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Curious about achievability of Camino at 50, slow walker

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
A significant number of walkers, and I would hazard to guess that a majority of regular members of this forum are over 50. Its not a rare few that can do this in there 60's, lots of otherwise average people manage it. However, it sounds like you have some unusual challenges to your health. May I suggest that you try it at home? Talk to your doctor first. Take a walk every day. Start slow and build up your endurance. It may take months, and you may have setbacks. See if you can, with a little training, get up to 6 km a day and not be in constant pain. You have the time to find out what YOU can do, rather than taking a poll or guessing.

Buen Camino
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
May I suggest that you try it at home?
Oh what an excellent suggestion!

In addition to taking the "work up to 6 km/day all in one go" route, you can also try to figure out what pattern, exactly, might let you make 10 km a day. Is it walk 60 min/rest 30 min? Or walk 30 min and rest 60? Walk 2 hours and rest 1? It's amazing how far you can get if you take small segments and figure out your capabilities.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
It isn't just age - something that none of us can change - but it sounds like you have other conditions that you might be able manage, with medical supervision, of course. Is there a local community centre program that could help you develop a program of increasing physical activity? The ideas presented above are good.

You refer to a maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, or 6 km per day. You'll need to walk more than 8000 steps in a day, in order to get 6 km further along the path. Try to get outside for walks that are not just through stores, as you might find them more enjoyable, and they'll be more like the walking would be on the camino. There is no substitute for walking, if you are training for a long walk!

Good luck! We are here to cheer you on!
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Don't even think about your age! To me it is YOUNG and yet I have friends who never even reached 50! :-( As long as you're alive, there's hope ;)
Walk at home, a very little bit at a time. You don't say where you are from... In the UK you can go on Ramblers walks. You don't have to join, just turn up.
If you walk alone: Short walks to start with. Get yourself good, comfortable walking shoes, good socks, buy yourself some walking poles, they do help and ...off you go! :)
Don't even think about shopping malls, I can't do more than 30 mn in those and I'm done! :D
Give us more details so we can help. All the best. Feel free to PM me.
 

DLJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(4/2012) St.Jean to Santiago; (9/2013) Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay and beyond
A significant number of walkers, and I would hazard to guess that a majority of regular members of this forum are over 50. Its not a rare few that can do this in there 60's, lots of otherwise average people manage it. However, it sounds like you have some unusual challenges to your health. May I suggest that you try it at home? Talk to your doctor first. Take a walk every day. Start slow and build up your endurance. It may take months, and you may have setbacks. See if you can, with a little training, get up to 6 km a day and not be in constant pain. You have the time to find out what YOU can do, rather than taking a poll or guessing.

Buen Camino
Good advice, Arthritis effects the joints of the majority of us as we age. The doctors seem all in agreement, that the answer is to keep moving.
Last year I had an MRI of my knee, the result showed a torn meniscus and arthritis. Surgery was prescribed, but postponed as I was leaving for the Camino. I did the Portuguese coastal route (Porto - Santiago), and a hundred miles of the Vezelay, France Camino. Used about five pain pills along the way. Had the surgery when I returned. All is well, I am training for the next Camino. I told my doctor, I didn't understand how I can walk miles up and down mountains feeling great, but I can hardly get up out of my chair. His answer, "classic arthritis, nothing to do for it, just keep walking." They can give you a cortizone shot, that will keep you pain free for the time of a Camino.

Lastly, good hiking boots help a lot. They should have a stiff shank, very little flex in the sole, a large toe box, and a good insert.

I am 79 and have walked over 1800 miles in the last 4 1/2 yrs on the Way of St. James & the Way of St. Francis. Starting 5 yrs. ago, my wife had zero hiking/backpacking experience or other sports activities. We trained and she has made all the miles shoulder to shoulder with me.

Start training easy and slowly build up the mileage. Stay positive, you can do it. We are rooting for you. Best wishes.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
Lots of good advice above to which I will add a little as a result of being a senior and an arthritis sufferer.
The walking poles are a must. Learn to use them correctly!
I gulp a 50mg Voltaren anti-inflammatory an hour before departure every morning. This settles the joints before starting to walk.
I have another each evening immediately after dinner to get some pain relief thereby ensuring I have an enjoyable and healing night's sleep.
I always discuss my treatment plan with my doctor. I get from him a certified list of my medication and my treatment plan. I can show this if necessary to airport security, and to medical staff if help is required along the Way.
Regards and good travelling,
Gerard

EDIT: Voltaren dosage adjusted from 50grams to the correct 50 milligrams
 
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nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Take aforementioned advice. I will add, if you walk Camino Frances during high season you will find a resting place at least every 10kms or so.
Buen camino.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I was thinking about this thread as I walked 4 km to and from the grocery store, in my comfortable shoes, and I wondered what type of shoes you wear. I would be crippled if I wore the wrong shoes!

The absolutely first thing you must do is get very good shoes. I don't think they should be "hiking boots" at your level of activity, but they must be comfortable, supportive, reasonably sturdy, stable, and roomy. I think this means going to a sports department and trying on walking or trekking shoes until you find a pair that just feels best. Then, these are the shoes you should wear every day. With the shoes and your walking poles, you should be ready to go for a walk around the block every day, and consider increasing a bit every week.

Your problems with walking will not happen without a commitment and slow but steady effort. It might take months before you really know if you are progressing, but you need to be patient.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Being able to call a taxi when needed can turn a 10km section into a 6km section, but there are always sections through forests that are not accessible by vehicle. So you would have to plan carefully.
 

Northern Laurie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
Age is definitely not an issue. Lots of people at lots of ability levels at lots of different ages. To walks slowly and deliberately is also to have the time to observe the world around you, which is amazing. The nicest gift I gave myself was slow days with lots of just sitting and looking.

I am not yet 50 (just turned 40), but I found that some types of pain disappeared relatively quickly - firey end of day feet disappeared after a few days - while others came and went depending on the terrain (Level walking on asphalt was brutal. Inclined walking on asphalt was fine. Level walking on gravel was fine). After I stopped walking my knees started aching. In general, I believe tendonitis gets less painful with more exercise and stretching. The arthritis I can't speak to.

If you tried physiotherapy with one person, you might also consider trying a different therapist and or a combination of physio and massage. If you have a goal in mind: to walk 6km pain free; 12 km with manageable pain, they will have a clear idea of what you are working towards and can gear treatment accordingly. A physiotherapist/massage therapist that works with you for a while as you train can help address different types of pain as it comes up and will help you develop a pain strategy. I make this suggest because I realized too late that a different therapist, with a different set of treatment philosophies was a much better match for preparing for the Camino. Had I tried a different physiotherapist earlier, I would have been in much better capacity to walk and would likely have had a few more tools to address some of the foot pain I had. I did end up doing a lot of research while walking about foot construction (e.g. what ligament went where) so I could figure out what kinds of self-care might be most beneficial. It would have been sooooo much easier if I'd figured that out with my physiotherapist.

Pick a date. Work towards that date. It is an incredible motivator. Give yourself time, and be kind to yourself. If the date of your trip arrives and you are not ready, walk what ever you can each day (this was my situation). If you feel like you can't continue on a particular day, listen to your body. You can call a taxi if you need to. You can even take the taxi back to the same place they picked you up the day before so you complete the full 100km.

Do start going for intentional walks, ideally somewhere with unpaved trails. I cannot tell you how much of a difference this makes! In my hometown, we have several parks with bogs - the trails are positively bouncy and fantastic for absorbing impact. Malls and shopping are devastating on joints- we don't move the same way and the hard surface is very challenging on bodies. Plus it is easier to keep moving when you are out in nature. Well. Assuming it isn't too hot or too cold...
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I was thinking about this thread as I walked 4 km to and from the grocery store, in my comfortable shoes, and I wondered what type of shoes you wear. I would be crippled if I wore the wrong shoes!

