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Painful corns on foot - any advice?

psalmone1

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2024
We are leaving to do the whole Camino Frances in a week. I have two corns on my right foot that are becoming very painful - I have had them for years with little issue but over the last month with doing training they are flaring up. I bought some Altra Lone Peaks which helped, I think, but still finding that each step is painful, no matter how many corn pads or other remedies I try.
I’m getting a bit discouraged by this. Any suggestions or encouragement? Has anyone walked the route with painful corns and survived to tell the tale?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
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Ah. Yes. I am going to try on Monday to see if I can get an appointment sometime during the week but as we leave next Sunday it might not be possible.
Is postponing an option? If every step is already painful right now, in your chosen walking shoes.. then the prospect of walking 800km is not great, to be honest. If you're hell bent on going next week, then you really should try get an emergency appointment ASAP, to see if it can be managed. IMHO.
 
@psalmone1 where on your feet are the corns?
I have one on the outside of the big toe and the other on the pinky of the same foot, between the toes.
In looking online it looks like o should be able to see a podiatrist next week.
Postponing isn’t really really an option. Everything is booked.
 
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I think I’ll be able to get an appointment before I go.
We did our longest walk so far today - 25/26 km. This morning my toes were painful. When we came home for lunch after 10k I started this thread. But before we went out for the afternoon, I had a long think and adjusted some things. I took off the gel-type bandage on the big toe - it was causing pain rather than relieving it, as it was causing pressure on the wrong spot. I took off the donut-shaped bandage on the little toe - same issue. Even though I had tried to get it at the right spot, it was hitting the toe funny and causing pain. I put my toe socks on (was using other ones be side of the things wrapped around my toes, lol) and put the soft gel-wrap thing over top of the sock-encased pinky.
These adjustments gave me a lot of relief. The afternoon walk was much better, making me feel much better about the upcoming Camino.
I will see what the podiatrist suggests, hopefully they will be able to give me some idea of other things to do, maybe shave down the callus on my big toe a bit.
At any rate, things are looking up.
We won’t be doing any more long walks before we start, to give ourselves time to rest, so that will help, too.
 
...before we went out for the afternoon, I had a long think and adjusted some things. I took off the gel-type bandage on the big toe - it was causing pain rather than relieving it, as it was causing pressure on the wrong spot.
The placement of your corns are different to where my "ouchies" are. But like you, I have found that the pressure from some bandages etc, while meant to aide - did anything but that. So I am glad to hear that your own adjustments have provided much relief. Hopefully the podiatrist can make further recommendations that you can employ.
 
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The placement of your corns are different to where my "ouchies" are. But like you, I have found that the pressure from some bandages etc, while meant to aide - did anything but that. So I am glad to hear that your own adjustments have provided much relief. Hopefully the podiatrist can make further recommendations that you can employ.
Thank you. Sometimes the “cure” is worse than the problem, that’s for sure!
 
In addition to visiting one before you leave for the Camino, I will also suggest that you look up som podiatrists on your route in Spain. All the bigger places should have them. I am not suggesting in-depth research, just so you have an idea. That way you can maybe see them before your problem gets too big on the Camino. I am planning on seeing at least one during my Camino del Norte - as maintenance :-D On my camino in 2022 i developed some terrible blisters and got lovely help from one, it cost me all of 35 euros.
 
Without reading all above, I echo going as soon as you can to a podiatrist. A good one will ease the problem without adding insult to injury. I go regularly, as am Diabetic type 2 and need to do that. So, the solution is in your hands and purse to soothe your feet! 👣
 
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@psalmone1
Me too- (I haven’t read all the responses etc).
I rarely see threads about corns on here

In 2016 I had started Le Puy route with intention of walking from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela …. However ., although I’d never had corns in my life before … I developed 2 corns inside the right pinkie …at top and bottom inside ..
however at first, I didn’t even know they were corns. !!! It became impossible to walk … even without my walking shoes, using sandals.. …. I had to send my bag ahead for the last week to SJPDP and head to San Sebastián to a clinic to have my foot attended to.
No way could I continúe my camino to Santiago. I had to arrange an early flight home $$$$$$’s
Once home - a podiatrist took care of them
and explained how they form etc. Pressure !!
So now for you - First - you need to have them attended to -
2nd. Be aware that they will re-form if you have the same pressure working on your feet.
I attend the podiatrist at least before every camino and on return.

My podiatrist has also made special spacers (tiny ones )to wear between the toes : but that’s me. Yours may require a different fix.

Please - see a podiatrist . They will help
You.
 
Ah. Yes. I am going to try on Monday to see if I can get an appointment sometime during the week but as we leave next Sunday it might not be possible.
Very much agree with "Flog" - seeing a podiatrist is a must. I've suffered from similar issues, and if you plow ahead with your trek, you'll regret it on so many levels. Your feet are like the tires of a car; it can't run if one of the tires are flat! The podiatrist will work wonders, and if you can't get in to see a specialist, go to Urgent Care while you are still at home. I'd also recommend using those little foam pieces that you can buy at the drug store to separate your toes, but that is only a temporary fix.
 
