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Camino training - now having lateral foot pain

yennster

Portugues 2023
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2023 - Camino Portugues Costal Way
Hi all, I am going to my GP on Monday, but a bit of background:

I started training for my camino this past month. I'll be doing the Camino Portugues Coastal Way at the end of April, from Porto to Santiago. This past Saturday I decided to do a long haul walk without a pack in my camino Merrell hiking boots (lightweight and flexible) from Amsterdam to Haarlem, or about 20 km. It went great, it was exhilarating, I loved every moment, right up until I got to Haarlem and my left foot started hurting.

I've never had issues with my left foot before, in fact I was almost expecting to have issues with my right foot considering I have rolled my right ankle twice and have had 2 different surgeries on my right fibula, etc. But the pain in my left foot I think is likely due to a medium sized bunion on my left foot and walking without arch support orthotics. From my google searching, I have what they called lateral side foot pain. I've purchased orthotics and I am currently resting/elevating/ibuprofen the foot but it's still hurting. I really don't have much time before I need to leave for Porto, the internet says 6 weeks to heal, but my flight to Porto is on April 22. Of course, if necessary, I guess I will definitely need to postpone the trip.. but it's not ideal and I was really looking forward to it.

Any advice other than water/rest/elevation/ibuprofen/paracetamol/orthotics?

Thanks ya'll, I'm super bummed about this, but I suppose this is all a part of the camino journey lol
 
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Aside from the things you're already aware of and the always-pertinent advice to consult a foot doctor, you might want to try different shoe lacing techniques. They were very helpful for me in relieving some top-of-foot pain I was having during training for my Camino last year.

There are several resources online that you can find via Google. This one addresses bunion pain and arch support specifically:

 
Aside from the things you're already aware of and the always-pertinent advice to consult a foot doctor, you might want to try different shoe lacing techniques. They were very helpful for me in relieving some top-of-foot pain I was having during training for my Camino last year.

There are several resources online that you can find via Google. This one addresses bunion pain and arch support specifically:


Thanks! Fortunately I only have side-of-foot pain, so I'm not sure different lacing will help, but will try anyways!
 
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It is possible that you are pronating your left foot and this often only shows painful symptoms after walking longer distances.

I pronate and used to get very sore feet but as soon as I changed to shoes designed to support my feet and prevent pronation the pain disappeared and I also walked faster.

You will need to consult an expert to discover if this is your problem. In my case I used a high end shoe store that was experienced in dealing with athletes and which had video equipment that could detect pronation.
 
If you rolled your ankle, perhaps you should be hiking in a taller shoe that will support
your ankle more. Something like a mid-height shoe, also known as a "middie"
 
I've purchased orthotics ..,
I guess custom made by an experienced podiatrist. May run some 200-300€, but could be indispensable if the feet are prone to suffering.
Voltaren gel (diclofenac) applied topically may help to the prompt pain relief. Good luck!
 
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Talk to an expert before you invest in anything. Go to your specialist as soon as possible so you can begin your rehab immediately. Who knows your specialist will tell you that you may be better off in a running shoe. Walking the Coastal Camino does not require hiking boots based on the terrain. But what you should wear is so personal and should be done in consultation with your doctor. Remember one thing. Walking the camino is very difficult to reproduce during training.
 
Hi all, I am going to my GP on Monday, but a bit of background:

I started training for my camino this past month. I'll be doing the Camino Portugues Coastal Way at the end of April, from Porto to Santiago. This past Saturday I decided to do a long haul walk without a pack in my camino Merrell hiking boots (lightweight and flexible) from Amsterdam to Haarlem, or about 20 km. It went great, it was exhilarating, I loved every moment, right up until I got to Haarlem and my left foot started hurting.

I've never had issues with my left foot before, in fact I was almost expecting to have issues with my right foot considering I have rolled my right ankle twice and have had 2 different surgeries on my right fibula, etc. But the pain in my left foot I think is likely due to a medium sized bunion on my left foot and walking without arch support orthotics. From my google searching, I have what they called lateral side foot pain. I've purchased orthotics and I am currently resting/elevating/ibuprofen the foot but it's still hurting. I really don't have much time before I need to leave for Porto, the internet says 6 weeks to heal, but my flight to Porto is on April 22. Of course, if necessary, I guess I will definitely need to postpone the trip.. but it's not ideal and I was really looking forward to it.

Any advice other than water/rest/elevation/ibuprofen/paracetamol/orthotics?

Thanks ya'll, I'm super bummed about this, but I suppose this is all a part of the camino journey lol
Lose weight, learn proper technique and use trekking poles, minimize pack weight. If foot pain becomes unmanageable, rent a bike.
 
If you rolled your ankle, perhaps you should be hiking in a taller shoe that will support
your ankle more.
The foot on the rolled ankle side is not bothering @yennster . (Besides, it is not at all clear that higher boots will protect the ankle from rolling injuries.)
Talk to an expert before you invest in anything.
I agree with this. Also, your GP may have limited expertise in the details of foot wear and custom orthotics. I recommend that you ask for a referral to a podiatrist or similar specialist. You might also ask for a prescription of high strength topical anti-inflammatory ointment, which may or may not help.