The absolutely first thing you must do is get very good shoes. I don't think they should be "hiking boots" at your level of activity, but they must be comfortable, supportive, reasonably sturdy, stable, and roomy. I think this means going to a sports department and trying on walking or trekking shoes until you find a pair that just feels best. Then, these are the shoes you should wear every day. With the shoes and your walking poles, you should be ready to go for a walk around the block every day, and consider increasing a bit every week.

Your problems with walking will not happen without a commitment and slow but steady effort. It might take months before you really know if you are progressing, but you need to be patient.
Thanks for the suggestion about shoes - I agree they are important. I have Rx and non-Rx orthotics and the best walking and running shoes you can get. I've spent a lot of time getting fitted by certified pedorthists at sports shoe stores, trying different types and brands, etc. until I had the best shoe, fit, etc. I've probably topped out in this department! Honestly, I've spent a lot of money on shoes and orthotics but it hasn't helped much overall. Thanks again for the encouragement!
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Good advice, Arthritis effects the joints of the majority of us as we age. The doctors seem all in agreement, that the answer is to keep moving.
Last year I had an MRI of my knee, the result showed a torn meniscus and arthritis. Surgery was prescribed, but postponed as I was leaving for the Camino. I did the Portuguese coastal route (Porto - Santiago), and a hundred miles of the Vezelay, France Camino. Used about five pain pills along the way. Had the surgery when I returned. All is well, I am training for the next Camino. I told my doctor, I didn't understand how I can walk miles up and down mountains feeling great, but I can hardly get up out of my chair. His answer, "classic arthritis, nothing to do for it, just keep walking." They can give you a cortizone shot, that will keep you pain free for the time of a Camino.

Lastly, good hiking boots help a lot. They should have a stiff shank, very little flex in the sole, a large toe box, and a good insert.

I am 79 and have walked over 1800 miles in the last 4 1/2 yrs on the Way of St. James & the Way of St. Francis. Starting 5 yrs. ago, my wife had zero hiking/backpacking experience or other sports activities. We trained and she has made all the miles shoulder to shoulder with me.

Start training easy and slowly build up the mileage. Stay positive, you can do it. We are rooting for you. Best wishes.
Congrats to you and your wife for making the journey! And thanks for the advice!
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Thank you @gimpypilgrim because this thread has made me feel good. Much useful advice above. I’d like to add that you might be surprised about the recuperative effects of breaks to have second breakfast, mid morning coffee or tea, another break to have a daily aquarius limon, yet another for an early lunch or even just to sit on a rock and admire the view while eating a snack from your backpack. On this part of the camino the opportunities for breaks are frequent and many take advantage of most of them! It IS important to stay hydrated and keep your calorie intake up. ;)
The other I thought I had and it may not be in any way useful for you, is I do an aquarobics class three times a week all year round in a heated pool. I’m older than you and I started out in the walking lane just walking up and down the pool. After a couple of months of walking in water, I enrolled in the seniors aquarobics class and now I am with the hard core 6 am mob. :p I now do the class, swim 10 or more laps and then go into the therapy pool and do a series of ankle strengthening exercises because I have broken an ankle and am still trying to get it back to full strength. BTW I’ve walked a camino since breaking it. Seriously, a pool is fantastic way to do regular low impact exercise in addition to daily walks.
Have a very buen camino,
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
A significant number of walkers, and I would hazard to guess that a majority of regular members of this forum are over 50. Its not a rare few that can do this in there 60's, lots of otherwise average people manage it. However, it sounds like you have some unusual challenges to your health. May I suggest that you try it at home? Talk to your doctor first. Take a walk every day. Start slow and build up your endurance. It may take months, and you may have setbacks. See if you can, with a little training, get up to 6 km a day and not be in constant pain. You have the time to find out what YOU can do, rather than taking a poll or guessing.

Buen Camino
Thanks for the advice. The challenge I've faced with building up endurance is the tendonitis. I've tried a number of times to walk, say 5 min per day, and increase it my 2 minutes per week. At some point, I hit a wall with the inflammation and have to stop walking for quite a while before resuming. Being pain free doesn't seem to be in the cards, but I hope to be able to manage despite the pain. Thanks again!
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Oh what an excellent suggestion!

In addition to taking the "work up to 6 km/day all in one go" route, you can also try to figure out what pattern, exactly, might let you make 10 km a day. Is it walk 60 min/rest 30 min? Or walk 30 min and rest 60? Walk 2 hours and rest 1? It's amazing how far you can get if you take small segments and figure out your capabilities.
I agree. I can the farthest if I walk for a few minutes, take a break, and then resume, rather than walking straight to my destination uninterrupted. It seems to keep the tendons from becoming irritated quickly. Thanks!
 

Madamjoy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances. September 2017
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgery, and my doctor said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to the aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
I find walking in the city and Is harder on feet as you are walking on concrete and tile and there is no 'give'. Rural trails are more forgiving. Try going for walks in parks, forests, country lanes, along river paths. I've recently had physio treatment using dry needling to treat tendinitis and I've seen a big improvement so talk to a physio and see if they can help. Has your doc talked about cortisone for joint pain? if not you should start the conversation. I recently completed Camino and along the way met a 93 year old, was going at her own pace, taking her time, and taking a taxi around big urban centres to avoid the hard sirfaces. I met a walker who has polio, another was using crutches. There's a big range of abilities on the Camino... and each person follows his/her own path. Please follow you dream and don't give up. One step at a time. I'm 60s and I plan to walk more Camino, at my own pace. Like others have said, we are all rooting for you. Hugs
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Don't even think about your age! To me it is YOUNG and yet I have friends who never even reached 50! :-( As long as you're alive, there's hope ;)
Walk at home, a very little bit at a time. You don't say where you are from... In the UK you can go on Ramblers walks. You don't have to join, just turn up.
If you walk alone: Short walks to start with. Get yourself good, comfortable walking shoes, good socks, buy yourself some walking poles, they do help and ...off you go! :)
Don't even think about shopping malls, I can't do more than 30 mn in those and I'm done! :D
Give us more details so we can help. All the best. Feel free to PM me.
Thanks! I'm in the urban Midwest of the US. As Indiana Jones said, it's not the age, it's the mileage, and I'm a bit of a high mileage machine. I've felt the effects of age quite sharply between 40 and 50, most of it between 45 and 50. So I guess I feel older than I am physically, and perhaps others feel younger than they are. Thanks again!!
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I find walking in the city and Is harder on feet as you are walking on concrete and tile and there is no 'give'. Rural trails are more forgiving. Try going for walks in parks, forests, country lanes, along river paths. I've recently had physio treatment using dry needling to treat tendinitis and I've seen a big improvement so talk to a physio and see if they can help. Has your doc talked about cortisone for joint pain? if not you should start the conversation. I recently completed Camino and along the way met a 93 year old, was going at her own pace, taking her time, and taking a taxi around big urban centres to avoid the hard sirfaces. I met a walker who has polio, another was using crutches. There's a big range of abilities on the Camino... and each person follows his/her own path. Please follow you dream and don't give up. One step at a time. I'm 60s and I plan to walk more Camino, at my own pace. Like others have said, we are all rooting for you. Hugs
Thanks. I've had about 3-4 different attempts to address the tendinitis with PT, none of them successful. Actually, two of the times I developed bursitis at the achilles insertion point in my heel after just a couple of sessions due to the exercises, and that bursitis was crippling. (I thought achilles tendonitis was bad!) Each PT used a different technique, but dry needling wasn't one. I'll check it out.