I trained a lot for my hike (Le Puy to Sanitago) and got corns. Mine were on my second smallest toes on the inside facing the pinky toes. (My pinky toes are slightly tilted inward, causing rubbing.)

My main solution was corn pads. Sounds like that's not working or you. But just to make sure we're talking about the same things... the pads need to have holes in them so there is no pressure on the corn. You can add two together (like you mention) but that may add pressure to another toe, so that may cause the other toe to rub.

Those worked okay, but things got bad later in my hike, my pinky toes also got very sore. Not corns exactly, but painful/red/swollen. I took some scissors and sliced a slit in my shoes next to my pinky toe. That, along with the corn pads, did the trick. My toes didn't bother me again (after a day or so of healing).

FWIW... I always buy wide-sized shoes (usually Hokas, but also Altras). I had problems in all of them.

I'm training for my third Camino now. No corns right now, so I'm trying the gel toe covers (link to Amazon here). So far no corns or soreness, but I haven't started the long distances yet. I'm not sure these would help if the corns are already in place, but you might want to give them a try anyway. I'm expecting I'll have to cut my shoes again on the next Camino, we'll see.

While in France and Spain, you'll find a lot of foot care products in the Farmacia, but not always corn pads. I ended up by a rectangle pad they sold (about 6 inches by 4 inches), and would make my own pads with scissors (including a hole to relieve pressure on corn). That worked a little better than the normal pads, because pad had good adhesive and strong padding.

I'm not sure I've provided much help, but maybe something I wrote will help.

Good luck and Buon Camino.

P.S. Post an update here after your Camino and tell us how it went.

P.P.S. I went to a podiatrist about a month ago, before I started my training again, and told him about my issues. He suggested the gel toe covers that I mentioned above, but didn't have any fix other than surgery to correct the positioning of my pinky toes. (He wasn't recommending surgery, just saying that other than wide shoes and padding, there wasn't a ton for him to do for my particular problem.)
 
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I trained a lot for my hike (Le Puy to Sanitago) and got corns. Mine were on my second smallest toes on the inside facing the pinky toes. (My pinky toes are slightly tilted inward, causing rubbing.)

My main solution was corn pads. Sounds like that's not working or you. But just to make sure we're talking about the same things... the pads need to have holes in them so there is no pressure on the corn. You can add two together (like you mention) but that may add pressure to another toe, so that may cause the other toe to rub.

Those worked okay, but things got bad later in my hike, my pinky toes also got very sore. Not corns exactly, but painful/red/swollen. I took some scissors and sliced a slit in my shoes next to my pinky toe. That, along with the corn pads, did the trick. My toes didn't bother me again (after a day or so of healing).

FWIW... I always buy wide-sized shoes (usually Hokas, but also Altras). I had problems in all of them.

I'm training for my third Camino now. No corns right now, so I'm trying the gel toe covers (link to Amazon here). So far no corns or soreness, but I haven't started the long distances yet. I'm not sure these would help if the corns are already in place, but you might want to give them a try anyway. I'm expecting I'll have to cut my shoes again on the next Camino, we'll see.

While in France and Spain, you'll find a lot of foot care products in the Farmacia, but not always corn pads. I ended up by a rectangle pad they sold (about 6 inches by 4 inches), and would make my own pads with scissors (including a hole to relieve pressure on corn). That worked a little better than the normal pads, because pad had good adhesive and strong padding.

I'm not sure I've provided much help, but maybe something I wrote will help.

Good luck and Buon Camino.

P.S. Post an update here after your Camino and tell us how it went.

P.P.S. I went to a podiatrist about a month ago, before I started my training again, and told him about my issues. He suggested the gel toe covers that I mentioned above, but didn't have any fix other than surgery to correct the positioning of my pinky toes. (He wasn't recommending surgery, just saying that other than wide shoes and padding, there wasn't a ton for him to do for my particular problem.)
Thank you, that is helpful to hear from someone who has the same issue. I do have the pads with holes in them. Positioning is tricky - it was what caused more pain yesterday morning. I have a couple of similar gel-type covers, one style with the toe cap cover and one that is more of a sleeve. The sleeve-type had a little more padding and that worked better over my toe sock.
My fourth toe overlaps on my pinky, which is what causes the corn on my pinky. So I suspect that the podiatrist won’t have too many suggestions either, but perhaps have some ideas as to how to mitigate.
The only thing I don’t have at the moment is hiker’s wool, which I will get next week also (I live in a small town and specialists such as podiatrists are only available in the city, 1.5 hrs away, so when I do in for that I’ll be able to get the hiker’s wool too.
My initial shoe was La Sportiva Bushido, which, along with the toe socks, were causing no issues. I got a pair of Hokas as a back-up shoe because I liked the “squish” but I think they are a little narrower and my corns really started to flare up as I used them. Took me a couple of weeks to figure that out, as we were also ramping up distance, so I chalked it up to that. But finally twigged on the shoe issue and so bought the Altras (yeesh this is getting expensive!) and they have really helped with the extra room. But now I’m paranoid and so putting the extra padding, etc but, like I said, I think that is not helping but hindering.
At any rate….I’ll see what the podiatrist says. Will be resting from long walks this week. We start the Camino in about 10 days.
 
