A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Sciatica

Camino Badges

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
I completed Primitivo in June but on arriving in Santiago experienced Pain in my back and leg which doctor in UK has diagnosed as Sciatica. After some painful weeks I am recovering but am concerned as I had intended to do the Camino del Norte in 2020. Obviously will need to undergo physio and train up for this. Has anyone managed to overcome sciatica and undertake further caminos? Also how challenging is Norte in comparison to Primitivo? Would like to do further caminos
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I have had Sciatica off and on for years. It is painful and one must just bear it or stop walking.
I was given an injection in the spine in the area where the nerve is injured. It was necessary to use a "scope" type machine for the doctor to see the exact place to inject.
It did work and I have had very few (and those mild) episodes since.
I would recommend asking your doctor about this.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I had sciatica off and on for years, starting when I was 25. I eventually had a micro disectomy surgery to remove the disc that was bulging out and pressing on the nerve. That was about 17 years ago. I occasionally still get a "stiff" back, but I haven't had the bad sciatic pain. Exercise, especially walking, and stretching, especially yoga, are extremely helpful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Ruta Asturianos Lebaniego / Apr 2018 Asturias / May 2016 CP: Portuguese
Consultant your primary care giver first. For me, at home inversion has helped greatly. Full body slant boards such as "Teeter Hang-up" for example, were never good for me. Then I tried a short Roman Chair... bingo!
60893
Also, make use of heat and cold as well as pain patches, when possible. As @trecile mentioned, incorporate exercise in various forms.
Hoping you'll come back to tell us what worked for you!
Buen Camino!
 

willydp

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés 7-12 June 2019
I planned to walk the CF May 17, but got the same problem as you and had to quit 2 weeks before starting☹
Had some strong medication for the first days, but got physio which helped me to recover.
It never did get away 100%.
You will have good moments (no pain) and less good moments.
One thing is for sure...walking is not bad!
Better walk then do nothing.
The Camino called me again last year (planning for 19) and I did the Inglés (long tour 6d) last June and had no problems.
7,4kg backpack with some food and 1l water. This was more a test case to see if my back did hold up, which it did 😊
Like said before, first doctor or specialist and see what the outcome is. Physio or surgery..
If you need surgery look for less invasive spine surgery (no cutting, just holes).
Is healing quicker.
I hope you get well soon, so that the Camino 2020 is a fact 👍😉
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
My first bout with sciatica was 6 years ago. It took about 6 weeks to feel fairly normal again. I walked the Frances from SJPP and on to Muxia/Finisterre in 2016 with no problems.

However, about 2/3 of the way through my second Camino this spring had me suddenly immersed in great pain.

I was on the Meseta when it began and struggled for a few days before I got to Leon. This forum helped me get some treatment there, I was given a big pain shot and some pain meds (OTC stuff) and told I could resume walking after 2-3 rest days.

I ended up going home early, I just could not manage walking.

While struggling along, I had googled exercises on my phone and they helped. Now, several weeks later, I am totally pain free. The best exercises I found were called piriformis stretches. I did several variations morning and night and they helped a lot.

Oh, and one more thing: the doctor in Leon said that it was a repetitive stress injury. Both of my experiences with sciatica taught me that wearing a pack was an issue (the first time I was carrying heavy books regularly every day). On the Camino my pack was relatively light, but this last time I only could do light walking when I sent my pack ahead.

You may want to talk to your regular doctor about preventative measures, get friendly with exercises, watch what you pack, and research sending your pack ahead at least some days.

Buen (pain free) Camino!
 

Phil71

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
I used to get days where I couldn't move from the floor. Then it would go. Then it would return. I have a set of stretches that I do every day. EVERY day. Been pain free for the last 3 or 4 years. But mine could well be less serious than yours. I think consult your doctor. But also a physio, those guys can work miracles with backs. Good luck OP!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I completed Primitivo in June but on arriving in Santiago experienced Pain in my back and leg which doctor in UK has diagnosed as Sciatica. After some painful weeks I am recovering but am concerned as I had intended to do the Camino del Norte in 2020. Obviously will need to undergo physio and train up for this. Has anyone managed to overcome sciatica and undertake further caminos? Also how challenging is Norte in comparison to Primitivo? Would like to do further caminos
In fall of 2016 and well into 2017 I suffered from terminal L5 (left leg) nerve root damage which is something similar as sciatica but as mentioned it's terminal, it will never get better. I was on medical leave for almost a year. But in 2018 I still managed to walk few hundred kilometers on combination of Caminos in Spain. No baggage transport and always carrying my own food and drinks. I was 48.

Do your physio and take off for Spain. Just listen to your body and don't over do it. Walk in snail speed if it must be ;)
 
Last edited:

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
My first bout with sciatica was 6 years ago. It took about 6 weeks to feel fairly normal again. I walked the Frances from SJPP and on to Muxia/Finisterre in 2016 with no problems.

However, about 2/3 of the way through my second Camino this spring had me suddenly immersed in great pain.

I was on the Meseta when it began and struggled for a few days before I got to Leon. This forum helped me get some treatment there, I was given a big pain shot and some pain meds (OTC stuff) and told I could resume walking after 2-3 rest days.

I ended up going home early, I just could not manage walking.

While struggling along, I had googled exercises on my phone and they helped. Now, several weeks later, I am totally pain free. The best exercises I found were called piriformis stretches. I did several variations morning and night and they helped a lot.