I've had several injections in my knees, including cortisone and Synvisc, but the results have been mixed. I had a couple of early successes, and a couple with no effect, and a couple where I had real problems (including a severe cortisone flare).

thanks again!
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
I am another one still thinking about this thread. My advice would be to book all your accommodation in advance and the same with luggage transfers for your backpack all in advance. With your health problems I would recommend private accommation if you can afford it so that you get a good nights sleep. That would be two major things out of the way which means all you have to worry about is walking. If you have a booking it’s usually as long as you get there by 4pm it should be fine. If you leave at 8 am or even 9 am that gives you many hours for walking 2 km/hr and lots of rest breaks. I reckon it is do-able but it will depend on your will power and does assume no further health issues. As much preparation as you can do before the camino will help.
Take care and buen camino.
 

Jenny267

Member
Camino(s) past & future
France's (2017)
I have rheumatoid arthritis and walking anymore than 5km gives a lot of foot pain, however I've just cycled 800 or so km across the Camino with zero pain as there is little or no impact on the feet.
Perhaps that could be an option for you to think about.
Cheers and good luck
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
I'm another person who walks with pain - a fun combination of arthrosis and (seemingly) untreatable bursitis. My physiotherapist has helped me develop a training programme that has strengthenes the muscles around the bothersome joints, I take an antiinflammatory every day, and I have learned the difference between "bothersome pain" and "hey, this is destroying something".

It's amazing how much pain is actually acceptable to me if it allows me to walk yet another Camino...

Good luck!
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
Poles -properly used, they take a lot of stress off your joints.
Some pilgrims do not use their poles in a very efficient way.
You can find help with a search engine and looking for "nordic walking technique" or something like that.

I do not know if your physiotherapist or your doctor has special tipps for the pole-usage for your special case... maybe just ask.

Several pilgrims have written in this forum that they could not walk the camino without poles. I think poles can make a huge difference... especially if someone is not really fit or has problems with his or her health.

Being able to call a taxi when needed can turn a 10km section into a 6km section, but there are always sections through forests that are not accessible by vehicle. So you would have to plan carefully.
And you can "jump back" with a taxi the next day if you want to walk everything.

Buen Camino!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
This has already mentioned above but as I was reading down the posts my thought was to say to take a taxi when you reach your daily limit and you aren't where you want to be and then in the morning take another back to where you stopped. And remember, you don't always have to taxi forward; you could go back to a place you liked. Or you could taxi far forward to a five star hotel if you wanted. You may have to go to private lodgings for this though as regional/municipal/parroquial albergues may not let you stay more than one night and might not let you stay if you arrive in a cab.

Buen camino.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Lots of good practical advice here, @gimpypilgrim. As you can tell most of us are walking with something, and for many that something is pretty significant.
One thing to add: if pain is unavoidable, it'll help to train the mind as well as the body. MBSR was first developed at UMass Medical Center for helping people deal with chronic pain and it really works; there are plenty of places in the Midwest offering trainings.
 

jozero

Visitor
Camino(s) past & future
CF
After an early, abusive sporting life I Found myself with early onset osteoarthritis in my right knee but if I manage myself well I can keep motoring (slowly) along! For pain management have you heard of or tried a Tens Machine? You can buy portable, battery operated units for well under $50 and they weight just 1/4lbs. I get great relief from that which lowers my intake of Pilgrim’s candy. Good luck and I hope you find your way to Spain!!
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
After an early, abusive sporting life I Found myself with early onset osteoarthritis in my right knee but if I manage myself well I can keep motoring (slowly) along! For pain management have you heard of or tried a Tens Machine? You can buy portable, battery operated units for well under $50 and they weight just 1/4lbs. I get great relief from that which lowers my intake of Pilgrim’s candy. Good luck and I hope you find your way to Spain!!
Thanks - yes, I have a TENS machine and use it often on my knees.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Lots of good practical advice here, @gimpypilgrim. As you can tell most of us are walking with something, and for many that something is pretty significant.
One thing to add: if pain is unavoidable, it'll help to train the mind as well as the body. MBSR was first developed at UMass Medical Center for helping people deal with chronic pain and it really works; there are plenty of places in the Midwest offering trainings.
Thank you for the suggestion, I'll look into it a bit more. I do practice mindfulness meditation from time to time but haven't tried using it for the pain. Yes, the pain is unavoidable because the tendonitis hurts significantly all the time, when at rest, when sitting or lying down, etc., and it ramps up when I get moving.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
This has already mentioned above but as I was reading down the posts my thought was to say to take a taxi when you reach your daily limit and you aren't where you want to be and then in the morning take another back to where you stopped. And remember, you don't always have to taxi forward; you could go back to a place you liked. Or you could taxi far forward to a five star hotel if you wanted. You may have to go to private lodgings for this though as regional/municipal/parroquial albergues may not let you stay more than one night and might not let you stay if you arrive in a cab.

Buen camino.
Great idea. I think that would be the ticket.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Some pilgrims do not use their poles in a very efficient way.
You can find help with a search engine and looking for "nordic walking technique" or something like that.

I do not know if your physiotherapist or your doctor has special tipps for the pole-usage for your special case... maybe just ask.

Several pilgrims have written in this forum that they could not walk the camino without poles. I think poles can make a huge difference... especially if someone is not really fit or has problems with his or her health.



And you can "jump back" with a taxi the next day if you want to walk everything.

Buen Camino!
Thanks, the taxi is a great idea for being able to resume where I last stopped. I'm going to have to skip the poles because repetitive motions in my arms and hands causes the tendonitis there to flare up in my hands and forearms. I've been to PT for that too, several cortisone injections, and it's always there, just like in the legs.
 

dfox

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (4/2017)
CP (5/2019)
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!


Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
I believe that it is physically doable, only our mind is holding us back.

I have a "calcified" mitro-valve issue due to rheumatic fever over 50+ years ago. It was "widened" using angioplasty 20 year ago. However, it still hinders my uphill walk.

I completed 500+km out of the 799 km pilgrimage this April/May very well. My approach was one-day at a time, then one-step at a time, taking advantage of the luggage delivery service, taking bus for part of the day trip, taking rest days, etc.

Walking up the Pyrenees "mountain", in some "steep" areas, I stopped almost every 10 steps in order to recuperate from the heavy breathing. (I didn't carry my backpack.) However, I was able to reach the Monastery around 5:00 pm. I think it is not bad.

By the way, I introduced myself to fellow pilgrims that I was the snail on the trail. :)

Best,
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I'm another person who walks with pain - a fun combination of arthrosis and (seemingly) untreatable bursitis. My physiotherapist has helped me develop a training programme that has strengthenes the muscles around the bothersome joints, I take an antiinflammatory every day, and I have learned the difference between "bothersome pain" and "hey, this is destroying something".

It's amazing how much pain is actually acceptable to me if it allows me to walk yet another Camino...