If you have a stress fracture, it is very important to rest the foot (i.e. virtually NO walking) for 6 weeks. I had one, and it was better but not 100% at 5 weeks, but ready for action after 6 weeks of rest. You have just enough time!
 
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If your foot doctor does tell you to stay off your feet or similar, ask them what alternative training would be ok for your condition and then assess how beneficial this could be for your camino preparation.
Swimming, aquarobics ... maybe cycling could be OK? Core exercises in the gym and maybe leg exercises that do not aggravate your foot issue?
 
IMHO, you may be over-thinking this.

Get off your feet, put hot/cold compresses on the part of your foot that is hurting you. Listen to your doctor, take pain relievers as needed, and especially, get rest. Allow your body to heal itself at its own pace, which will be surprisingly speedy, given half a chance.

I know your Camino is right around the corner, but you will not become grossly out of shape if you take it easy now. Plan to walk slower than originally planned, at least in the beginning. Sturdy boots, hiking poles, good socks.

Your "training" walk may have been a bit over-enthusiastic. No worries. Everyone gets aches and pains while doing the Camino. Don't be bummed. The important part is to pay attention and deal appropriately with what your body is telling you. You are lucky to learn this lesson before you begin rather than when you are on the Way.

PS - I absolutely LOVE my Merrill's and would not walk in any other boot.
 
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Higher shoes do stabilize the ankle. But that being said, doing exercises to strengthen the ankle would be better
 
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Hi y’all ! Thanks for the ankle recs, thankfully I’m only having side of foot pain (bottom left in between my heel and left side of foot) because I am wearing mid height Merrell boots
 
Your "training" walk may have been a bit over-enthusiastic. No worries. Everyone gets aches and pains while doing the Camino. Don't be bummed. The important part is to pay attention and deal appropriately with what your body is telling you. You are lucky to learn this lesson before you begin rather than when you are on the Way.
Agreed 🙏 thank you @Kathy F. !
 
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Hate to say this, but the route you have selected has a lot of hardscape (asphalt, cement, tiles, etc.). More than the Camino Frances and more than the Via Podiensis. At least that was my assessment.

So if your foot problem hasn't resolved by the time you start, I would consider, if I were "in your shoes", sending my pack ahead with a transport service.
 
Higher shoes do stabilize the ankle. But that being said, doing exercises to strengthen the ankle would be better
Right, but unfortunately growing older and becoming seniors many people (including myself) start to suffer from instability related to the decaying ability to keep proper balance. So, in addition to training agility and fighting stiffness, simple exercises to promote balance may do a wonderful job.
 
So if your foot problem hasn't resolved by the time you start, I would consider, if I were "in your shoes", sending my pack ahead with a transport service.
Interesting point, thanks for the suggestion! I'll reevaluate in a few weeks :)
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Hi all, I am going to my GP on Monday, but a bit of background:

I started training for my camino this past month. I'll be doing the Camino Portugues Coastal Way at the end of April, from Porto to Santiago. This past Saturday I decided to do a long haul walk without a pack in my camino Merrell hiking boots (lightweight and flexible) from Amsterdam to Haarlem, or about 20 km. It went great, it was exhilarating, I loved every moment, right up until I got to Haarlem and my left foot started hurting.

I've never had issues with my left foot before, in fact I was almost expecting to have issues with my right foot considering I have rolled my right ankle twice and have had 2 different surgeries on my right fibula, etc. But the pain in my left foot I think is likely due to a medium sized bunion on my left foot and walking without arch support orthotics. From my google searching, I have what they called lateral side foot pain. I've purchased orthotics and I am currently resting/elevating/ibuprofen the foot but it's still hurting. I really don't have much time before I need to leave for Porto, the internet says 6 weeks to heal, but my flight to Porto is on April 22. Of course, if necessary, I guess I will definitely need to postpone the trip.. but it's not ideal and I was really looking forward to it.

Any advice other than water/rest/elevation/ibuprofen/paracetamol/orthotics?

Thanks ya'll, I'm super bummed about this, but I suppose this is all a part of the camino journey lol
This might be a long shot: Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM). I have used it to heal foot injuries before a big hike. Google it. You need to find a doctor or physical therapist who has the equipment and is trained to use it. Good luck.
 
I guess custom made by an experienced podiatrist. May run some 200-300€, but could be indispensable if the feet are prone to suffering.
Voltaren gel (diclofenac) applied topically may help to the prompt pain relief. Good luck!

Ditto - Custom orthotics for a Morton’s Neuroma basically solved my foot problem. On longer days when pain returned, Voltarin Forte and a few shorter days helped. Do you have time to get custom orthotics?
 
Hi ya'll -- quick update:

I went to a podiatrist and she stretched out /evaluated my tendons in my foot. She taped up my foot with ahtletic tape and then we made a scan of my feet to create custom insoles! (They were a bit expensive, 340 euros, but they will be worth it for 270+ km of walking) I pick them up from her in a couple weeks. :) She was really jealous when I told her about my Camino plans -- so she was immediately understanding of my need to fix this tendon problem ASAP.

My pain is almost gone because I've been resting / minimal walking, and the tape she added + ibuprofen - I'm almost good as new!

Thanks all for your suggestions and insights. Really looking forward to my Camino!
 
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