first come out in the hiking community?"

There are 4500/5000 year old rock drawings in Norway depicting a man on two skis holding a stick
(Later someone must have realised that two poles were better than one... )
I am sure that when "modern" ski poles where introduced into the marked some would have gone around denouncing this evil idea and
reminding everyone that sticks had worked for many generations, no need to fall into the marketing trap.

Leki started selling trekking poles in 1974.
In 1981 a Dr G Neureuther published a study suggesting using "ski poles" for jogging(and walking)

That suggests a few points.
One : early adopters did not buy them or used them because of the hype
(What Leki did was to optimise what some of the customers where already doing. Not the other way around. )
Two : it isn't a new "fad" at all, just a modern version of the stick . The same had already happened for skiers .
Three : if indeed there is no benefit , their use would have decreased over the decades.
Franco
I should have been more specific; I was speaking relative to the AT community. And my interests are purely financial :D

I understand there's a lot of history to poles in general http://www.google.com/search?q=history+of+hiking+poles&hl=en&tbs=tl:1&tbo=u&ei=uyANTObCKYWBlAfv4KihDg&sa=X&oi=timeline_result&ct=title&resnum=11&ved=0CDIQ5wIwCg

But it looks as though hiking poles in the AT community became popular sometime in the 1990s and I should have invested in Leki.


:sun

Franco
06-07-2010, 19:30
Jak
"I think the essential debate is not whether or not they are useful to some of the people some of the time, but whether or not they are useful to all of the people all of the time."
I don't see the debate along those lines at all.
Is there anything that works for everybody all of the time ?
The way I read the tread is :
1) pro side. They help me walking the trails..
2) against. People using poles are stupid and victims of the consumer society hype.

What I also see all too often is that certain individual are focused on telling everyone are tough they are , how many miles they have walked and how many pounds they regularly carry just because they can.
I don't see that kind of attitude of any use in helping others enjoy the trails...
Franco

weary
06-07-2010, 19:45
Jak
What I also see all too often is that certain individual are focused on telling everyone are tough they are , how many miles they have walked and how many pounds they regularly carry just because they can.
I don't see that kind of attitude of any use in helping others enjoy the trails...
Franco
I don't think there is any doubt that some find trekking poles help balance the stresses on their arms and legs while hikeing. However, this balance obviously comes at a cost, including a significant increase in hiking calorie requirements, damage to trails, and faster hiking and more resulting falls and injuries.

Sadly, there has been neither much research nor hiker experiment with one vs. two poles.

I think it may be significant that historically over the millennia, most walkers in the wild have relied on a single staff, not two. Two poles is a new phenomenone, unsupported by any scientific investigation that I have seen, but certainly by much advertising hype.

Weary

fiddlehead
06-07-2010, 20:03
From my experience of hiking the AT and hitchhiking, and hiking in Europe and Alps, they (two poles) were first used by old people in Switzerland.

Old people then had a new way to get out into the mountains they enjoyed and a few ski pole companies started making them in telescoping models so they could strap them on their back when not going up or down mountains.

Leki (or some Austrian company that I cannot remember the name of), then started marketing them in the states and it took off with the younger crowd.

The big business was up and running.

They are crutches. Hamper my speed, balance, tie up my hands, and generally are just in the way.
They are good when I blow out my knee and help me get it strong again.
But a stick found in the woods does the same.

I don't really like the clickity clack sound of the hordes using them. It tends to scare away wildlife and the total silence thing is not happening in the east much anyway.

JAK
06-07-2010, 22:10
Jak
"I think the essential debate is not whether or not they are useful to some of the people some of the time, but whether or not they are useful to all of the people all of the time."
I don't see the debate along those lines at all.
Is there anything that works for everybody all of the time ?
The way I read the tread is :
1) pro side. They help me walking the trails..
2) against. People using poles are stupid and victims of the consumer society hype.

What I also see all too often is that certain individual are focused on telling everyone are tough they are , how many miles they have walked and how many pounds they regularly carry just because they can.
I don't see that kind of attitude of any use in helping others enjoy the trails...
Franco
Well, the other thing that happens in these threads is that both side mischaracterize what the other side is trying to say.

For the record, my main points...
1. Reducing body weight and gear weight is more important than hiking poles.
2. People generally overconsume stuff, and alomg with alot of other stuff, hiking poles are being marketed and sold to people whether they need them or benefit them or not.
3. Many people do benefit from them, but in many cases a home-made hiking staff of wood might be simpler and more desirable.
4. With respect to this current article, which is really more of a press release than a research paper (although there is an abstract out there for the actual paper but it also reads more like a press release than an abstract). The case for hiking poles based on less "muscle damage" is somewhat misleading, since "muscle damage" sounds like injury, when it is not. The abstract should summarize the findings of the reasearch, and provide some key results. It fails to provide much information of any real value. Perhaps this is to get people to pay to read the entire research paper. If so, that is rather sad. That is not the way abstracts for academic research papers should be written.