Are sandals an option?
Well…I had thought of that, too. I am bringing some Tevas to wear at night, to give the feet a rest. They possibly might work as relief for part of the day’s walk but I haven’t tried them with any distance.
It’s a good thing we are doing luggage transport, lol. Got a lot of extra shoes to haul… 😬
 
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I have to shave cut into the corn and it helps allot . Also use little round foam things and wool that ballerinas use just between the toes no bandaids I hope this helps. I would always use the wool as a pre too. It’s very soft and tears apart. Only use small amount and throw out after every use .
 
Preventive that was meant to be not pre
 
My advice to you is simple. You are in pain and even with your temporary fixes you are in pain and it will only get worse. Pain tells you to stop doing what causes the pain. Stop walking and call your Podiatrist and explain to the office that it is an emergency and you need to see the doctor immediately because of Camino and how much and how far you will walk. Call first thing tomorrow morning and if there is a problem call another one until you can see someone asap. My other advice and this goes for anyone with any pain anywhere. DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY ADVICE that people give you especially if it involves cutting or medications or ANYTHING. We all have unique bodies and have different issues and morbidities and take different drugs and have allergies and have no idea how one drug interacts with another and the list goes on and on. Go see a professional. Someone suggested you do a little research to see about podiatrists on the camino. I would have that list and if your podiatrist at home tells you are good to go and the pain you may still have is ok then go. If it gets worse do not wait, get in a taxi and go to the closest podiatrist. Ask the hospitalerio or albergue/hostel owner if they know a good podiatrist. Let them make the appointment for you and get the taxi and go. Remember the pain is not going to go away if you ignore it. It only gets worse and possibly will become chronic. We all know how much fun chronic pain is.
 
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We are leaving to do the whole Camino Frances in a week. I have two corns on my right foot that are becoming very painful - I have had them for years with little issue but over the last month with doing training they are flaring up. I bought some Altra Lone Peaks which helped, I think, but still finding that each step is painful, no matter how many corn pads or other remedies I try.
I’m getting a bit discouraged by this. Any suggestions or encouragement? Has anyone walked the route with painful corns and survived to tell the tale?
I can thoroughly recommend Madame Pilar in Pamploma . I had a pinky corn dealt with before I left that flared up again on the plane trip to Spain . Madame Pilar dug the wretched thing right out with little injury . It's never re materialsed again .

Pilar Navarro, PODÓLOGA LABRIT C/MERCED
+34 948 21 11 89

https://g.co/kgs/28hYFns
 
We are leaving to do the whole Camino Frances in a week. I have two corns on my right foot that are becoming very painful - I have had them for years with little issue but over the last month with doing training they are flaring up. I bought some Altra Lone Peaks which helped, I think, but still finding that each step is painful, no matter how many corn pads or other remedies I try.
I’m getting a bit discouraged by this. Any suggestions or encouragement? Has anyone walked the route with painful corns and survived to tell the tale?
As posted, pro is best. I have used a razor knife a couple times to whittle away my own corn, but beware the hard callous can go deep. I wonder if a pedicurist might have experience with these
 
My advice to you is simple. You are in pain and even with your temporary fixes you are in pain and it will only get worse. Pain tells you to stop doing what causes the pain. Stop walking and call your Podiatrist and explain to the office that it is an emergency and you need to see the doctor immediately because of Camino and how much and how far you will walk. Call first thing tomorrow morning and if there is a problem call another one until you can see someone asap. My other advice and this goes for anyone with any pain anywhere. DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY ADVICE that people give you especially if it involves cutting or medications or ANYTHING. We all have unique bodies and have different issues and morbidities and take different drugs and have allergies and have no idea how one drug interacts with another and the list goes on and on. Go see a professional. Someone suggested you do a little research to see about podiatrists on the camino. I would have that list and if your podiatrist at home tells you are good to go and the pain you may still have is ok then go. If it gets worse do not wait, get in a taxi and go to the closest podiatrist. Ask the hospitalerio or albergue/hostel owner if they know a good podiatrist. Let them make the appointment for you and get the taxi and go. Remember the pain is not going to go away if you ignore it. It only gets worse and possibly will become chronic. We all know how much fun chronic pain is.
Yes, thank you, understood. I am making an appointment tomorrow (office not open until Monday). Hope to get in Monday afternoon or Tuesday).
 
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As posted, pro is best. I have used a razor knife a couple times to whittle away my own corn, but beware the hard callous can go deep. I wonder if a pedicurist might have experience with these
Definitely would leave it for the podiatrist to do that! 😀
 
I can thoroughly recommend Madame Pilar in Pamploma . I had a pinky corn dealt with before I left that flared up again on the plane trip to Spain . Madame Pilar dug the wretched thing right out with little injury . It's never re materialsed again .

Pilar Navarro, PODÓLOGA LABRIT C/MERCED
+34 948 21 11 89

https://g.co/kgs/28hYFns
Thank you so much! Will keep this in mind for the route. Interesting that she dug it out - wasn’t your foot painful for walking after that?
 
I think I’ll be able to get an appointment before I go.
We did our longest walk so far today - 25/26 km. This morning my toes were painful. When we came home for lunch after 10k I started this thread. But before we went out for the afternoon, I had a long think and adjusted some things. I took off the gel-type bandage on the big toe - it was causing pain rather than relieving it, as it was causing pressure on the wrong spot. I took off the donut-shaped bandage on the little toe - same issue. Even though I had tried to get it at the right spot, it was hitting the toe funny and causing pain. I put my toe socks on (was using other ones be side of the things wrapped around my toes, lol) and put the soft gel-wrap thing over top of the sock-encased pinky.
These adjustments gave me a lot of relief. The afternoon walk was much better, making me feel much better about the upcoming Camino.
I will see what the podiatrist suggests, hopefully they will be able to give me some idea of other things to do, maybe shave down the callus on my big toe a bit.
At any rate, things are looking up.
We won’t be doing any more long walks before we start, to give ourselves time to rest, so that will help, too.
Good for you - that's the spirit! I love my toe socks and was wondering if this might help. My wife and I also leave for CF soon and she walks with back pain - so I know your struggle is real but so will be your joy! Buen Camino!
 
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Thank you so much! Will keep this in mind for the route. Interesting that she dug it out - wasn’t your foot painful for walking after that?
There is discomfort , there is pain and then there is ' Oh Hell why in blazes is that hot dagger sticking into my toe ' agony. I chose the moderate discomfort of having it dug out, a perfectly bearable inconvenience dealt with by a simple piece of gauze and elastoplas for three days . On the ten scale of pain it never peaked over 2 , the corn itself though was a solid 6 . Then of course there is that benefit of total or at least long term eradication.
 
In my experience (I’m prone to corns on the outside of both little toes): a podiatrist removing a corn with a scalpel doesn’t really hurt much, even at the time - and definitely doesn’t lead to residual discomfort, never mind pain. And oh the relief!
 
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In my experience (I’m prone to corns on the outside of both little toes): a podiatrist removing a corn with a scalpel doesn’t really hurt much, even at the time - and definitely doesn’t lead to residual discomfort, never mind pain. And oh the relief!
I hope for the same result! I have an appointment for tomorrow, phew.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
There is discomfort , there is pain and then there is ' Oh Hell why in blazes is that hot dagger sticking into my toe ' agony. I chose the moderate discomfort of having it dug out, a perfectly bearable inconvenience dealt with by a simple piece of gauze and elastoplas for three days . On the ten scale of pain it never peaked over 2 , the corn itself though was a solid 6 . Then of course there is that benefit of total or at least long term eradication.
Good to know! My pinky is around a 6, too. So anything less would be a relief. 😀
 
Update: podiatrist shaved down the calluses on both toes. Wow. No more pain! He suggested to still use the gel pad between the toes, which I will do. Went for a 5 K walk yesterday…no issues. Phew. I’m feeling much better about my walk now! Who knew the solution was so simple? Obviously not me!!
 
I can only say that my dermatologist happened to look at the corn on my R foot shortly before I did the Frances and she discouraged me from having any kind of surgery or removal before the Camino because it could be worse if it was not fully healed from any kind of procedure when I started walking. That said, yes, I would certainly encourage you to see a podiatrist beforehand, but be cautious about having any kind of procedure and then shortly afterwards starting your Camino.
I walked the Frances with the corn - it flared up occasionally, but not any more than the few other blister hits spots I had.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Update: podiatrist shaved down the calluses on both toes. Wow. No more pain! He suggested to still use the gel pad between the toes, which I will do. Went for a 5 K walk yesterday…no issues. Phew. I’m feeling much better about my walk now! Who knew the solution was so simple? Obviously not me!!
Great news. Enjoy your Camino. I hope it's everything you hope it will be. I know it was for so many of us. Buon Camino! (If you think about it, post after your Camino and let us know if the corns came back.)
 

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