Oh, and one more thing: the doctor in Leon said that it was a repetitive stress injury. Both of my experiences with sciatica taught me that wearing a pack was an issue (the first time I was carrying heavy books regularly every day). On the Camino my pack was relatively light, but this last time I only could do light walking when I sent my pack ahead.

You may want to talk to your regular doctor about preventative measures, get friendly with exercises, watch what you pack, and research sending your pack ahead at least some days.

Buen (pain free) Camino!
Thanks for kindly sharing your experiences.
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
This man Dr. Alan Mandell (aka MotivationalDoc) has helped me tremendously with his YouTube videos and, even once via telephone! Over 2 million followers and hundreds of self help videos.

Thanks for sharing this interesting link
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
In fall of 2016 and well into 2017 I suffered from terminal L5 (left leg) nerve root damage which is something similar as sciatica but as mentioned it's terminal, it will never get better. I was on medical leave for almost a year. But in 2018 I still managed few hundreds of kilometers on combination of Caminos in Spain. No baggage transport and carrying my own food and drinks all days. I was 48.

Do your physio and take off to Spain. Just listen to your body and don't over do it. Walk in snail speed if it must be ;)
Thank you for your reply and encouragement
 

jostony

Camino del Vino
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Finisterre/Muxia 2015
Portugues/F'tre 2017
Ingles 2018
Primitivo 2019
Norte 2020
I used to get days where I couldn't move from the floor. Then it would go. Then it would return. I have a set of stretches that I do every day. EVERY day. Been pain free for the last 3 or 4 years. But mine could well be less serious than yours. I think consult your doctor. But also a physio, those guys can work miracles with backs. Good luck OP!
I am in sixth week and things are improving. At least I can now walk without having to stop in agony and bend forward. It's going to be slow
 

BruceNZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese (Via de la Plata)
Hi... have had a few back problems on and off. One thing worth remembering (frm a muscularskeletal wizard here) is always breathe out (consciously ) whenever bending - bending down breathe out, coming back up breathe out. So may people do the opposite i.e take a breath n bend. The breathing while bending ensures a soft back and hard tummy which takes the pressure off the back. Also if right handed always stand with LEFT foot forward (not side by side) or vv if left handed. This relieves the back. Cheers
 

Simon Shum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Oct 2013, Porto, San Salvador & Primitivo 2014. Norte 2016, VdLP & Via Francigena 2017
I had sciatica problem on my right leg seven years ago, after acupuncture couple times, it recovered in a month or so. And since then I had walked seven different caminos, and only had pain coming back once when I was finishing Via de La Plata (probably I was carrying heavy load - carrying some stuff for my wife, or the walk was a bit too long).

We have just walked part of Via Podiensis from Le Puy to Moissac (in France) over 30 days as we tried to walk under 20 kms a day with couple rest days in between. I was fine and pain free!
I did have another problem from walking the camino but it was my own fault -- I developed MP meralgia parathetica? from tightening my waist belt too tight in my second camino (I thought that would transfer more weigh to my hip instead of loading my spinal cord!). Now I have to live with the MP as the doctor said it is s nuissance and not affecting muscles or health! I would have avoided the MP problem if I had listen more to my body! So enjoy your walk and listen to the body too! I am 71 and plan to walk the Aragones in September!
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I completed Primitivo in June but on arriving in Santiago experienced Pain in my back and leg which doctor in UK has diagnosed as Sciatica. After some painful weeks I am recovering but am concerned as I had intended to do the Camino del Norte in 2020. Obviously will need to undergo physio and train up for this. Has anyone managed to overcome sciatica and undertake further caminos? Also how challenging is Norte in comparison to Primitivo? Would like to do further caminos
Hi,

I had a lot of problems with sciatica but had to get for orthotics a few years ago and I have never been bothered with sciatica again. Sometimes the problem can be that one leg is marginally longer than the other which throws our gait out of kilter. Barbara
 

Dochim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 July - April 2018 Francés
June - July 2018 Primitivo
I had sciatica for two years and we had to keep delaying our first camino. The doctors kept giving me more and more pain killers. I then decided to try Pilates. I noticed an improvement straight away and after a few weeks the pain had gone.
 

WayWalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
Upon approval fro doctor obviously but stretching religiously, not just on the Camino, does a world of good. Make sure they are good stretches for sciatica.
 

Bella2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014,2015,2016.
March 2017 Oct 2018 Camino ingles june 2019
Regular Pilates is what enables me to cope with my sciatica. Within 2 days of my first class my pain was much improved. I have been going for 4 years but must have at least one Pilates class a week. Walking i also good for my back
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Putting on my qualified gym trainer's hat. If you can go see a sports physiotherapist, they are great at sorting out gait and postural problems and will probably tell you to go to Pilates classes or some other form of exercise aimed at building good core strength. If there is no physical damage or deformity good core strength sorts out an awful lot of back pain. The sort of pain that grows as you walk longer distances is often due to that.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
janica Medical issues on the pilgrimage 24
OLDER threads on this topic
Sciatica pain - to go or not to go???

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.5%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 41 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 155 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 259 25.0%
  • June

    Votes: 80 7.7%
  • July

    Votes: 21 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 20 1.9%
  • September

    Votes: 297 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 124 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.5%
Top