East Coast Alex
06-07-2010, 23:01
(1) I'll also admit that like others, I thought the article smelled like marketing not more than a few sentences into reading it. Likewise the question being begged, as to who funded the research also crossed my mind. But in this particular case, I saw that as no reason to immediately question its validity, particularly when one considers that this is more or less a fact that is beyond reproach.

This particular kind of study is largely a formality for what most people already firmly think they know, based upon empirical evidence of a very large sample size (perhaps millions of hikers and other distance trekkers, going back since time immemorial). It needs to be scientifically confirmed in the same way that the often made claim by that exercise often helps abate peoples depression needs to be confirmed, which is to say, it's not a particularly pressing scientific problem, as the empirical evidence is pretty clear on the matter. Understanding the exact underlying mechanisms seems to be more the purpose of both kinds of study, more so than confirming the general thesis itself, the latter not really being in question due to the overwhelming empirical evidence of such a tremendously large sample size, over such a long period of time.


(2) I did not find the term "muscle damage" particularly concerning as some others did. Though I admit I did briefly attempt to correlate the term to some extent with my "marketing B.S. smell detector."

But for the most part, it is not an unusual term to be used quite frequently in exercise physiology literature. I have been reading exercise physiology articles for many years, I have subscribed to exercise physiology journals, and own the excellent book, "Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition, and Human Performance" by McCardle and Katch, and nothing about that terms strikes me as an unprofessional usage of the term, when in fact it is really quite a routine usage. The fact that that mechanism is also how our body builds muscle, doesn't change the fact of what it actually is. It's an accurate descriptor, and it is understood as such, by the appropriate people. Such people don't or won't accidentally confuse the usage of that term with more deleterious or long term kinds of damage. Only a layman could possibly do that.


(3) While the "general public" who are not educated in exercise physiology might possibly (total speculation) be prone to misinterpret what is meant by "muscle damage," I don't think the general public is much relevant in considering whether that phrase was the best selection of words. The people who need to know, athletes, know what is actually meant by the term, and that is all that matters.

JAK
06-07-2010, 23:26
Interesting points.

What about the main conclusion of the article, and that of the abstract of the paper.

Doesn't it strongly suggest that ALL people should use hiking poles when hiking up and down hills over several days? If so, is that a fact that is beyond reproach?

I think the main problem, in terms of use of science, is that the abstract is being used to make somewhat vague general conclusions, without provided the any of the data on which these conclusions were based. How about a few numbers, some key averages? It seems that even the magazine that reviewed the research only bothered to read the abstract, and then make a few generalizations of their own based on the abstract.

Who is bothering to read and review the actual research paper? The abstract is not supposed to be a teaser to get you to buy the paper. It is supposed to summarize the entire paper, including the essential data and numerical results. When people start reading and referencing such abstracts, without reading the actual paper because it has to be payed for, that does not serve society well.

This does not advanced science in any way. This is just more rhetoric.
If the abstract is representative of the actual research, the research lacks clarity.

JAK
06-08-2010, 00:01
So here again, is the abstract of the actual paper...

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/publishahead/Trekking_Poles_Reduce_Exercise_Induced_Muscle.9918 5.aspx

Trekking Poles Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Injury during Mountain Walking

Howatson, Glyn; Hough, Paul; Pattison, John; Hill, Jessica A.; Blagrove, Richard; Glaister, Mark; Thompson, Kevin G.

Abstract

Temporary muscle damage precipitated by downhill walking affects muscle function and potentially exposes muscle to further musculoskeletal injury.

Purpose: We hypothesised that the use of trekking poles would help maintain muscle function and reduce indices of muscle damage following a day's mountain trekking.

Methods: Thirty-seven physically active males (n = 26) and females (n = 11) volunteered to participate and were divided in to either a trekking pole (TP) or no pole (NP) group. Participants carried a day sack (5.6 +/- 1.5 kg) and made the ascent and descent of the highest peak in England and Wales (Mt Snowdon). Heart rate (HR) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded during the ascent and descent. Indices of muscle damage; maximal voluntary isometric force (MVC), muscle soreness (DOMS) creatine kinase (CK), and vertical jump (VJ) performance were measured before, immediately after (except CK), 24 h, 48 h and 72 h post trek.

