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Neuropathy tips

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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Time of past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
The only thing I can think of is he needs to be certain he has perfect footwear, and you both should take much more frequent breaks that usual to check feet and/or change socks as needed since he may not notice hot spots starting. Buen Camino to you both!

Edit: and of course walking poles to help with balance if he’s not walking with a cane
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
planning my 5th ( 20 days only ) Camino . My partner will join me for the first time . He is planning to walk limited miles daily and forward by bus or taxi as needed . He has neuropathy and both feet are numb . Any tips about Camino and Neuropathy are welcome .
Thanks
Beyond the basics of good food care, this is advice probably best given by a qualified medical practitioner.

Edit: welcome to the forum. When it comes to giving medical advice, we are not all medical practitioners, and those that are might be cautious about giving medical advice with such a scant description of the patient's symptoms and without being able to examine him or conduct other tests that might lead to a diagnosis and subsequent advice. So in general, you should not expect to get medical advice, and if you did, would need to treat it with some caution.
 
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estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I have it and I walked with it for a number of years. I found the long distance walking to be very therapeutic, but now I am severally affected and atrophy has set into my legs and hands. I have lost my ability to grip items as well as the pain in my feet. I used extra strength Volteran and Vicks Vapo-Rub very liberally in the morning and evening. It depends on the severity of his condition and as everyone warns pilgrims, don't use this site for medical advice.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
As I understand it, there are many causes of neuropathy, and it can manifest itself in different ways too. I'm "lucky" enough to have idiopathic neuropathy. 🤪 I don't have complete numbness in my feet. Rather, I often have a burning feeling, which, I can sometimes confuse with a hot spot. Of course I check my feet, during the day, but so that I'm not constantly stopping to see if I have a blister forming, or if it's the neuropathy I use Omnifix tape on my blister prone areas. I feel that it's like blister insurance.
 
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estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
As I understand it, there are many causes of neuropathy, and it can manifest itself in different ways too. I'm "lucky" enough to have idiopathic neuropathy. 🤪 I don't have complete numbness in my feet. Rather, I often have a burning feeling, which, I can sometimes confuse with a hot spot. Of course I check my feet, during the day, but so that I'm not constantly stopping to see if I have a blister forming, or if it's the neuropathy I use Omnifix tape on my blister prone areas. I feel that it's like blister insurance.
Trecile, you are one of the lucky ones.
I have seen 3 differendt university specialists and the source of my pain is in my spine but can not be identified or corrected.
After meeting a guy in a wheel chair one day on the beach at Biarritz who had emergency surgery done in Greece, I wouldn't even consider it, if it was recommended to me and thank goodness it has not been mentioned as an option by any of my doctors.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2015,2016,2017,2018,2022, april 2023
Thanks all . I need to rephrase it . Not looking for medical advice . More practical tips that we might not think of . We obviously have asked his podiatrist and neurologist. They said ‘give it a go ‘ and indeed just check for hot spots often . We will make sure his feet are taped well ( I haven’t had 1 blister due to this in my previous 4 Caminos ) and limit his mileage. Guess the next step is finding good shoes :)
Ps my partner is idiopathic neuropathy and thankfully he has good circulation.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Guess the next step is finding good shoes :)
Indeed, and there is a wealth of useful discussion about how to do this. In earlier days, @falcon269 (now Deleted Member 3000) provided very useful advice that has fundamentally stood the test of time. More recently @davebugg has contributed regularly to this discussion with some slight nuances, although I don't think the advice has changed fundamentally over time. Use the search function or the tag cloud to get you started on this.
 

SeaHorse

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015 (SJPDP-Finisterre), planning Norte
My husband says that the consequences of him not feeling his feet is not knowing when he had tripped over something or simply didn't lift the leg high enough and the foot got stuck against the ground. He only knows something is wrong when he sees the ground fast approaching. So walking poles for stability. And not just 1 but 2.
 

Ant

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I suffered from intense chemo induced peripheral neuropathy and was told "apart from pottering around, you may never walk again." I set about trying to fix this (with what seemed like a crazy long term aim in 2013 to be able complete the camino frances) along with a bucket full of painkillers I had been prescribed. I have now done the Frances, Norte, Portuguese, Camino Mozarabe from Malaga, Levante from Valencia and the Salvador and Primitivo from Leon. Now I don't take any painkillers. I pushed myself through the pain and I noticed a marked improvement (less pain) towards the end of the Frances and went back and did the Norte the following year and it basically cleared up and I am still left with minor neuropathy. What worked for me was..after every day I soaked my feet in cold water - ice water if I could get it. I carried my own collapseable water container big enough for my feet, carried on with the prescription pain killers but only for the French route, used a foot menthol balm after the cold bath, experimented with different sock combinations (wool works best for me) used vasaline on the feet everyday before walking, good solid walking boots work for me. The doctors in the pain clinic couldn't really give me a solid explanation....other than "oh well it may have been going to clear up anyway or that the intense walking helped to activate the nerve ends" and hence reduce the pain. I hope you find something that works for you.
 
