A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Injured my back and need to shorten my walk - which parts can be shortened (by bus...)?

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Hi all! I would really appreciate your help. I started my Camino in Leon and unfortunately injured my back (I think I pulled it :( ) so now I’m forced to wait and heal around Astoria for a couple of days, which means I will shorten my walk by 2 days to make it to Santiago in time. (Btw I wish I took it easier on the first day, I think I overdid it and regret it now). Any suggestions please as to what parts between Astorga and Santiago are “ok to skip” (if it’s been possible, by bus or car...?)? And what parts I should definitely not miss? Thank you so much.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
If you want the compostella, then anywhere before Sarria, and nothing after there can be missed. If you are struggling physically, the climb to O Cebreiro is demanding, and to a lesser extent the climb to the Cruz de Ferro. But you would be missing what might be some of the more spiritually rewarding parts of the sections before Sarria.

There was a bus service from O Cebreiro to Sarria when I walked in 2016. My wife and I caught it at Fonfira. This would still leave the more physically challenging sections, but reduce your walking by a couple of days. The bus came through Fonfria quite early, about 7:00 am from memory, and arrives in Sarria in plenty of time to get a coffee, snack and sello before getting a good day's walk in. We had booked ahead here, so we weren't too fussed about a late start. This was in early Jun, but at this time of year, you might not have a problem finding accommodation after a later start.
 
Last edited:

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Thanks a lot David! I’ll try and take that bus as you mention!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Hi all! I would really appreciate your help. I started my Camino in Leon and unfortunately injured my back (I think I pulled it :( ) so now I’m forced to wait and heal around Astoria for a couple of days, which means I will shorten my walk by 2 days to make it to Santiago in time. (Btw I wish I took it easier on the first day, I think I overdid it and regret it now). Any suggestions please as to what parts between Astorga and Santiago are “ok to skip” (if it’s been possible, by bus or car...?)? And what parts I should definitely not miss? Thank you so much.
As one who has walked three Caminos with a bad back (Bulging disc) I can sympathise.
Just turning the wrong way or bending to pick something without 'engaging' my back up can lock up my back, with no walking for a week!

As with all these things, have you sought professional medical advice? This of course is outstanding in Spain and often very low cost or free.

I have found Spanish Physios to be excellent at getting me moving again. And teaching a couple of relevant stretches to do!

And whilst I have no idea of your condition and am not a medical professional, I discovered for my own condition the answer was quite simple. Very strong pain killers, to keep me and the back muscles moving. The worst thing it seemed was to nurse it along and try not to move too much.......

Best of luck and I hope things work out OK for you.

As for skipping bits. You could taxi from Rabanal up to Foncebadon.
From there you could walk an easy 6-7 kms over the top past the Cruz de Fero.
Then at the coffee caravan past Monjardin, taxi down to Molineseca.
There are taxi signs all along the path there......

Certainly as @dougfitz pointed out, the climb up to O Cebreiro is quite tough. A bit like Day 1 out of St Jean........ You taxi up that.

I would just work on getting yourself fixed up as best you can, and preparing yourself for the final stretch from Sarria. Which is all relatively flat in comparison. Just a couple of short hills.
 

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
No I haven’t considered medical help, but I think it’s a good idea. I don’t speak any Spanish however and worry that might be a problem? What was your experience? Have you done that while walking Camino? I am near Astorga, I could see if there’s a hospital there that could help. I went to a pharmacy and already had trouble explaining in Spanish what I need... but I got some of those patches for lower back and I’m talking painkillers. I hope it’s only a pulled/strained muscle, but it really really hurts when I move (and my moving is limited) and when lying down in certain positions.

Thanks so much for the all these suggestions! Taxi seems like a good option, I’ll keep my eye for those.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
The therapists are used to pilgrims and are wonderful.
Just be aware, techniques are different.
I hurt my leg a few years back and went for a massage in Palas de Rei.
She called it a "sports massage" and it was quite painful.
However, next morning I walking and my leg was fine.
They know what they're doing!

Regarding language, many of the therapists there were young people who DO speak English.
 