Results: HR was not different between groups, although RPE was significantly lower in TP during the ascent. The TP group showed attenuation of reductions in MVC immediately after, 24 h and 48 h post trek; DOMS was significantly lower at 24 h and 48 h post trek and CK was also lower at 24 h post trek in the TP group. No differences in VJ were found.

Conclusion: Trekking poles reduce RPE on mountain ascents and reduce indices of muscle damage and assist in maintaining muscle function in the days following a mountain trek and reduce the potential for subsequent injury.

(C)2010The American College of Sports Medicine

So let's be clear. What they are stating is that Trekking poles reduce RPE on mountain ascents and reduce indices of muscle damage and assist in maintaining muscle function in the days following a mountain trek and reduce the potential for subsequent injury. This is based in their results which showed that after one day of hiking, the group with poles had less DOMS and Creatine Kinase than the group without as measured over the following 3 days.

Without reading the paper...
1. What did they do to reduce the possibility that the group with the poles might have better endurance for this sort of activity?
2. Couldn't they simply have repeated the test a weak later with both groups switching roles?
3. Did they really collect enough data to make the broad conslusions that they did?
4. What about the weight of the participants? What about the effect of light pack weight vs heavy pack weight?
5. Are they really suggesting that everyone should use hiking poles if they want to hike up and down hills over several days, regardless of their age, body weight, pack weight, age, fitness level, or hiking speed, elevation gain, and miles per day?
6. Where are the caveats, to keep marketing people from using the paper to mislead consumers? Is that not the role of science, to provide clear scientific evidence, and clearly identify any limitations of the evidence?

Is the abstract itself useful in any way?
Is it potentially misleading, and too open to false interpretation?

It is hard to say for sure without reading the actual paper, but it should not be neccessary to read the actual paper. If the abstract alone is being used to make and promote such claims, then the paper should be judged on the evidence as presented in the abstract. Based on the way the study was done, it does not provide sufficient evidence to support the broad claims that it has. At best, it provides evidence that trekking poles can take some strain and work off the legs, by spreading some of the strain and work onto the arms, and in doing so reduce the potential for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, and Creatine Kinase, which might allow a hiker to maintain the same level of effort for several more days before requiring rest and recover than had they not used the hiking poles. That theory could be tested, but this particular study has not tested it. It is reasonable to surmise that this might indeed be true for some individuals, but not for others. This research does not attempt to provide any useful findings regarding who should use hiking poles, and who should not or need not.

Clearly its conclusions are too generalized, because they do not provide sufficient evidence that everyone should use them, and they do not provide any guidance as to who should, and who need not. This is not a good paper.

This is not good science.

East Coast Alex
06-08-2010, 00:04
Interesting points.

What about the main conclusion of the article, and that of the abstract of the paper.

Doesn't it strongly suggest that ALL people should use hiking poles when hiking up and down hills over several days? If so, is that a fact that is beyond reproach?


The Science News reprint doesn't really mean much to me, since that is a thirdy party writing it, and in doing so, interjecting their own choice of words except where they may be directly quoting the original authors.

What concerns me is only what the researchers attach their name to. That being the actual content of the research paper itself, along with the abstract that is part of the final (or even draft) paper. The abstract, as I am sure we all understand, not being a summary of the paper written by a third party (such as Science News).



I need to find the actual abstract, but am busy at the moment. I don't recall anyone linking it in the thread.

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=77477&CultureCode=en

I made an assumption that the above, which Science News reprinted, isn't the real abstract (or at least, I would hope not....)

I took that to be more of a "teaser abstract" more so than the actual one present in the research paper, just by the way it was written. It might be the real abstract. But even if it was, my interpretation of the text wasn't that any encouragement was being made to tell people to buy the product. At least no more so than an article which explains to people that lifting weights can lead to increased muscular strength and endurance is an explicit encouragement of people to go out and purchase a set of weights. The people can draw their own inference. There's no explicit link in the article, encouraging (much less actually telling) people to buy.



------------------------

I am inclined to say that the possible line of impropriety is roughly at the point where if an author tells people to buy a certain class of products, as a response to the evidence they present instead of just presenting the evidence and letting the reader draw an obvious conclusion for themselves, that a particular product will help deal with the problem laid out in the science.

Most people would consider that impropriety, though technically I don't think it is scientific impropriety so much as it would fall under the penumbra of having some kind of vested interest in the process, often through pecuniary benefit , such that it lends the appearance that their partiality may be in question. Though people often conflate the two, even though the latter isn't really scientific impropriety, but rather is just a breach of social norm ethics with respect to the relationship between science and business.