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estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I suffered from intense chemo induced peripheral neuropathy and was told "apart from pottering around, you may never walk again." I set about trying to fix this (with what seemed like a crazy long term aim in 2013 to be able complete the camino frances) along with a bucket full of painkillers I had been prescribed. I have now done the Frances, Norte, Portuguese, Camino Mozarabe from Malaga, Levante from Valencia and the Salvador and Primitivo from Leon. Now I don't take any painkillers. I pushed myself through the pain and I noticed a marked improvement (less pain) towards the end of the Frances and went back and did the Norte the following year and it basically cleared up and I am still left with minor neuropathy. What worked for me was..after every day I soaked my feet in cold water - ice water if I could get it. I carried my own collapseable water container big enough for my feet, carried on with the prescription pain killers but only for the French route, used a foot menthol balm after the cold bath, experimented with different sock combinations (wool works best for me) used vasaline on the feet everyday before walking, good solid walking boots work for me. The doctors in the pain clinic couldn't really give me a solid explanation....other than "oh well it may have been going to clear up anyway or that the intense walking helped to activate the nerve ends" and hence reduce the pain. I hope you find something that works for you.
I started walking 10 years ago and was fairly successful dealing with the pain by walking with sticks and high top boot to support my ankles until I was on the Le Puy in 2019. I am now 75 years old.
You have been very luck, keep it up!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021
Fisterra 2021
planning my 5th ( 20 days only ) Camino . My partner will join me for the first time . He is planning to walk limited miles daily and forward by bus or taxi as needed . He has neuropathy and both feet are numb . Any tips about Camino and Neuropathy are welcome .
Thanks
Hello
We are presently in Sarria, having started in SJPdP. I have a neuropathy that limits my sensation but always makes me feel my socks are balled up under my toes. For me, probably the most important thing was preparation. I walked in my hiking runners for about a month with different sock combinations to find which ones would not slip and ball up. I found silk liner socks in a merino wool sock were one of my best combinations. Injinji liners in merino socks also work well. So far no blisters. I also ordered trail gaiters from a company called dirtygirlgaiters.com. They keep all sand stones and twigs out of my shoes so I don’t need to worry about stuff getting into the shoe and digging into the skin.
I wish you folks well.

[Edited to correct website address]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Time of past OR future Camino
2015,2016,2017,2018,2022, april 2023
I suffered from intense chemo induced peripheral neuropathy and was told "apart from pottering around, you may never walk again." I set about trying to fix this (with what seemed like a crazy long term aim in 2013 to be able complete the camino frances) along with a bucket full of painkillers I had been prescribed. I have now done the Frances, Norte, Portuguese, Camino Mozarabe from Malaga, Levante from Valencia and the Salvador and Primitivo from Leon. Now I don't take any painkillers. I pushed myself through the pain and I noticed a marked improvement (less pain) towards the end of the Frances and went back and did the Norte the following year and it basically cleared up and I am still left with minor neuropathy. What worked for me was..after every day I soaked my feet in cold water - ice water if I could get it. I carried my own collapseable water container big enough for my feet, carried on with the prescription pain killers but only for the French route, used a foot menthol balm after the cold bath, experimented with different sock combinations (wool works best for me) used vasaline on the feet everyday before walking, good solid walking boots work for me. The doctors in the pain clinic couldn't really give me a solid explanation....other than "oh well it may have been going to clear up anyway or that the intense walking helped to activate the nerve ends" and hence reduce the pain. I hope you find something that works for you.
SO happy for you that you were able to walk again and even doing caminos! 👍👏👍. I understand everyone reacts differently but it’s definitely encouraging to read this .
We’re researching boots now and already have the poles . We do have prescriptions in case needed . I think when we start our practice in December ( it’s still a bit hot right now in FL ) we will learn a lot too . Our goal is for him to be able to start the Camino the first 3 days with only 5 miles and see how his feet respond, if all good , increase by 2 miles for 3 days . Etc etc .
👣👣👣
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Beyond the basics of good food care, this is advice probably best given by a qualified medical practitioner.

Edit: welcome to the forum. When it comes to giving medical advice, we are not all medical practitioners, and those that are might be cautious about giving medical advice with such a scant description of the patient's symptoms and without being able to examine him or conduct other tests that might lead to a diagnosis and subsequent advice. So in general, you should not expect to get medical advice, and if you did, would need to treat it with some caution.
I went to a hospital outpatient clinic once for help with my feet, cost 30 euros I think . Gave me advice, an rx, and a note to the municipal albergue so I could stay an extra day.
 

Ant

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
SO happy for you that you were able to walk again and even doing caminos! 👍👏👍. I understand everyone reacts differently but it’s definitely encouraging to read this .
We’re researching boots now and already have the poles . We do have prescriptions in case needed . I think when we start our practice in December ( it’s still a bit hot right now in FL ) we will learn a lot too . Our goal is for him to be able to start the Camino the first 3 days with only 5 miles and see how his feet respond, if all good , increase by 2 miles for 3 days . Etc etc .
👣👣👣
I started with 25 steps in the house and then doubled every day till I was walking miles and then up to 10/15 miles here in the UK, then added a weighted rucksac. I had lots of backward steps and had to scale back for a while. The one thing I noticed is that with peripheral neuropathy you loose power/strength in your legs, but not overall stamina which did come back.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2015,2016,2017,2018,2022, april 2023
Hello
We are presently in Sarria, having started in SJPdP. I have a neuropathy that limits my sensation but always makes me feel my socks are balled up under my toes. For me, probably the most important thing was preparation. I walked in my hiking runners for about a month with different sock combinations to find which ones would not slip and ball up. I found silk liner socks in a merino wool sock were one of my best combinations. Injinji liners in merino socks also work well. So far no blisters. I also ordered trail gaiters from a company called dirtygirlgaiters.com. They keep all sand stones and twigs out of my shoes so I don’t need to worry about stuff getting into the shoe and digging into the skin.
I wish you folks well.

[Edited to correct website address]
Thank you. I found the trailgaiters on amazon and will get a pair for him. Happy for you that you were able to do the Camino . Enjoy the last stretch .
 

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