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)
Hi all! I would really appreciate your help. I started my Camino in Leon and unfortunately injured my back (I think I pulled it :( ) so now I’m forced to wait and heal around Astoria for a couple of days, which means I will shorten my walk by 2 days to make it to Santiago in time. (Btw I wish I took it easier on the first day, I think I overdid it and regret it now). Any suggestions please as to what parts between Astorga and Santiago are “ok to skip” (if it’s been possible, by bus or car...?)? And what parts I should definitely not miss? Thank you so much.
Find a physio in Astorga who will diagnose and then likely provide you with a therapeutic massage. Movement, especially walking, is usually best for back strains, but get yourself a specialist opinion. There's a "centro de salud" in Astorga should that be advised.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Generally speaking, any of the sections can be bypassed by either bus, train, or taxi. Even though it seems really arduous when you walk it, most of the segments are less than 30 miles which is easily within range of taxi's (worst case). I remember thinking how "out in the middle of nowhere" when I saw a little post on a tree saying "Call xxx-xxx-xxx for a taxi to". rome2rio is also a good starting point to see what is available from point to point. I actually plot that out for all stages that I walk just in case I need to find a way not to walk something.
 

Mackie

Roncesvalles - SDC 2011; Ponferrada - SDC 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-Santiago (2011); Ponferrada-Santiago (2016)
Hi all! I would really appreciate your help. I started my Camino in Leon and unfortunately injured my back (I think I pulled it :( ) so now I’m forced to wait and heal around Astoria for a couple of days, which means I will shorten my walk by 2 days to make it to Santiago in time. (Btw I wish I took it easier on the first day, I think I overdid it and regret it now). Any suggestions please as to what parts between Astorga and Santiago are “ok to skip” (if it’s been possible, by bus or car...?)? And what parts I should definitely not miss? Thank you so much.
[/
Hi all! I would really appreciate your help. I started my Camino in Leon and unfortunately injured my back (I think I pulled it :( ) so now I’m forced to wait and heal around Astoria for a couple of days, which means I will shorten my walk by 2 days to make it to Santiago in time. (Btw I wish I took it easier on the first day, I think I overdid it and regret it now). Any suggestions please as to what parts between Astorga and Santiago are “ok to skip” (if it’s been possible, by bus or car...?)? And what parts I should definitely not miss? Thank you so much.
in 2011, I injured my back after Leon. I rested for one night in San Martin del Camino. Though I resumed my walk after, I skipped O Cebreiro because it required going up the mountainside. I made it to Santiago but I did return to the Camino in 2016 for my 2nd Camino to visit O Cebreiro from Ponferrada to Santiago.
 
Last edited:

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Astorga is large enough to have most services. There should be physios there and one of the pricier hotels has a spa attached, and may be a good spot for a massage.

The hospitalero can likely help with info.

The path from Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca is very challenging at the best of times and I'd not risk further injury on it. A taxi for this would be wise.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
No I haven’t considered medical help, bu ;) t I think it’s a good idea. I don’t speak any Spanish however and worry that might be a problem? What was your experience? Have you done that while walking Camino? I am near Astorga, I could see if there’s a hospital there that could help. I went to a pharmacy and already had trouble explaining in Spanish what I need... but I got some of those patches for lower back and I’m talking painkillers. I hope it’s only a pulled/strained muscle, but it really really hurts when I move (and my moving is limited) and when lying down in certain positions.

Thanks so much for the all these suggestions! Taxi seems like a good option, I’ll keep my eye for those.
My Spanish is very basic and not up to medical things.
But google translate on my phone and sign language worked fine.
I would get to a Physio in Astorga.

Lots of them.

I'm sure whereever you are staying they will help you book an appointment.
Or call and ask if they speak English.
Or use google translate and send an email.

Whatever way..........I would make sure to get to one.

I have visited about 6, only one of whom spoke English, but we managed to work out what was wrong and I got great treatment and advice.......... Don't let language be a barrier to getting treatment. They are used to dealing with different Nationalities........
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Frances, Camino Invierno 2019
The therapists are used to pilgrims and are wonderful.
Just be aware, techniques are different.
I hurt my leg a few years back and went for a massage in Palas de Rei.
She called it a "sports massage" and it was quite painful.
However, next morning I walking and my leg was fine.
They know what they're doing!