Hikers

JAK
06-08-2010, 00:20
You probably were writing that as I was writing and posting mine. The actual abstract is posted in the post right before yours. It might be a pre-print version, before peer review, but it is probably the same as the print version. The journal it was published in is the American College of Sports Medicine.

I don't know if it is one of the better journals or not. Some are better than others. In many cases unfortunately, science and academia have become somewhat of a whore for business and politics. This is not an extreme case of this by any means, but it isn't great science either. It might have been worth publishing as a third rate research paper, but I don't think it was worthy of being referenced by Science Daily or any other magazine, so it doesn't say much for the quality of Science Daily.

I might have access to the full paper from the university I work at.
I will try and take a look tomorrow. I doubt anything will change much.

Perhaps some better scientists will feel compelled to research this more clearly.
There is too much junk science out there, done more or less deliberately for misuse.
Many people make a living this way, unfortunately.

East Coast Alex
06-08-2010, 00:25
You probably were writing that as I was writing and posting mine. The actual abstract is posted in the post right before yours.

Correct. I noticed you posted it, though. Thanks. Will now read it now.

JAK
06-08-2010, 00:29
Here is the post-acceptance version of the abstract. No change on first glance.

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/publishahead/Trekking_Poles_Reduce_Exercise_Induced_Muscle.9918 5.aspx

Pedaling Fool
06-08-2010, 09:04
From my experience of hiking the AT and hitchhiking, and hiking in Europe and Alps, they (two poles) were first used by old people in Switzerland.

Old people then had a new way to get out into the mountains they enjoyed and a few ski pole companies started making them in telescoping models so they could strap them on their back when not going up or down mountains.

Leki (or some Austrian company that I cannot remember the name of), then started marketing them in the states and it took off with the younger crowd.
This is the second time I've heard this about the two-pole system originating in Alps of Europe, with emphasis on Switzerland. And then it came to America, although with no clear route. However, I've also heard it was from European hikers hiking the AT -- but I'm not passing that off as fact.

I think I read somewhere that ~90-95% of AT thru-hikers use hiking poles; 30Ė50% of short-term backpackers and 10-15% of day-hikers use them. I think those are old numbers, not sure if it's still accurate.

weary
06-08-2010, 09:41
....I think I read somewhere that ~90-95% of AT thru-hikers use hiking poles; 30–50% of short-term backpackers and 10-15% of day-hikers use them. I think those are old numbers, not sure if it's still accurate.
Well, I don't associate much with thru hikers these days, but the figures for short term backpackers, and day hikers strike me as still current. I've never formally counted and calculated percentages. But relatively few day hikers in my small area use hiking poles, about one in 10 among those that go on our land trust guided day hikes.

And even fewer among those that I just meet on the trails. Walking remains a pretty basic enterprise, something most learn by around age 12 months. Most need artificial assistance only to compensate for physical problems, like old age, illness, or while recovering from accidents.

I had played around with found sticks as a kid. I never found them of much value, even though I always was a bit clumsy.

My first serious experience with a walking stick came at age 62, when I spent a month on the trail in Maine with a clumsy 9-year-old grandchild. I cut him a stick from brush left by a crew that had built a new side trail. He wouldn't use the stick unless I used one also.

I'm still using a single stick 19 years later when I walk on rough trails with lots of rocks and roots.

I've experimented with a pair of Leki, that the pole company had donated to The Cabin in Andover. I found the sharp points on the professional poles were more apt to cause me to fall, when crossing rocky streams and unvegetated ledges. So my homemade light weight wooden single pole with it's crutch tip remains my favorite mechanical hiking assistant.

Weary

Gray Blazer
06-08-2010, 11:43
What they don't tell you is how many people become impaled by trekking poles when they fall down the mountain.

scope
06-08-2010, 12:18
What they don't tell you is how many people become impaled by trekking poles when they fall down the mountain.

IMO, if you're using poles AND you fall down the mountain, you probably deserve to be impaled. (only slightly kidding) Now, I'm talking about hikers on a trail, not mountain climbers or skiers.

That reminds me, I need to see about replacing my tips as they wouldn't impale an overripe tomato. :D

Spokes
06-08-2010, 13:17
"One group was issued with and trained in the use of trekking poles...."

Trained to use trekking poles? It's really not that hard..... well maybe for the British.

Pedaling Fool
06-08-2010, 13:25
IMO, if you're using poles AND you fall down the mountain, you probably deserve to be impaled. (only slightly kidding) Now, I'm talking about hikers on a trail, not mountain climbers or skiers.