Good luck!
Thank you. I'm in the same place as you regarding the untreatable nature of the tendinopathy. I've seem to have gone as far as I can with treatments - multiple doctor visits, multiple PTs (which often causes tendonitis elsewhere with new exercises), multiple shots, daily anti-inflammatories - and medicine doesn't seem to have much more to offer me. There have been a few other suggestions in the thread and I'll check them out for sure. A couple of doctors have told me "Hey, you can't expect to feel like you did when you were in your 20s" so I chalked it up to age. This is what has surprised me about the folks in their 70s being able to manage so well.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I am another one still thinking about this thread. My advice would be to book all your accommodation in advance and the same with luggage transfers for your backpack all in advance. With your health problems I would recommend private accommation if you can afford it so that you get a good nights sleep. That would be two major things out of the way which means all you have to worry about is walking. If you have a booking it’s usually as long as you get there by 4pm it should be fine. If you leave at 8 am or even 9 am that gives you many hours for walking 2 km/hr and lots of rest breaks. I reckon it is do-able but it will depend on your will power and does assume no further health issues. As much preparation as you can do before the camino will help.
Take care and buen camino.
Excellent suggestion. I'll have to look up the cost of private accommodations, and may have to save a bit more.
 

jozero

Visitor
Camino(s) past & future
CF
I'm a little confused - so you're saying that most of the time on the last 100 km I'd need to make 10km per day? Thanks.
I didn't note the time of year you're considering but that will impact things. If off-season you could well walk at least 10kms. If between April-Oct then the longest stretch without an Albergue is 8kms out of Portomarin [edit: Sorry, there is an 11.1km stretch between Arzua and Salceda without any lodgings], I believe. However, that said, there are so many people on that stretch during April-Oct that just because it's there doesn't mean there will be a bed available. That's where booking accommodations in advance would come in however then you are somewhat locked in to walking that distance which may be detrimental in your case if you're not feeling up to it. Back to the taxi idea :)
 
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basquelady

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2013), CF Pamplona to V del Bierzo (2014), Baztanés, then CF (2016), CF Sahagun to SDC (2017)
J.W.[/QUOTE]
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgery, and my doctor said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to the aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
As a doctor, my first thought is about whether you have consulted a consultant rheumatologist? If not, I'd suggest you have a look at this UK web-site for starters: https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/
You're far too young to accept that "there is not a lot that can be done about it" !!! You need expert advice.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I'm a little confused - so you're saying that most of the time on the last 100 km I'd need to make 10km per day? Thanks.
No. I had reacted to the post that said that most of the time you would be able to find a place to stop every 6 km or so. I just pointed out that there are a few stretches where you would have to walk 10 km.

I think that it will take more planning if you plan to use taxis a lot - making sure that you have a cell phone plan that will enable you to call from anywhere on the trail, perhaps researching taxi companies and pre-programming their numbers into your phone, etc.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
No. I had reacted to the post that said that most of the time you would be able to find a place to stop every 6 km or so. I just pointed out that there are a few stretches where you would have to walk 10 km.

I think that it will take more planning if you plan to use taxis a lot - making sure that you have a cell phone plan that will enable you to call from anywhere on the trail, perhaps researching taxi companies and pre-programming their numbers into your phone, etc.
OK, thanks for the clarification!
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I didn't note the time of year you're considering but that will impact things. If off-season you could well walk at least 10kms. If between April-Oct then the longest stretch without an Albergue is 8kms out of Portomarin [edit: Sorry, there is an 11.1km stretch between Arzua and Salceda without any lodgings], I believe. However, that said, there are so many people on that stretch during April-Oct that just because it's there doesn't mean there will be a bed available. That's where booking accommodations in advance would come in however then you are somewhat locked in to walking that distance which may be detrimental in your case if you're not feeling up to it. Back to the taxi idea :)
I haven't gotten that far (time of year) but I'm flexible and can usually put in vacation time when I would like it. I like the hotel/taxi combo too!
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
J.W.

As a doctor, my first thought is about whether you have consulted a consultant rheumatologist? If not, I'd suggest you have a look at this UK web-site for starters: https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/
You're far too young to accept that "there is not a lot that can be done about it" !!! You need expert advice.
Thanks for the advice - this however is also a well-worn path for me. EDIT: due to advice from primary care doctor to have this evaluated as it's worsened, I've consulted four rheumatologists in my city, three of which said that I have osteoarthritis (one of whom I've seen regularly for 15 years to treat the arthritis pain; EDIT: the other told me that I can't expect to feel like I was when I was in my 20s. Although she didn't know it, when I was in my 20s, I had a resting heart rate of 50 BPM because my daily work was also exercise and I would trek up and down hills and over rough ground for days at a time - so yea, that's maybe an unrealistic standard!). The other one was not so sure, but testing has always been normal. Two of them are ranked as "Top Doctors" in our city magazine and are affiliated with major research universities; one is the chief of rheumatology. I've also seen a couple of orthopedists, who also think I have osteoarthritis, and one of them is also a "Top Doctor" and the chief surgeon for a major sports team. He worked on one of my knees.

Honestly, if it weren't for the chronic tendon problems, I'd be able to deal with the knee arthritis. Walking and stair climbing would still be difficult and painful, but it's below the knees that really mess me up (achilles tendons, plantar fascia, etc.). I stretch several times a day but am still really tight down there.
 
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DLJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(4/2012) St.Jean to Santiago; (9/2013) Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay and beyond
Congrats to you and your wife for making the journey! And thanks for the advice!
Thanks, we are not Olympians, and have our share of medical issues, but I guess we felt the call (and possibly the need) of the Camino at this point in life. When we started training our goal was to do the 100km, but as we improved we kept moving the distance back, ended doing the full 800km. The Camino has called us back a number of times now. A lesson I learned from my young Marine days, "we have so much potential both physical & mental, but seldom push ourselves to near our limit."
Go for it, it is a very rewarding experience and well worth the effort.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Hi @gimpypilgrim
Age is not an issue per se. I am 76 in January and I heard of an 83 year old when at La Faba (just before O Cebreiro).

The concept of starting little - just a few km a day and building on that as time goes by - is promoted by many above. And I support their proposals.

It may take months
In my case it was four (yes 4) years training before I wss mentally and physically prepared.

I note your intention to do a Camino next year. You may care to rethink that.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Hi @gimpypilgrim
Age is not an issue per se. I am 76 in January and I heard of an 83 year old when at La Faba (just before O Cebreiro).

The concept of starting little - just a few km a day and building on that as time goes by - is promoted by many above. And I support their proposals.



In my case it was four (yes 4) years training before I wss mentally and physically prepared.

I note your intention to do a Camino next year. You may care to rethink that.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
Thanks for the advice. One reason I was thinking of trying sooner than later is that as each year goes by, walking is becoming more painful and affecting more areas (the hips are the most recent joints to complain loudly!) - I'm afraid if I wait too long that the window of opportunity will close.
 

Mark Barnes

Old Engineer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - September - November (2017)
I am 57, weigh 300 pounds with 2 artificial hips, use a CPAP and am diabetic and just completed walk from Pamplona to Santiago last week. I am in Madrid now waiting to fly back to Texas.
Can you do it, well I guess only you can answer that but unless you have some extreme medical issue you most likely can do the last 100km.
Best of luck and do what you think you need to do.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I am 57, weigh 300 pounds with 2 artificial hips, use a CPAP and am diabetic and just completed walk from Pamplona to Santiago last week. I am in Madrid now waiting to fly back to Texas.
Can you do it, well I guess only you can answer that but unless you have some extreme medical issue you most likely can do the last 100km.
Best of luck and do what you think you need to do.
Wow, that's great! My concern about being able to do it mostly lies in the logistical area, and there have been several helpful suggestions about using hotels and a taxi and making reservations in advance. I'd have to spread the 100km out over 2-3 weeks so this logistical solution would be the way to go, I think. Thanks!
 