Regarding language, many of the therapists there were young people who DO speak English.
A sports massage is deep release of tissues and typically is quite painful. That's the point of it. To do deep release of tight muscle tissue which will cause a significant amount of discomfort but within 24-48 hours the muscle will release and function properly again.
 

MichaelF4

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Frances, Camino Invierno 2019
No I haven’t considered medical help, but I think it’s a good idea. I don’t speak any Spanish however and worry that might be a problem? What was your experience? Have you done that while walking Camino? I am near Astorga, I could see if there’s a hospital there that could help. I went to a pharmacy and already had trouble explaining in Spanish what I need... but I got some of those patches for lower back and I’m talking painkillers. I hope it’s only a pulled/strained muscle, but it really really hurts when I move (and my moving is limited) and when lying down in certain positions.

Thanks so much for the all these suggestions! Taxi seems like a good option, I’ll keep my eye for those.
Patches are only a placebo and pain meds are only masking the real issue. Ice and a real heating pad will help relieve discomfort when an injury is in the acute phase. Use google translate and see a medical professional.
 

RRat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
Hi all! I would really appreciate your help. I started my Camino in Leon and unfortunately injured my back (I think I pulled it :( ) so now I’m forced to wait and heal around Astoria for a couple of days, which means I will shorten my walk by 2 days to make it to Santiago in time. (Btw I wish I took it easier on the first day, I think I overdid it and regret it now). Any suggestions please as to what parts between Astorga and Santiago are “ok to skip” (if it’s been possible, by bus or car...?)? And what parts I should definitely not miss? Thank you so much.
Just another approach, skip a section that has straight forward bus service with easy access to alburges. Less physical and mental stress.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
A sports massage is deep release of tissues and typically is quite painful. That's the point of it. To do deep release of tight muscle tissue which will cause a significant amount of discomfort but within 24-48 hours the muscle will release and function properly again.
Well it worked but I cried. Lol
 

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Awesome, thanks for the info. Great to know. I will go tomorrow morning (now just lying down and resting) to the hospital in Astorga and have it checked. L
 

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Thanks so much everyone, this is very helpful. I will go see a doctor/physio tomorrow and take it from there.
 

Trishagale

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
I went to the medical centre in Astorga when I had bad blisters. They were great and a lot of the staff spoke English. Unfortunately the receptionist didn't speak much English and when I tried to pay she waved me away. I thought the service was free but sometime after my arrival back in Australia I received an invoice for 90 euros. It was in Spanish of course and I had a lot of trouble working out how to pay. My daughter had a similar experience. So make sure you sort that out at the time. Google translator will help.
 

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Wanted to say a big thank you for your help - I visited a doctor today in Astorga and was able to get a very slow move on on Camino. :) I hope it will keep on getting better. You guys were right, the Medical Center in Astorga was great and well organized and I was out in half hour. The doctor gave me medications. Unfortunately I didn’t get to fysio, I tried three different ones but all were closed. I am now using the backpack transfer service and take it easy with walking and it seems to work today fine.
 

Trishagale

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
Great to hear. My husband and I I also used the backpack transfer service when we had medical issues, without we could not have continued, so I was grateful for that. Buen Camino
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
No I haven’t considered medical help, but I think it’s a good idea. I don’t speak any Spanish however and worry that might be a problem? What was your experience? Have you done that while walking Camino? I am near Astorga, I could see if there’s a hospital there that could help. I went to a pharmacy and already had trouble explaining in Spanish what I need... but I got some of those patches for lower back and I’m talking painkillers. I hope it’s only a pulled/strained muscle, but it really really hurts when I move (and my moving is limited) and when lying down in certain positions.