That reminds me, I need to see about replacing my tips as they wouldn't impale an overripe tomato. :D
I wasn't impaled, but I did fall using two hiking poles coming down the mountain towards Dick Creek's Gap (NOBO), had been raining for days and of course that section is pretty steep. Bent the stick in half. That stick is probably still laying about 25 feet from the trail (I was so pissed I flung that thing a hard is I could, but wasn't very aerodynamic):D

I can say from experience that I don't like using one pole:)

sbhikes
06-08-2010, 14:34
When I went trekking in Nepal, the Nepalese, presumably people who live more simply than I do, used a small, wooden T-shaped staff similar in height to an ice axe. When they stopped to rest, they would prop up their heavy loads on the T part of the staff.

One overlooked benefit to trekking poles is my hands do not swell. When I hike without them, I find myself searching for sticks or something to hold in my hands to help with the swelling.

Rocketman
06-08-2010, 18:26
Interesting points.

What about the main conclusion of the article, and that of the abstract of the paper.

Doesn't it strongly suggest that ALL people should use hiking poles when hiking up and down hills over several days? If so, is that a fact that is beyond reproach?

I think the main problem, in terms of use of science, is that the abstract is being used to make somewhat vague general conclusions, without provided the any of the data on which these conclusions were based. How about a few numbers, some key averages? It seems that even the magazine that reviewed the research only bothered to read the abstract, and then make a few generalizations of their own based on the abstract.

Who is bothering to read and review the actual research paper? The abstract is not supposed to be a teaser to get you to buy the paper. It is supposed to summarize the entire paper, including the essential data and numerical results. When people start reading and referencing such abstracts, without reading the actual paper because it has to be payed for, that does not serve society well.

This does not advanced science in any way. This is just more rhetoric.
If the abstract is representative of the actual research, the research lacks clarity.

JAK, you wouldn't know science if it aggressively bit you in the arse.

In practice, an abstract sort of summarizes a paper -- it doesn't summarize the entire paper in general because then the abstract would be too darned long.

I can see you don't know what an abstract is, and you are forcing your idea onto people who have far more experience and education in the matter than you have.

In many case the abstract is actually a teaser to get you to read the paper, as sometimes also is the phrasing of the title.

You are wanting "without provided the any of the data on which these conclusions were based. How about a few numbers, some key averages?"
All of which often ends up with an abstract so large that the publisher refuses to use it.



Who is bothering to read and review the actual research paper?

Researchers and other educated people who are interested in finding new knowledge that might be useful. Surely, not a guy who already has his mind made up and tries to Pooh Pooh the ideas at first exposure. In other words, JAK, you aren't going to read it, and the abstract was not written with the idea of giving you any educational benefit.



I think the main problem, in terms of use of science, is that the abstract is being used to make somewhat vague general conclusions, without provided the any of the data on which these conclusions were based.

Again, you have made up YOUR idea of what an abstract is and what it is supposed to do and are attempting to force the world to behave like you want them too.



Doesn't it strongly suggest that ALL people should use hiking poles when hiking up and down hills over several days? If so, is that a fact that is beyond reproach?

How could you prove it strongly suggests that? You made that up. What if it only suggests or implies that? How can we resolve the differences of interpretation?

Then you go on to ask if this supposed meaning is a fact beyond reproach.

This is a nice cheap debate trick.... to read into something your supposed conclusions and then to turn around and question whether these supposed conclusions are facts and putting the blame on the other person for having said XXXX, and not yourself for having made up these suppositions.

JAK
06-08-2010, 20:00
Thanks for the review of my review. Nice job.

Rain Man
06-08-2010, 20:26
What they don't tell you is how many people become impaled by trekking poles when they fall down the mountain.

Now, I don't know of anyone impaled with a trekking pole, but ...

Once I was practice-hiking and sweat was pouring into my eyes and stinging. Not wanting to slow down, and with my hand still gripping a trekking pole, I used a couple of fingers to yank my bandanna out of the 'biner on my shoulder strap. I proceeded (still gripping a trekking pole in that hand) to wipe the sweat off my brow, which temporarily blinded me, my hand and bandanna being in front of my face.

Just at that moment, the trekking pole impaled a tree, knocking my fist and the handle of the trekking pole squarely into my face, almost knocking me to my knees! LOL

You do have to watch those poles, they are tricky!!! LOL

Rain:sunMan

.

Franco
06-08-2010, 20:40
BTW, this from Thomas De Sisto at BPL :
My university has access to this journal, so I looked up the article. Based on the original article, it appears to have been funded by an internal grant from "St Maryís University College Research Support Fund." We have similar sources of funding at my university. So, regardless of the merits of the study, it does not appear to have been "industry funded." It seems to have been publicly funded. The actual trekking poles were donated by a trekking pole company.
Franco
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=33513&startat=40