Seamus68

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Apr 2017
Camino Del Norte April 2018
Camino Frances - St Jean to Burgos 2019
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgery, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
Suggest start at say Sarria then that should be manageable any hillsides there are horses available and or local taxi but please check with Doctor first kr
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
One reason I was thinking of trying sooner than later is that as each year goes by, walking is becoming more painful and affecting more areas (the hips are the most recent joints to complain loudly!) - I'm afraid if I wait too long that the window of opportunity will close.
Now that , I agree with! Wholeheartedly.
It's a win-win: walking becomes easier? You do it again! ;) Walking getting more difficult? At least you'll have attempted it and look back on fond memories....(or not!) but at least you'll have memories! :)
You'll have given it a shot, to me that is what mattered most (in fact the only thing that mattered) when I set off for my first Camino.
As for the logistics, ask away, there will be answers to almost any question on this forum. :)
I wish you all the very best.
 
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mylifeonvacation

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
Regarding the taxis, one tactic that might work for you is to get the cell number of a local taxi driver (with the assistance of someone at the hotel), and prearrange that you will be needing their services. Then use WhatsApp to send your location to the driver when you are ready to be picked up. Everyone in Spain uses WhatsApp and the location feature is extremely easy to use (the click of a button) and they can then use their map to come right to you.

I wish I had known this when I needed a taxi during my first camino and had to flag down a passing motorist to explain (in Spanish) where I was to the taxi dispatcher on the other end of the line! HA!

I also dealt with plantar fasciitis during my second camino and found some relief for the pain and throbbing feet by doing 5 min ice baths (as recommended by my massage therapist at home - she often suggests an ice bath after a particularly deep massage too). I always offered to pay for a bag of ice from the hotel bar, but they would just give it to me. A couple of times I did a 5 minute soak of my entire legs. Sitting in ice cold water is a different kind of pain, but that along with some ibuprofen helped with the inflammation to a certain degree, and allowed me to continue on the next day when it felt like I otherwise might not be able to. Just something to consider. I hope you find what will work for you!
 

julia-t

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
One more thing to consider - you don't actually have to start from Sarria!

You can shave off a few km - up to 2.5 days of walking at 6km per day (and avoiding a couple of steepish hills leaving Sarria) - if you start at Barbadelo or even Morgade.

Casa Morgade is 101 km from Santiago de Compostela (15km from Sarria) and starting from there you would still qualify for your Compostela.

Sarria-SdeC is 116km
Morgade to SdeC is 101km
 

piggyhinton

Member
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgery, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
I have done the Camino twice in the last 3 years (to prove the first time wasn't a fluck!!) I am 62 with Parkinsons, I had my cartilage removed on my right knee and I have Achilles problems. If I can do it -so can you !! It is very daunting if you let it! Listen to your body and just go with the flow, don't put pressure on yourself with self doubt and you will find the miles melt away! Enjoy the experience and if you have to pull out......if you done your best you cant ask for more! "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" - or in other words, you will always regret things you have not done in your life than the things you have! Buen Camino
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
I think it is important to have goals and plans... as going every meter of your planned distance and trying this really, really hard.

But I think there should be the possibility to change these plans, especially if there are health-related problems that make the original plan impossible.
One possibility can be, that you stop your camino if you cannot go on and continue it later on... so that you start again at the stopping point some weeks or months later.
Another possibiliy could be to jump over a very difficult route by taxi and skip this small part of the camino. Even if you do not get the Compostela then and maybe walk only e. g. 80km (because the rules for the Compostela are without considering the health status), I think you would have earned the Compostela more than a healthy person who maybe walks 160 km and gets the Compostela easily.

I wish you a great experience!
Buen Camino!
 
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gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Regarding the taxis, one tactic that might work for you is to get the cell number of a local taxi driver (with the assistance of someone at the hotel), and prearrange that you will be needing their services. Then use WhatsApp to send your location to the driver when you are ready to be picked up. Everyone in Spain uses WhatsApp and the location feature is extremely easy to use (the click of a button) and they can then use their map to come right to you.

I wish I had known this when I needed a taxi during my first camino and had to flag down a passing motorist to explain (in Spanish) where I was to the taxi dispatcher on the other end of the line! HA!

I also dealt with plantar fasciitis during my second camino and found some relief for the pain and throbbing feet by doing 5 min ice baths (as recommended by my massage therapist at home - she often suggests an ice bath after a particularly deep massage too). I always offered to pay for a bag of ice from the hotel bar, but they would just give it to me. A couple of times I did a 5 minute soak of my entire legs. Sitting in ice cold water is a different kind of pain, but that along with some ibuprofen helped with the inflammation to a certain degree, and allowed me to continue on the next day when it felt like I otherwise might not be able to. Just something to consider. I hope you find what will work for you!
That's really great info about the WhatsApp. I wouldn't have known about that otherwise.

Good to known that the ice worked for your plantar fasciitis. I've tried that occasionally, along with frozen peas, etc.

EDIT: I've had chronic plantar fasciitis for the last 3.5 years. I'd get it on and off for quite awhile, but it would always go away eventually. Now, it's always there at a low level, and gets triggered by standing in place too long (washing dishes) or walking. My doctor said that 99% of people get better after awhile, even with no treatment. Guess I'm a 1 percenter!
 
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mylifeonvacation

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
That's really great info about the WhatsApp. I wouldn't have known about that otherwise.

Good to known that the ice worked for your plantar fasciitis. I've tried that occasionally, along with frozen peas, etc.

My doctor said that 99% of people get better after awhile, even with no treatment.
I only learned that about WhatsApp during my second camino ... it's very handy indeed!!

The icing didn't actually cure anything with my plantar fasciitis in that second camino, but it helped to lessen the pain during the days I walked. And I'm talking about submerging the foot in ice water for 5 minutes. It stings! But did feel good afterwards. My PF got worse after that 2nd camino, so much so that I had to cancel my planned 3rd short camino (and just spent 2 weeks traipsing around Galicia - not bad!). But then about 10 months after that it went away and I've been pain free (well, from that pain ... there are others!) since then. And after everything I did for PF treatments, I really think it was just time that fixed it. I had it about 12 years ago too, so I won't be surprised when it returns at some point. :confused:
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Not off-topic (I hope) but just as a side-track.... It has been so uplifting to read all those posts ... Thank you for sharing. :)
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
Hi Gerard, are you sure you meant 50 grams, as in 50,000 milligrams? The normal dosage is usually 50 to 75 milligrams. Just checking :)
Millie's!!!! - Thank you.
I'd better go edit that!
 
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gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Peg just mentioned to me that it can be foggy and damp in the morning in Galicia. Passed on to you just in case that would affect your walking.
Good to know. I've found that environmental conditions don't affect walking. The plus side is that I'm only about 5 lbs over the "normal" BMI for my height, so not much extra load on the knees or feet. I will try to lose that, though. Also, my balance and is fairly normal.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I only learned that about WhatsApp during my second camino ... it's very handy indeed!!

The icing didn't actually cure anything with my plantar fasciitis in that second camino, but it helped to lessen the pain during the days I walked. And I'm talking about submerging the foot in ice water for 5 minutes. It stings! But did feel good afterwards. My PF got worse after that 2nd camino, so much so that I had to cancel my planned 3rd short camino (and just spent 2 weeks traipsing around Galicia - not bad!). But then about 10 months after that it went away and I've been pain free (well, from that pain ... there are others!) since then. And after everything I did for PF treatments, I really think it was just time that fixed it. I had it about 12 years ago too, so I won't be surprised when it returns at some point. :confused:
Yep, time is often a magical healer when it comes to things like this. We can twist and turn around trying to fix something that just needs time. Oddly, when it came back to stay a few years ago, all I did was walk barefoot on the sidewalk to get something from my car, like I'd done many times before...and it's never gone away since then. o_O
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
I will be 70 next month. Lady ywar I walked from Leon to Santiago in 14 days. In July, '17, I did the Portuguese route starting in Lisbon. Yes, you can, but I would follow the suggestion of another and start practicing at home. I am a runner, 21 miles per week, minimum, but I still have to train to walk a Camino. There are definitely sections of the Frances you may want to avoid.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
Hi @gimpypilgrim ,
Maybe think about re-starting your Camino - since you’ve already started it - by adjusting your outlook - have more faith in what you are about to undertake. Trust that you CAN do this. The Camino is amazing at providing!