Thanks so much for the all these suggestions! Taxi seems like a good option, I’ll keep my eye for those.
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
A physical therapist came to our hotel in Zubiri & saved the day for my husband. The hotel arranged it - it’s worth asking wherever you stay. It cost
about $20 (and travel ins covered it).
For taxi, we used Camino Facil. They do a great job of bag transfer and have cab dispatch. They’re easy to contact via WhatsApp in English. The bus station in Astorga is right behind the Cathedral. I hope you are able to experience as much as possible before Sarria - even if you get there by bus or cab.
 

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Thank you! Yes. I am managing to walk almost all of the route so far, taking a taxi or mostly hitchhiking every here and there for the short difficult bits (descent to Molinaseca or the ascent to Fonceban) and then walking the rest as I would normally. I manage to keep up with other pilgrims that way and still see a lot of the beautiful scenery. I’m so grateful it’s been working out. And I get to Albergues that way early enough to take a good rest and relax my back. I’d love to see a fyzio too, I’ll try arranging that in the next couple of days.
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
Thank you! Yes. I am managing to walk almost all of the route so far, taking a taxi or mostly hitchhiking every here and there for the short difficult bits (descent to Molinaseca or the ascent to Fonceban) and then walking the rest as I would normally. I manage to keep up with other pilgrims that way and still see a lot of the beautiful scenery. I’m so grateful it’s been working out. And I get to Albergues that way early enough to take a good rest and relax my back. I’d love to see a fyzio too, I’ll try arranging that in the next couple of days.
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
Ponferrada is a pretty large city. I googled and 10 came up. The word in Spanish is fisioterapia (physical therapy) and fisioterapista (phys therapist). Probably better than google would be to ask a pharmacist for a recommendation.
I wish you well!
 

David61

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Enjoy Astorga, I loved the place. Avoid the climb up O Cebreiro and the descent to Molinaseca. My spine (always poor) has not forgiven me yet and I was there in June!
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
Enjoy Astorga, I loved the place. Avoid the climb up O Cebreiro and the descent to Molinaseca. My spine (always poor) has not forgiven me yet and I was there in June!
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
But go to O’Cebreiro - even by cab. Spend the night & go to mass & it will be so worth the cab fare.
 

Maxwell4334

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
Hi all! I would really appreciate your help. I started my Camino in Leon and unfortunately injured my back (I think I pulled it :( ) so now I’m forced to wait and heal around Astoria for a couple of days, which means I will shorten my walk by 2 days to make it to Santiago in time. (Btw I wish I took it easier on the first day, I think I overdid it and regret it now). Any suggestions please as to what parts between Astorga and Santiago are “ok to skip” (if it’s been possible, by bus or car...?)? And what parts I should definitely not miss? Thank you so much.
Don’t worry about the credential in Santiago. I’ve been told that the line is sometimes hours long and it’s only a piece of paper. It’s overrated like so many other things on the Camino. Try BlaBla Car. It’s a kind of carpooling and it’s cheaper than buses and taxis and it’s available in smaller towns. I’m sorry about your back. I have chronic back pain myself. It’s no fun.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Don’t worry about the credential in Santiago. I’ve been told that the line is sometimes hours long and it’s only a piece of paper. It’s overrated like so many other things on the Camino. Try BlaBla Car. It’s a kind of carpooling and it’s cheaper than buses and taxis and it’s available in smaller towns. I’m sorry about your back. I have chronic back pain myself. It’s no fun.
This is not my experience, nor does it appear to reflect what happens at the pilgrim office. I have collected the compostela every time I have walked the Camino, joining many others patiently waiting when I have. It might just be a piece of paper to some, but clearly to the many people who do wait, it has tremendous significance for them to do that. I certainly don't consider this aspect of the Camino over-rated - the compostelas that I have received are valuable artefacts that I treasure.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I know it is not on the original topic, but as the subject of the Compostela has been raised, be aware that there is a new ticketing system in place, and it is causing a few problems. The machine closes down after a finite number of tickets have been issued, and people have to come back the next day and take their chances once again. There are consistent reports on other forums and Facebook that people are missing out because they had to leave Santiago before getting their document issued.
 

Get on our Mailing list for new products on the Camino Store and news from the Camino Forum








Advertisement

Booking.com

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 55 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 197 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 325 24.8%
  • June

    Votes: 95 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 379 28.9%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock