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Pacerpoles for people with diminished core/upper-body strength?

Year of past OR future Camino
2017
Long story short...

A close friend has been diagnosed with ALS.

He has been walking with conventional trekking poles for a few months now but now he has been developing blisters on the hands from the increased chore of weight-bearing. His "next stop" on walking posture support has been told to him as "cuff crutches". (The cuffs fit over the upper forearm and the hands grip a handle perpendicular to the shaft of the crutch.)

He is looking for an intermediate stage before the crutches and is attempting to re-train his gait.

I have already turned him onto "Chi Walking" but I thought Pacerpoles, owing to their unique design, might be a good accessory to the effort.

Anyone out there have experience with diminished upper body and core strength that can advise on this approach?

We're not doing a review of Pacerpoles here, please! This is a question related to a specific set of circumstances as described above.

Positive experience, fee free to share here.

Negative experience? Feel free to PM me.

Thank you in advance for any help that you can provide,

B
 
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jozero

Been there, going again...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF x 3
Sorry to back track a bit but just in case, was your friend familiar with how to properly use the straps on his traditional poles? It’s pretty critical to properly adjust the length of the strap and then when using ensure the hand goes up through the strap loop and then have the hand come down trapping the strap between the thumb first finger. This will ensure the maximum weight is taken by the arms/shoulders and the least amount of effort on the hands plus the least movement of the strap within the hands resulting in less chance of blisters. I hope this may help your friend. Sorry again my reply isn’t pacer pole related!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I don't have those physical issues, but as a Pacer Pole user myself, it does seem to me that there would be big advantages to using them over conventional poles. When I use them on the uphills I am able to really support my body using the handles.
I would suggest that you write to Pacer Pole and see what they say about using them for this purpose. I have found the to be very responsive and helpful.

 

josephmcclain

Active Member
@jozero -

I believe that he knows this but I will not take it for granted and will relay the information. Much appreciated for broadening my line of inquiry.

Thank you!

B
Actually, I was going to write you the same thing. That maybe he wasn’t using the straps correctly since if they are used correctly all the hand is doing is guiding the pole, not even needing to grasp it. His circumstances might be different with ALS, just a thought. All the best to him for giving it the effort and to you for helping.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
This is not about pacer poles but about wrist straps on regular poles: I have long used regular poles and know how to use them and the wrist straps properly.

However, when I came down with sciatica on my last Camino and continued walking for several more days, I had to put so much more of my weight on the poles that I did have issues with my hands. And after the sciatica healed in a couple of weeks, I had nerve damage that lasted for several months afterwards, plus blisters.

Just sharing my experience...

Good luck in finding a solution!
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
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This might be a shot in the dark. I have shot sporting clays for years and in tournaments we all use a light three-wheeled gun cart to carry the 12 gauge shells and other paraphernalia.
Your friend would be able to put his backpack in the cart and lighten his weight bearing by 18-20 lbs.
The cart would also provide some stability holding onto the handles. They weigh about 25 lbs and they have brakes and are easy to push along. Anything more heavy duty might be counter-productive for your friend. 2-gun-caddy-11.jpg
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
Thank you all for the replies and PM's - all very helpful and greatly appreciated.

As it turns out, our researches have turned up an alternative. An option much lighter than conventional forearm crutches, height-adaptable like trekking poles, and a better handle quite reminiscent of that on Pacerpoles.

If someone comes upon this thread later and wishes to know of the solution, here is a link:


They are "spendy" but, for custom gear that maintains your mobility, it is worth it.

Our appreciation for your help in exploring options!

B
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
MORE from my buddy as he deepens his research to remain out of a wheelchair as long as possible...

While targeted at sufferers of MS, I believe that there is something here for anyone who needs "just a little bit more" in the way of walking assistance.


Buen Camino,

B
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF in sections 2019/2020
Having had knee cartillage transplants in both knees, my pacer poles have been truly indispensable in succeeding to walk the CF without any major setbacks. They help to take weigth of your body, protect against the bounce downhill, give extra speed and help you to divide the walking impact over lower and upper body. Pacer Poles made all the difference for me.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
This might be a shot in the dark. I have shot sporting clays for years and in tournaments we all use a light three-wheeled gun cart to carry the 12 gauge shells and other paraphernalia.
Your friend would be able to put his backpack in the cart and lighten his weight bearing by 18-20 lbs.
The cart would also provide some stability holding onto the handles. They weigh about 25 lbs and they have brakes and are easy to push along. Anything more heavy duty might be counter-productive for your friend. View attachment 82213

what about the hip-belt hiking trolley? They range from the home-made to the commercial variety. There is plenty of info on this forum about these critters some of it tongue in cheek!

Samarkand.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
what about the hip-belt hiking trolley? They range from the home-made to the commercial variety. There is plenty of info on this forum about these critters some of it tongue in cheek!

Samarkand.
It's not about managing "cargo" for him, @malingerer but rather just moving on his own two legs for as long as possible.

There is likely no way he can avoid a wheelchair at some point in the future. We're just sorting best options to keep that in the future as far as possible.

B
 

CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
Long story short...

A close friend has been diagnosed with ALS.

He has been walking with conventional trekking poles for a few months now but now he has been developing blisters on the hands from the increased chore of weight-bearing. His "next stop" on walking posture support has been told to him as "cuff crutches". (The cuffs fit over the upper forearm and the hands grip a handle perpendicular to the shaft of the crutch.)

He is looking for an intermediate stage before the crutches and is attempting to re-train his gait.

I have already turned him onto "Chi Walking" but I thought Pacerpoles, owing to their unique design, might be a good accessory to the effort.

Anyone out there have experience with diminished upper body and core strength that can advise on this approach?

We're not doing a review of Pacerpoles here, please! This is a question related to a specific set of circumstances as described above.

Positive experience, fee free to share here.

Negative experience? Feel free to PM me.

Thank you in advance for any help that you can provide,

B
I had the same problem with standard walking poles. I always had a blister. I have used pacer polls for the last eight years and love them. They really do help and no blisters.I am old, and overweight, and have little upper body strength. I will not go walking without my pacer poles!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
The ONLY thing I don't like about my Pacer Poles is that my hands feel sweaty. So I wear light cotton gloves.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
It's not about managing "cargo" for him, @malingerer but rather just moving on his own two legs for as long as possible.

There is likely no way he can avoid a wheelchair at some point in the future. We're just sorting best options to keep that in the future as far as possible.

B
it was in order to keep moving for as long as possible on my own two legs that I designed my trolley to keep weight off my back, shoulders and hips. With a hip and balance problem walking for any distance with or without a pack was becoming a nightmare. I at the moment am not contemplating a future with a wheelchair but I wish you well in your endeavours. At 82 I am considered old and my daily distance is shrinking (just like me :)) I will soon be contemplating forwarding on my luggage and that will really rub it in as I do not relish being parted from my beloved mochila! Buen Camino and Godspeed.

Samarkand.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Long story short...

A close friend has been diagnosed with ALS.

He has been walking with conventional trekking poles for a few months now but now he has been developing blisters on the hands from the increased chore of weight-bearing. His "next stop" on walking posture support has been told to him as "cuff crutches". (The cuffs fit over the upper forearm and the hands grip a handle perpendicular to the shaft of the crutch.)

He is looking for an intermediate stage before the crutches and is attempting to re-train his gait.

I have already turned him onto "Chi Walking" but I thought Pacerpoles, owing to their unique design, might be a good accessory to the effort.

Anyone out there have experience with diminished upper body and core strength that can advise on this approach?

We're not doing a review of Pacerpoles here, please! This is a question related to a specific set of circumstances as described above.

Positive experience, fee free to share here.

Negative experience? Feel free to PM me.

Thank you in advance for any help that you can provide,

B
Just a thought, has your friend considered using bicycle gloves? They are usually made of a kid leather palm and half fingers with a open knitted back. The leather and bottom of the fingers are padded to relieve stress and blister creation.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Just a thought, has your friend considered using bicycle gloves? They are usually made of a kid leather palm and half fingers with a open knitted back. The leather and bottom of the fingers are padded to relieve stress and blister creation.
have used this idea for years mainly because of sweaty hands and arthritis playing up early morn. They give a good grip!
:)

samarkand.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Yes
My wife, Ellie, has used Pacer Poles for years. We originally bought a used pair from Annie Santiago (on the forum) many years ago. She walked with them for one Camino then resold them and ordered a lighter carbon set.

She has now walked many caminos with Pacer Poles and would not want to walk without them. She was never comfortable with standard poles. She cannot say enough good things about Pacer Poles.

They really are great to use and I would switch to them but I do not use poles all the time while walking and they are a bit more difficult to put away with the larger handles.
 
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