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Numbness where shoulder straps rest

Camino(s) past & future
Currently walking Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2018
#1
Hi everyone, I’m currently on day 7 of Camino Frances. Today I’ve noticed numbness around the area of my shoulder straps, a lot of my bag weight is on my hips and I don’t have any shoulder/back pain from my bag though it’s bigger and heavier than I had hoped. Anyone else experienced this and any advice? Thanks
 

CaminoJew

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJDP- Santiago (winter 2018)
SJDP- Santiago ( Planning Fall 2018)
#2
Hi,
Sounds like blood flow in arteries was being interrupted by weight of bag. I had the same experience. Called my doctor back home and she suggested giving my shoulders a few days of rest. I used the Correos bag forwarding service for 2 days and this enabled me to complete my Camino.
Good luck
David
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#3
Try lightening your load, have someone knowledgeable help you adjust pack, or as CJ said try sending bag ahead. You could also be pinching a nerve?
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#4
a lot of my bag weight is on my hips and I don’t have any shoulder/back pain from my bag
Check your fitting adjustments; the weight should be entirely on your hips. The shoulder straps are for stability, not load-bearing.

it’s bigger and heavier than I had hoped.
All those "surplus gear" bins at your nightly lodgings are there for a reason. Go through your pack with a vengeance and part with the extra weight. Even a half-pound will be noticeable.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#5
Kitsambler nailed it. Your pack is too heavy... OR you are not carrying enough of the load on your hips...

Adjust your bag as needed. Consider donating excess stuff, or mail it to Santiago to Ivar. Also, and as already suggested, consider mochila transport, at least for a few days.
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
#6
It's a long shot, but I did have the same issue once. I discovered that although the weight was on my hips, my shoulder strap was a little loose. I figured the ever slight tugging back as I was walking may have caused my shoulder muscle strain. So I tighten the shoulder strap so it moves less and more snuggly (but don't tighten too much as it may impact the circulation). It seems to work for me.
As I said, it's a long shot. In any case, like what the others said, rest will be good (or better).
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#7
Hi,

I also think you should ask for some help to adjust the straps of your back-pack, so that the weight is really on the hips. Sometimes after some days of walking, the straps have started moving and you have to adjust them again.
Also try to get rid of some of your equipment or use the backpack transport for a couple of days allowing your shoulders to recover.
Another thing which may help is putting your towel underneath the shoulder-straps so that the remaining weight is spreaded over a bigger surface and the straps do no longer cut into your flesh.

BC
Alexandra
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#8
I constantly adjust the belts each time I hike by loosening ALL and re-fitting ALL on the pack each time I put it on. REI and experience have shown me that this is best practice. I go thru all of this when I take off and put on the pack on again and when I notice anything bothersome - I start all over again. I frequently leave the chest belt undone for a few hours to allow the shoulder straps to hit at a different place although with the proper use of the load lifter straps, they do not allow any weight on my shoulders. Your shoulders should not be carrying any of the weight at all. As an aside and FYI as a person with a large bosom, I find I need to adjust more frequently. I even ordered a slightly different shaped strap ("S" strap with ULA packs) which helped the fit measurably. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Currently walking Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2018
#9
Thank you for your comments everyone. I will lighten my weight and hope this is the main cause to the problem. If the issue is still present tomorrow I will arrange to have my pack delivered ahead for a few days. I adjust my straps every time I take it off and back on again but I shall take more notice of any weight on my shoulders and to adjust it accordingly. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Currently walking Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2018
#10
Hi,
Sounds like blood flow in arteries was being interrupted by weight of bag. I had the same experience. Called my doctor back home and she suggested giving my shoulders a few days of rest. I used the Correos bag forwarding service for 2 days and this enabled me to complete my Camino.
Good luck
David
Thank you David, my collarbones are slightly painful to touch so there must be too much pressure on that area. How long did it take for the numbness to subside?
 

CaminoJew

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJDP- Santiago (winter 2018)
SJDP- Santiago ( Planning Fall 2018)
#11
It took a little more than one day for the stress to subside. Still, i was able to continue walking without my backpack.
Feel better and God bless
David
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
#12
Buy a couple of cheep sponges( 2€ in a supermercado) to put under the straps where it hurts. It helps a bit if your straps are not padded.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
#13
Hi everyone, I’m currently on day 7 of Camino Frances. Today I’ve noticed numbness around the area of my shoulder straps, a lot of my bag weight is on my hips and I don’t have any shoulder/back pain from my bag though it’s bigger and heavier than I had hoped. Anyone else experienced this and any advice? Thanks
I work in fitness and this very well could be due to some misalignments or even pressure on a nerve. A massage for your shoulders may help for temporary relief. Also, make sure the straps are tight enough and use the hip belt. Sometimes when straps are longer it dumps the weight in the shoulders vs. being supported from lower belt.
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#14
I carried a ULA pack that had 9 cinch points and it took me two weeks before I could comfortably wear it (I'm used to expedition packs that are heavier, yet more comfortable, strange as that may seem). A Dane and a Brazilian helped get me to a point of comfort. First, I loosened my way too tight "load lifter" straps—the straps that connect the top of the shoulder harness to an anchor point near the top of the back panel—as that was a major source of my shoulder discomfort (thank you, Jens, outside Logroño). Then the waist belt. What helped me most when putting my pack on and ensuring I really got the weight on my hips was to bend over at the waist and get the waist strap above my hips and then cinch it down. The pack was now riding a bit above my hips when I stood up. What a relief. I could now go comfortably for hours (thank you, João, on the Meseta). The ULA Circuit pack is a bit of a strange pack and definitely took more time than I wished to break it in. Or maybe it was breaking me in... All's well that ends well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#15
For the interim wrap self adhesive Maxi Pad hygiene napkins around the shoulder straps on the points of contact that hurt the most . After lightening your load the extra padding will help accelerate healing by reducing as much friction and pressure as possible . Don't be embarrassed either , when applied neatly they are not noticeable at all .
 



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