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Anyone here who walked the Camino having neuropathy?

Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
#1
Hi,

I'd be interested to know if there are other members her who have polyneuropathy, especially in the feet?

For some years now, I've got neuropathy in my feet, due to a side-effect of antibiotic. I notice the neuropathy especially when I wear shoes, even in protective shoes that have no seams in the inside and are particularly made for that problem. However, these shoes are heavy and above all have no good profile, so they will be unsuitable for the Camino.

I then tested different shoes in three different shoe shops, and finally chose a pair from Meindl (trailers, Portland). In this my insoles fit perfectly and I have enough space around the toes. Nevertheless, I have found that walking in these shoes is not really comfortable, compared to my other shoes. I have only been testing for three weeks, so I'm not giving up yet, but I would like to ask others who also have neuropathy in their feet what your experiences are? What sort of shoes are you wearing?

The second question I have: I'm really scared of getting blisters. Two of my doctors - an orthopedist and an internist - think that I have to stop the camino immediately if I'm going to have blisters, as they can easily get infected and then there is the danger of amputation.

Did you get similar advice from your doctors, how did you handle the topic? What did you do when you got blisters during the Caminos?

I take care of my feet, go regularly to the podiatrist and I already diligently test with various socks, at the moment I use Wright socks, so far it looks good. But still, insecurity remains. But I do have some months to find out what works best for me, so hopefully everything will work out o.k.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#2
I have neuropathy and have walked the Camino three times. I haven't had any warnings about blisters. I know that's a concern with people with diabetic neuropathy, but I haven't been told that it pertains to my type. My feet always feel better when I walk a lot. I wore trail runners for my first two Caminos, and walked most of the Camino del Norte in sandals. The only issue I have is being able to tell the difference between a hot spot forming and the burning feeling that comes with neuropathy. I put Omnifix tape on sensitive spots on my feet every day, and that prevents blisters.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#3
I have this neuropathy issue in my whole left leg. It started like a sciatica but then the doctors set the diagnose although the reason wasn't found. I feel like electricity in my leg, sometimes even pain, lots of cramps but when this year I walked 300km+ on Camino it was just one day when I slightly felt some pain but only after the walk. I try to take vitamine B and magnesium.
Bottomline, I have more problems with it when at home and just lurking at the computer screen than on the Camino :)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#4
I am Type2 diabetic with early signs of neuropathy and I’ve been advised to take great care with my feet. I’ve had quite a few blisters over the years, but they have responded well to the application of compeed and normal plasters. The advice I’ve taken without question is to avoid ‘solutions’ that involve draining the blisters using a needle and thread.
 
Last edited:

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#6
I think that everyone should heed that advice. The old needle and thread treatment just creates a pathway for bacteria to enter the wound.
IF you decide to drain the blister with needle and the thread ALWAYS use thread soaked in iodine and disinfect the needle over the fire (cig lighter would do)!!! Otherwise it might be a disaster as @trecile wrote. And after the "surgery" cover the blister properly and clean it at least once daily with either iodine or pharmacy alcohol.

But I still don't recommend it!
 

Eamo18

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal Sept 2018
#8
Just finishing my first Camino ( Portuguese Seaside and coastal) was recommended Meindl air active, a size larger than normal. Most comfortable trekking shoes ever. My secret for no blisters is 1000 mile socks, no problems at all once care taken putting them on. Now, my knees , well that’s another story!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
#9
I enjoyed all the comments. Walking the Camino Portuguese right now. T2 diabetic. Makes me feel better just seeing others with the same concerns and solutions. 1000 mile socks save me feet and blister worry as well.
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#10
IF you decide to drain the blister with needle and the thread ALWAYS use thread soaked in iodine and disinfect the needle over the fire (cig lighter would do)!!! Otherwise it might be a disaster as @trecile wrote. And after the "surgery" cover the blister properly and clean it at least once daily with either iodine or pharmacy alcohol.

But I still don't recommend it!
Using a lghter to sterilize brings carbon into the wound. Bring clean blades. Watch Youtube videos on blister care.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
#12
Thanks to all of you who answered.

Well, than I will just try to train as much as I can, hope that I'll find perfect shoes & socks. Then I hopefully won`t get any blisters and don't have to keep the distances too low.

Btw: The only thing I was very seriously warned to use is Compeed or anything comparable, because one can't check whether a blister gets infected, since they are not changed daily. Due to the neuropathy some people might not notice an infection right away, and get in to serious problems.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#13
...
Btw: The only thing I was very seriously warned to use is Compeed or anything comparable, because one can't check whether a blister gets infected, since they are not changed daily. Due to the neuropathy some people might not notice an infection right away, and get in to serious problems.
If the Compeed is applied on a hot spot or unopened blister then you don't have to worry about infection. Compeed is called "second skin", which in fact allows your skin to grow over the blister and during that time body itself drain the water from the blister on the inside. But don't apply Compeed on open blister because that's definitely a recipe for infection. In this case gauze or something like that is much better.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#14
Thanks to all of you who answered.

Well, than I will just try to train as much as I can, hope that I'll find perfect shoes & socks. Then I hopefully won`t get any blisters and don't have to keep the distances too low.

Btw: The only thing I was very seriously warned to use is Compeed or anything comparable, because one can't check whether a blister gets infected, since they are not changed daily. Due to the neuropathy some people might not notice an infection right away, and get in to serious problems.
I'd recommend not using compeed because it is nearly impossible to remove if it becomes necessary to do so. As I understand it, compeed is used to cushion the area surrounding the hot spot/blister if it's closed. But at some point, that blister may open and it will be difficult to clean adequately with the compeed surrounding it. Your best bet with neuropathy is consistent preventive measures (taping vulnerable areas every morning & removing tape after walking, washing & drying thoroughly every nite, inspecting the entire foot & toes before & after washing for skin changes, tenderness, etc). You will avoid infection with vigilant skin care if you are not immunodepressed. Walking with closed blisters is painful so if you do not want to open them, it's imperative to prevent them. I encourage you to learn how to do dressings if needed before you begin your Camino (online videos) & also practice taping potential blister areas with paper tape. You should also practice using lubricants (glide, etc) to see how to effectively use them in conjunction with taping (eg tape won't adhere to the area where you apply lubricant so figure out in advance how to affix the tape effectively). If you practice all this before you go, you will save yourself hours of frustration on the Camino trying to find what works best for you. One more thing, consider trying gel inserts available over the counter. Dr School makes some fir about $20//pair and they may help a lot. Buen Camino.
 



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