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It is my friend's dream to walk the Camino, but she has very bad arthritis...

Camino(s) past & future
Not yet
#1
She is very sad about it because in her life, she has been a great walker, but feels too debilitated now to even think about it. I would like to help her to accomplish her dream, if possible, but I don't want to provide foolhardy encouragement. Is there anyone who has done the pilgrimage with bad arthritis who might be able to give specific advice? I have been reading on this site and I see it could be possible for her to ride a horse, or take the bus, or even ride a scooter part way. I also understand that there are people available who can carry your bags. Are there areas on the pilgrimage that would absolutely be impossible for her? Maybe somebody could recommend the easiest section of the route? Thank you all! -Gemma
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#2
Hi Gemma, it might help if you specify which of her joints are affected worse. In general using luggage transport and walking only small stages each day might help. Also the time of the year might be important if her arthritis is f.e. better/worse in hot weather. Buen Camino! SY
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
If bad arthritis means she cannot go walking at home, I think that the Camino would be too ambitious. I have found that it becomes progressively harder to walk through the discomfort of one bad ankle. I know first hand what it takes to walk the Camino, and I can foresee a time when I will not be able to do it. Not everything is possible at all times. I would not discourage her from trying, though, if the problem is more anxiety about arthritis than it is the arthritis!!:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#4
Like SYates, I think more information would make it easier to comment.
Like Falcon, I agree if the arthritis is in the ankles then the entire Camino might be too ambitious.
My ankle issue is keeping me home this year.
But she could try taking the stretch from Sarria to Santiago in very short stages.
And if she is not set on the Compostela there are plenty of taxis and buses.
Silly doll might be a person to check with. In the past she has done slow, fully supported Camino trips for small groups. She may have info that would be useful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#5
She is very sad about it because in her life, she has been a great walker, but feels too debilitated now to even think about it. I would like to help her to accomplish her dream, if possible, but I don't want to provide foolhardy encouragement. Is there anyone who has done the pilgrimage with bad arthritis who might be able to give specific advice? I have been reading on this site and I see it could be possible for her to ride a horse, or take the bus, or even ride a scooter part way. I also understand that there are people available who can carry your bags. Are there areas on the pilgrimage that would absolutely be impossible for her? Maybe somebody could recommend the easiest section of the route? Thank you all! -Gemma
I'm sorry to read that about your friend. In my case, I have what is diagnosed as 'Severe Degenerative Arthritis' and it is right through my entire skeletal system.....some days are bad, some days are good....'flare-up times' are nasty, but, I walked the Camino in 2013 from Pamploma to Santiago de Compostella, the began again last April in St.JeanPdP and got as far as Pamploma before having to come home due to a damaged achilles tendon. I found that the long walk actually helped my condition and, I tended to suffer a lot less pain than I do normally here at home.....my mind-set was very determined though. I would gently encourage your friend to at least try to give it a go....Camino hugs.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#6
She is very sad about it because in her life, she has been a great walker, but feels too debilitated now to even think about it. I would like to help her to accomplish her dream, if possible, but I don't want to provide foolhardy encouragement. Is there anyone who has done the pilgrimage with bad arthritis who might be able to give specific advice? I have been reading on this site and I see it could be possible for her to ride a horse, or take the bus, or even ride a scooter part way. I also understand that there are people available who can carry your bags. Are there areas on the pilgrimage that would absolutely be impossible for her? Maybe somebody could recommend the easiest section of the route? Thank you all! -Gemma
Gemma:

Many of the options you mention above are available. That said, while not wanting to discourage anyone from challenging oneself, I am in Falcons camp. What does her doctor say about this type of activity?

Joe
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finish the other half.......as soon as I think my iffy knee will be able.....I hope :)
#7
I find myself, reading this thread, because, I, following an accident, now find myself, with arthritis of my right knee, and some back problems too. I have only completed the first half of the Camino, and long to return to complete the journey. I so want to hear from anyone, who has found themselves trying, even though, they knew, before they started out, that the odds are against them; did you have to come home....did you find after so many days, that you could manage ? Being a working man, at home, and finding walking, day to day, painfull, may be very different from being able to get away from routine, and spend your days, just trying that walk; I remember so well, the everyday joy of being alive, whilst walking my Camino; maybe there is some healing to be found there ? I am an optomist; I won't give up yet; but, is the Camino, a step too far for me now. Plan B, is to cycle the rest; I can cycle fine, and thats how I excersise my dog now......any body tried a Camino that way? I tend to be rather solitary, and stay in few Albergues, so do carry a lot of kit...........a kind of cross to bear :)
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#8
There was a thread a while back about a blind lady, it listed in detail some of the trickier sections to bypass. Can anyone provide a link to it?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#10
I'm sorry to read that about your friend. In my case, I have what is diagnosed as 'Severe Degenerative Arthritis' and it is right through my entire skeletal system.....some days are bad, some days are good....'flare-up times' are nasty, but, I walked the Camino in 2013 from Pamploma to Santiago de Compostella, the began again last April in St.JeanPdP and got as far as Pamploma before having to come home due to a damaged achilles tendon. I found that the long walk actually helped my condition and, I tended to suffer a lot less pain than I do normally here at home.....my mind-set was very determined though. I would gently encourage your friend to at least try to give it a go....Camino hugs.
As an addition to my post above, I now have Kypho Scoliosis in one side of my Lumbar Spine, plus Osteoporosis but both my specialist and my physio advise me to Keep Walking for as long as I can.....sometimes, it IS hard to walk through the pain but, I do make the effort to go out each day despite it all.....I find that the rewards from walking each day make me feel so much more positive about myself .......I hope and pray that your friend WILL find a way to be able to do a Camino - I am planning to walk again for my 70th birthday....susanawee.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First timer, leaving April 3rd from SJPDP
#11
Bag transport is easy. My wife chose to use it lot as her knees hurt with a load. My friend used it when his feet were in trouble. The simple question is how far can she walk today? I am 60 and ran with the 30-ish gang and we did 30K to 40 K per day. I met a very elderly couple that were doing only 6K to 10 K per day and having a good time! They had NO schedule and just walked what they felt like walking. Then they rested, enjoyed their time together and walked some more the next day. They were precious! We never talked exact age, but they were happy to be alive on the Camino. So, can she walk enough to make the gap between Albergues? That's the only barrier. Best wishes!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
First timer, leaving April 3rd from SJPDP
#12
Bag transport is easy. My wife chose to use it lot as her knees hurt with a load. My friend used it when his feet were in trouble. The simple question is how far can she walk today? I am 60 and ran with the 30-ish gang and we did 30K to 40 K per day. I met a very elderly couple that were doing only 6K to 10 K per day and having a good time! They had NO schedule and just walked what they felt like walking. Then they rested, enjoyed their time together and walked some more the next day. They were precious! We never talked exact age, but they were happy to be alive on the Camino. So, can she walk enough to make the gap between Albergues? That's the only barrier. Best wishes!!!
 

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