You say you will be “doing this as a religious pilgrimage”. Perhaps ask for help - not just from this forum and medical professionals - in managing how you react to pain and difficulty. Try to imagine what you would like your Camino to be - tolerable pain, appreciating everything you will be experiencing - the sudden and unexpected kindness and/or support from a villager or another pilgrim, a beautiful vista, unexpected weeping in a small church you happen to find open… We have all experienced these situations in some way - they will happen to you.

Remember, it’s YOUR Camino, do it as YOU would like. You’ve gotten so many wonderful, positive suggestions on this thread — just do it - your Way.

All the best and Buen Camino!

PS If poles are used properly, they work and are comfortable - even for those of us with arthritis ~ I wouldn’t be without mine. I’m 73, just finished my 6th time on the Caminos - doing them always my way….


“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Perhaps someone can say if Pacer Poles are more likely to be usable by @gimpypilgrim. He might not be familiar with them and their unique design.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi Gimpy! Great honest and open post and marvellous informative supporting answers - I really like this thread.

To me age doesn't come into it - I have seen many 'fit and young' pilgrims who have over-used their bodies and come to grief - it really is a Hare and Tortoise thing. regardless of your frailties and pains to me it is about attitude. As a religious pilgrim you already have that in spades!!

As a pilgrim with 'problems' the need is to be where you are each moment - don't look ahead and force yourself to get 'there' - just walk, stop, rest, look at the view, siesta, walk again .... be easy.

A couple of things - you may want to practise on staircases as the Camino is not all level and that is the surprise that the body comes up against - going up and going down.

your footwear - only my personal opinion but i would be wary of buying new footwear ... you may do much better by taking your most comfortable and supportive shoes. I walk in Keen Newport sandals and have never had a problem - so be careful about setting out in new boots or shoes!!

A word about Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories. They are brilliant as they block the chemicals that produce inflammation and are also pain killers. What one has to be careful of here is that they can therefore mask a serious injury until it is too late - so 'body watch' is topmost - but you do that already I think.

Can you do it? That depends upon you - you know your problems intimately ... but, if you are walking around whilst living at home, well, why can't you walk on Camino? so I would say go for it!!

Just ensure that your return flight is set to allow you many days off and possible recovery days, then there won't be time constraints - Buen Camino!!
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
Perhaps someone can say if Pacer Poles are more likely to be usable by @gimpypilgrim. He might not be familiar with them and their unique design.
Thanks, I'm not familiar with Pacer Poles (or any poles in general). What are they like? I'm leery of poles - based on experience, performing any repetitive motion with my upper limbs will cause tendonitis to flare up in my fingers, arms and shoulders pretty quickly. I'm looking at a badly swollen thumb ("trigger thumb") and painfully tight forearm from too much typing and writing at work yesterday. (It's not carpel tunnel, I'm apparently unlucky in having tendonitis everywhere.) I'd rather keep the tendonitis to one part of the body if possible. :)
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Thanks, I'm not familiar with Pacer Poles (or any poles in general).
I don't use them. I'm happy with the ones I have - the convenient 3-fold style with handles and straps like ski poles - but if I had problems with my hands and arms or if I needed more support in other ways, I would certainly consider them. The difficulty is that they are only available by ordering from the UK, and they are not as compact as other poles. However, by all accounts, the company representative is extremely helpful and would probably happily discuss your particular needs and whether those poles would be suitable.

Search in the box at the upper right for "pacer poles" for very convincing testimonials, and look at the company's website here.

I'm sure other users will comment.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I don't use them. I'm happy with the ones I have - the convenient 3-fold style with handles and straps like ski poles - but if I had problems with my hands and arms or if I needed more support in other ways, I would certainly consider them. The difficulty is that they are only available by ordering from the UK, and they are not as compact as other poles. However, by all accounts, the company representative is extremely helpful and would probably happily discuss your particular needs and whether those poles would be suitable.

Search in the box at the upper right for "pacer poles" for very convincing testimonials, and look at the company's website here.

I'm sure other users will comment.
Interesting, thanks for the link.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
@gimpypilgrim - you've probably seen the new thread "Oldest Person to Complete the Camino????" - Sorry, I don't know how to attach a link to another thread...
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
If you decide to try Pacer Poles, they have a money back guarantee.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
I DO hope you will be able to comfortably do the Camino - it is such an amazing experience -- as a walker, as a pilgrim, as you. Who knows what might come of your physical problems.
Again, ¡Buen Camino!
 

Oxford Alice

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(Bits of) Camino Frances (2001)
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Frances (2018)
This forum is a great place to get encouragement, and I've enjoyed reading everyones' posts. Many of us are older and have struggled with the physical challenges of the Camino, but we managed it and were blessed by it and can't resist cheering other pilgrims on.

As I think about your limitations, 'gimpypilgrim' (your sense of humour obviously isn't limited!), I would really advise caution. Even those who begin quite fit and in good health can get horrible blisters, tendonitis, etc. and suffer the disappointment of having to go home in pain and sorrow. To BEGIN the pilgrimage with pain and your known distance limitations seems to me really risky.

I would agree that doing a sustained walk close to home -- and you could do this in a pilgrim spirit -- would be a wise move. I am preparing for my third Camino after having chemotherapy, and to test my fitness I walked the Oxford Greenbelt Circular Path (50 miles) in four consecutive days, trying to simulate Camino conditions by carrying a bit of weight, walking rain or shine, etc. It was a useful exercise. I would suggest you do something similar and then talk to your doctor about how you feel and see if this is for you.

I resonate with your motivation and desire, but there may be other ways for you to embark on a spiritual pilgrimage that are more in keeping with your physical abilities.
 

PemaquidCarol

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Possibly at end of May 2017
I've tried a number of times to walk, say 5 min per day, and increase it my 2 minutes per week. At some point, I hit a wall with the inflammation and have to stop walking for quite a while before resuming. Being pain free doesn't seem to be in the cards, but I hope to be able to manage despite the pain. Thanks again![/QUOTE]
 

PemaquidCarol

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Possibly at end of May 2017
I walked about 40 miles of the Camino from end of May into June. I only had three weeks to "stroll". I just turned 67, have lots of Arthritis, two knee replacements, and lots of pain. My plan was to do what I could do. My longest day was about 9 miles. The heat was a major factor for me. But, I am very proud of what I accomplished.

Due to the heat, I had a couple of days when I had to take a taxi to get to my next destination. I spent three nights in Albergues but because I prefer more privacy and I snore, I spent other nights in pensions, small hotels, etc.

From reading your posts, it looks like you have to get your pain under control. Yes, this can be done partially by walking more and more each day; but, that can only do so much. From my experience, I traveled with prescribed pain medication. I couldn't have done the walk without it. I would speak with your doctor and see what can be done to help deal with your pain issues. Now I am taking Tramadol,
50 mg. (low dose). On my Camino, I was taking low dose Hydrocodone, as needed. I am not trying to push drugs here, I can't take non prescription anti-inflammatory medications due to stomach / intestinal issues. By taking the prescribed medication, as needed, I was able to accomplish part of something I had dreamed about for a long time. Please speak with your doctor, talk about your dreams and what you would like to accomplish.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(12), Portuguese(13), Finisterre(13), Norte(14Partial), Ingles(17),Via de la Plata(19partial)
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
J. W
Get one of the guide books they show exactly how far it is between the various villages, towns, and cities listing all the accommodations in each .... you shouldn't have any problems I walked my first at age 65 and have done 6 others since Hoping to do the La Plata 1000 km next at 70 or 71
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: September - October 2016
Porto > Santiago - April 2018
Move to Astorga (2019)
You got a lot of well intentioned and appropriate advice, and while I didn't read every response, I would like to mention that for myself and several other people I got to know, the physical limitations we lived with seemed to disappear or become less limiting. I am much older than you, have joint issues in knees and right wrist, and truthfully did not take one ibuprofen during the entire 500 mile plus walk. I also ended up walking much longer days than I had planned. I did great and I have been back for over a year and never been healthier. They say that the Camino provides, and it has in many ways for many of us.
Also, plan B is always available in the from of taxi or bus, backpack transport, etc.
Also, just in case it helps you, I gave up mid-day every day for about the first week. And I finished a few days early. Think positive! Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
From reading your posts, it looks like you have to get your pain under control. Yes, this can be done partially by walking more and more each day; but, that can only do so much. From my experience, I traveled with prescribed pain medication. I couldn't have done the walk without it. I would speak with your doctor and see what can be done to help deal with your pain issues. Now I am taking Tramadol,
50 mg. (low dose). On my Camino, I was taking low dose Hydrocodone, as needed. I am not trying to push drugs here, I can't take non prescription anti-inflammatory medications due to stomach / intestinal issues. By taking the prescribed medication, as needed, I was able to accomplish part of something I had dreamed about for a long time. Please speak with your doctor, talk about your dreams and what you would like to accomplish.
That brings up the subject of prescriptions. I recommend the OP to search this site for prescriptions. One thread containing a lot of useful information is this one.
 

marjm007

Active Member
I have rheumatoid arthritis and walking anymore than 5km gives a lot of foot pain, however I've just cycled 800 or so km across the Camino with zero pain as there is little or no impact on the feet.
Perhaps that could be an option for you to think about.
Cheers and good luck
Of you bike the Portuguese coastal path is pretty flat. If you walk you can send your bags ahead.
 

Catahoula19

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - 2014
Portuguese - 2016
Chemin St Jacques - TBD
Via Francigena - TBD
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
We walked with no preparation in our early 50's. A few days of soreness and you're good to go . It's walking and not really hiking. Rest days if you need them. Plenty of towns, villages ,coffee, wine. Lots of options. Lots of people older than you. Don't sweat it...all will be fine. Don't overplan, don't book except night 1 in SJDP. You'll figure out along the way whether or not you you prefer albergues or plain hotels etc. and how long you like to walk. Enjoy
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
J. W
Get one of the guide books they show exactly how far it is between the various villages, towns, and cities listing all the accommodations in each .... you shouldn't have any problems I walked my first at age 65 and have done 6 others since Hoping to do the La Plata 1000 km next at 70 or 71
The Godesalco site mentioned above is good for planning, and shows all the distances and what types of accommodations available at each.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
We walked with no preparation in our early 50's. A few days of soreness and you're good to go . It's walking and not really hiking. Rest days if you need them. Plenty of towns, villages ,coffee, wine. Lots of options. Lots of people older than you. Don't sweat it...all will be fine. Don't overplan, don't book except night 1 in SJDP. You'll figure out along the way whether or not you you prefer albergues or plain hotels etc. and how long you like to walk. Enjoy
I don't think that age is gimpypilgrim's issue, it's a painful condition that makes walking difficult. I'm 10 years older than the OP and had no issues, but I'm not dealing with the same physical problems.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
"on most of the segments between Sarria and Santiago" :)
We met a lady walking that section in 2012. Her shortest day was 2km and her longest was 8km with her accommodation booked ahead. She aimed to walk about 5km per day but actual distance was dictated by the accommodation - a mix of B&B and private albergues etc.
If necessary on a longer section you can taxi to the accommodation, then taxi back next day and walk on. Just be sure to get a stamp at the first and second day's start points as well as at the end of both days. :)
 

Grammy Kin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013); Finisterre (2013); Portugues (2015); King Ludwig’s Way (2016); Via Podiensis (2018)
Your pains, and efforts to relieve them, are difficult to read about. My image of you on the Camino is one of that if a true pilgrim. If you are able to go, may the sights, sounds and people you meet lessen the difficulty.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September (2017)
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
J.W.
I am 57 years young and did the entire Camino this September and October. I also have arthritis and am very prone to tendonitis. My approach was that I was going to be as strong as I could be starting my Camino. Have you had cortisone injections, done yoga....?
Buen Camino
Elizabeth
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
I walked about 40 miles of the Camino from end of May into June. I only had three weeks to "stroll". I just turned 67, have lots of Arthritis, two knee replacements, and lots of pain. My plan was to do what I could do. My longest day was about 9 miles. The heat was a major factor for me. But, I am very proud of what I accomplished.

Due to the heat, I had a couple of days when I had to take a taxi to get to my next destination. I spent three nights in Albergues but because I prefer more privacy and I snore, I spent other nights in pensions, small hotels, etc.

From reading your posts, it looks like you have to get your pain under control. Yes, this can be done partially by walking more and more each day; but, that can only do so much. From my experience, I traveled with prescribed pain medication. I couldn't have done the walk without it. I would speak with your doctor and see what can be done to help deal with your pain issues. Now I am taking Tramadol,
50 mg. (low dose). On my Camino, I was taking low dose Hydrocodone, as needed. I am not trying to push drugs here, I can't take non prescription anti-inflammatory medications due to stomach / intestinal issues. By taking the prescribed medication, as needed, I was able to accomplish part of something I had dreamed about for a long time. Please speak with your doctor, talk about your dreams and what you would like to accomplish.
Thanks. I've spoken to my doctors about my goals and desires. I'm taking twice daily anti-inflammatories and tramadol, and they shave a hair off the pain, and that's about the most I can do with medicines to control it. I do a lot of stretching throughout the day but the tendons are always tight and painful.
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
J.W.
I am 57 years young and did the entire Camino this September and October. I also have arthritis and am very prone to tendonitis. My approach was that I was going to be as strong as I could be starting my Camino. Have you had cortisone injections, done yoga....?
Buen Camino
Elizabeth
Yes, I've done yoga in the past and it caused my knee injuries. I've tried again 2-3x since then but have always had to stop. I've had several cortisone injections in the knees. The worst is my achilles tendons, and they can't inject there because the tendons could rupture as a result.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
None of us knows your real medical issues. While there is some excellent generic advice, I am a great believer in getting sound medical advice from a orthopedic specialist and perhaps working in conjunction with a trainer to set up a plan and to check in with a few times as you prepare. There are some hilly parts between Sarria and Santiago so prepare on some hilly terrain and also less than flat terrain for increased stability. Another possible issue to consider, or not, is whether Canadian medical insurance will cover you if you have an a problem with previously treated joint on the Camino and/or would you be covered by your travel insurance?
As previously stated you could carefully plan out your route. Stop along the route between Sarria and Santiago or take a cab to the nearest place..a couple of KMs. NO need to worry abt eliminating the Compostela.... Just have a cab drive you back to where you finished the day before and then continue on to your next stop. You will then cover the entire walk at your own pace! It costs abt 1 euro per kilometer. If you can do 6km per day and use taxis you should be able to plan ahead. Do seek medical advice and assistance before undertaking the Camino. John Brierley's book provides you with distances and terrain and housing options. You may also want to consider private accommodations see booking.com

(A pilgrims guide to the Camino Santiago).
 

gimpypilgrim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(possibly 2018)
We met a lady walking that section in 2012. Her shortest day was 2km and her longest was 8km with her accommodation booked ahead. She aimed to walk about 5km per day but actual distance was dictated by the accommodation - a mix of B&B and private albergues etc.
If necessary on a longer section you can taxi to the accommodation, then taxi back next day and walk on. Just be sure to get a stamp at the first and second day's start points as well as at the end of both days. :)
Good to know - someone else has made a similar attempt! Yes, the taxis would be the key to this.
 

Reidun Fyno

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino de Assisi (2015)
Camino de Santiago (Primitivo) (2017)
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!


Hi J.W.
I think you can do a lot about it. I have also had much pain in my body like you write, and I have a hip replacement. You can cleanse your body by eating and drinking very healthily. Of course I do not know what you eat, but I do know that most of the inflamation comes from wastesubstances located in the body, often in the joints and also causing a bad circulatory system. So vegetables, fruit, not so much meat, NO sugar or foods with sugar, and a lot of water. I weigh 62 kg, and I drink 1½ l water a day besides coffee, the ect. Depending of your knowledge about dieting, you may want to have a diet-advicer, that is alternative treatment, not on the hospital. Yoga is also a very good idea.
I walk every day, and minimum once a week a long walk. When I walk a Camino I can walk about 15 km a day the first week, up to 20 km pr, day the second, after that up to 25 km once in a while. I have never walked long distances when I was younger. Of course I cannot say that you will do the same after the cure, but I am sure you will feel better walking. You will quickly feel an improvement, but do stay on the cure.
I started my cure at the age of 52, I am now 65 and I hope for manymore Caminos to come.
Good Luck // Reidun Denmark
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Hi again - I was thinking about this terrible body-wide tendonitis that you have .. and it just doesn't seem right somehow . I mean, there is no external agent, virus etc, that can attack the body like this so it must be some internal imbalance causing it.
I see that you are intelligent and brave and take prescribed medications but, could I ask, have you tried other methods?

There is no real disease that has 'itis' at the end of it - par ex: Bronchitis merely means something wrong with the lungs, same for tendonitis .. just something wrong, not an actual disease, so 'itis' is an admission of no knowledge rather than a description of the problem - so, with this in mind and knowing that your particular 'itis' is caused by inflammation, body wide inflammation - have you tried other things - diet for instance?

We all know that just a small amount of coffee is terrible for arthritis sufferers (another itis) - remove that for a reduction in symptoms, and we all know that some of us can be allergic to certain foods and/or additives, so ...

The reason I ask is that a woman who suffered terrible psoriasis - that awful disease that can not be cured - recently published a book on her 'home cure' and now has thousands who no longer suffer from it. Psoriasis is a body inflammation reaction - what she did was to look at diet and eventually cut out caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and wheat and her psoriasis completely disappeared.
So I am wondering if you have diet tested yourself at all? Have you tried cutting out wheat and dairy from your diet for a fortnight or three weeks to see if there is a difference?
Have you tried going back to a pre-industrial diet where you eat only fresh organic foods with no additives or pesticides? Or tried the ancient hunter diet of just fat meat and vegetables with no dairy or wheat?

If you have not thought of that yet - why not experiment on yourself? Try various diets, for a few weeks or a month each to see if there is a change, if your body comes naturally back into balance? Just remember, if you do try this, that it has to be 100% no cheating on 'just one little bit' of the forbidden.

I am not trying to be glib or patronising, I offer this idea in friendship and support.
 
Last edited:

Gromit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did Camino Frances from August to October 2017
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
Hello,

I've been contemplating a short (100km) camino for a little while, and I've read some forum posts, watched videos, and read some guide books. I've been thinking that I probably won't be able to pull it off at my age -- 50 -- but I've been amazed at the number of folks that are decades older than I am that are able to make it work!

I would be doing this as a religious pilgrimage.

Based on my maximum achievable daily step count of about 8,000 steps, I could walk about 6 km per day, which would take about 17 days to do 100km. (Not including any necessary days off.) I'm concerned that 6 km would not be enough to make it to the next albergue each day.

Although I enjoyed hiking and walking long distances when I was younger, today I'm a slow, deliberate walker due to pain. When I take a short walk (through a grocery store or shopping mall, for example), my feet start to ache deeply (and it lasts for days), and I experience much heel, knee and hip pain on both sides during and after walking. The pain has come on slowly over the years, mostly after knee surgeries, and my doctors said that it's osteoarthritis and tendonitis due to aging, and that beyond anti-inflammatories there is not a lot that can be done about it. (I've tried physical therapy but it hasn't helped.) So, when I see folks in their 60s, 70s or 80s walking several hundred km I'm amazed that they are able to do it!

Does anyone have any advice or perspective on this? Has anyone 50+ started a camino in a lot of pain from arthritis and tendonitis and then it lessened on the camino and became doable?

Thanks!

J.W.
JW - You may find that, especially with careful planning, you can do more than you think. My husband (aged 63) and I have just walked every step of the Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela for my 70th birthday, which I celebrated in Pamplona. I have osteoarthritis in my neck, hips, knees and big toes, and my husband has tendinitis in the glutes and hamstrings. We started planning and training 18 months before we left. We had our feet checked out by a podiatrist who made orthotics for my footwear to deal with the osteoarthritis in the big toes. I saw a sports doctor who devised an exercise program for me to build up core and glute strength. We experimented with socks and shoes/boots to come up with the most comfortable blister free, pain free combination. I found hikers wool and injinji liner toe socks with icebreaker mountaineer socks worked best for me as did hiking boots (one size larger than normal) rather than shoes (although many people swear by shoes) as the boots secured around the ankle prevented my toes hitting the front of the toebox during descents. There are some very steep descents and if your toes hit the front of the toebox, you can end up with blisters and lose toenails. I also wore knee supports on all descents and I used walking poles.

We used the baggage transfer service because we knew our knees weren’t up to carrying anything but a day pack. I think you would be setting yourself up to fail if you tried to carry everything.

We averaged 18.5kms per day of walking but our longest day was 27 kms which we managed quite well with a bit of hip tendinitis for me for the last 5 or 6 kms. Once we got to our accommodation, it disappeared, I put on the walking sandals and I explored the town painfree. When we did get pain, we iced it at our accommodation and it disappeared. We also took antiinflammatories and used ibuferon gel.

We walked 43 days over 51 and had rest days in Pamplona, Logrono, Burgos, Carrion de Los Condes, Leon (2), Cacabelos and Sarria.

We had the time of our lives and loved every minute of it. Although we had felt confident before we left that we could manage 15 to 20 kms per day, we felt on most days that we could have walked more and we had plenty in reserve to explore the village/town at days end. We will def8nitely be doing more distance walking.

Best wishes with your planning. You can do it and it is so worth it. One thing we learnt on the Camino was that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Please feel free to ask me anything about our planning and experiences. If you give me an email address, I can give you more detail.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
As a doctor, my first thought is about whether you have consulted a consultant rheumatologist? If not, I'd suggest you have a look at this UK web-site for starters: https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/
You're far too young to accept that "there is not a lot that can be done about it" !!! You need expert advice.[/QUOTE]

I agree. You should try to find a medical provider who supports your goal and can help you address your health issues to allow you to make this dream come true. I don't know if cortisone shots help, if shoe orthotics would help, etc. Have your bags carried ahead by JacoTrans and reserve rooms ahead. Walk as far as you can and then, if you can't walk the whole way, taxi the rest. You will have a wonderful time. Best of luck and keep us informed about your progress!
Jill
age 63
 

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