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Tendonitis

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Salpal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Coastal Camino in May 2020
Hello :)

I will be doing the coastal route next year and as an absolute beginner I am sucking in all the information I can get - yes probably over thinking and over planning but guess that is a lesson that I may need to learn for myself.

I was listening to a podcast of a lady who did the French one and she mentioned that even though she did a lot of training nothing had prepared her for the number of hills and she developed Tendonitis because of that.

Would you say that the coastal route has potential problematic hills?

Thank you all
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - 2009
Portuguese Interior (2014)
Hadrian's Wall (2017)
Porto to SdC ( Sep 2019)
I could relate a long story about tendonitis... but I'll spare you:cool: After a couple of pilgrimages, I've found that some preparation is necessary. Everyone has a different level that they need. My 2nd was half as long as the Frances' (Portugal Interior) but twice as difficult and I had no blisters, no tendon problems (or broken toes diagnosed as tendonitis) and, with the exception of just exhaustion from the hills and paths, an injury free journey. I always started out slowly and warmed my pace (I didn't stretch but some need to do that). I learned to rest and to listen to my feet. Your toes and balls of your feet will "talk" to you about the level of pressure. I guess it's part of the camino experience to listen to what your body tells you. Only my 2 cents....
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Hello :)

I will be doing the coastal route next year and as an absolute beginner I am sucking in all the information I can get - yes probably over thinking and over planning but guess that is a lesson that I may need to learn for myself.

I was listening to a podcast of a lady who did the French one and she mentioned that even though she did a lot of training nothing had prepared her for the number of hills and she developed Tendonitis because of that.

Would you say that the coastal route has potential problematic hills?

Thank you all
There are a number of conditions and locations for tendonitis in the lower leg, ankles, and feet. You did not mention a specific tendonitis issue, so my advice is focused on the most common type experienced by backpackers, walkers and trekkers. It involves the large Achilles tendon at the back of the foot leading to the calf.

There are two common causes:
  1. Constant rubbing or pressure against the tendon
  2. Stiffness and tightness of the tendon and lower leg muscles with a sudden and repetitive increase of exercise.
The first cause mostly involves the upper collar of the shoe pressing against the tendon. If the footwear is well above the ankle, the pressure may also come from the back of the boot as it flexes with each step. This can create a severe irritation to the tendon which results in swelling and tenderness as the tendon reacts to the pressure.

Eliminating or reducing that pressure will alleviate the tendonitis.

The second cause often goes hand-in-hand with lack of preparation. For this type of tendonitis, a routine of stretching to loosen the calf muscle and increase the flexibility to the tendon is the primary method of prevention. It is also important to stretch this area prior to walking each morning.

Stretches and Exercises

Heel Drops


This will help to strengthen the Achilles tendon.
  • Stand on the very bottom step or platform.
  • Position your toes and the balls of your feet so that they rest on the step. Your heels will hang over the edge of the step.
  • Gently and slowly lower your heels toward the ground. When you feel the stretching in your heels and in your calf muscles, stop and hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly your heels back up.
  • Start out doing this 10 to 20 times. As you build flexibility and strength, increase the number of repetitions.
  • If you need help with balance, hold onto a railing or other nearby surface.

Walking Calf Raises

Walking calf raises can help to strengthen your calves as well as the tendons.

  • Do this exercise barefoot.
  • Raise up onto your toes and begin walking. While you are walking, you should feel a stretch in your calf muscles.
    • Start with 15 steps.
    • As you gain confidence at performing this exercise, increase the number of steps each day until you are able to take 100 steps walking just on your toes.
    • Be patient!!! It can take time to reach this goal.

Towel Stretch
  • Sit with one leg straight out in front of you.
    • This is best done on the floor, but can be done seated on a chair or sofa as long as you can maintain balance.​
  • With a towel that is long enough, place the towel around the ball of your foot while grasping the ends in each of your hands.
  • Gently pull the ends of the towel toward you until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for 40 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.
    • Repeat twice.​
    • Over time as you are able to increase the stretch, hold for up to a minute.​
Wall Stretch

This one is a bit difficult to explain. It is easier to see how it's done rather than to describe it. I tracked down this YouTube video to provide a demonstration of this type of exercise.

 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
Had I focused on the above stretches, I doubt that the Portuguese cobblestones would have destroyed both my Achilles forcing me to stop a truly wonderful Lisbon-Santiago route.
I've always hated stretching and loved walking!!.
 

Salpal

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk Coastal Camino in May 2020
There are a number of conditions and locations for tendonitis in the lower leg, ankles, and feet. You did not mention a specific tendonitis issue, so my advice is focused on the most common type experienced by backpackers, walkers and trekkers. It involves the large Achilles tendon at the back of the foot leading to the calf.

There are two common causes:
  1. Constant rubbing or pressure against the tendon
  2. Stiffness and tightness of the tendon and lower leg muscles with a sudden and repetitive increase of exercise.
The first cause mostly involves the upper collar of the shoe pressing against the tendon. If the footwear is well above the ankle, the pressure may also come from the back of the boot as it flexes with each step. This can create a severe irritation to the tendon which results in swelling and tenderness as the tendon reacts to the pressure.

Eliminating or reducing that pressure will alleviate the tendonitis.

The second cause often goes hand-in-hand with lack of preparation. For this type of tendonitis, a routine of stretching to loosen the calf muscle and increase the flexibility to the tendon is the primary method of prevention. It is also important to stretch this area prior to walking each morning.

Stretches and Exercises

Heel Drops


This will help to strengthen the Achilles tendon.
  • Stand on the very bottom step or platform.
  • Position your toes and the balls of your feet so that they rest on the step. Your heels will hang over the edge of the step.
  • Gently and slowly lower your heels toward the ground. When you feel the stretching in your heels and in your calf muscles, stop and hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly your heels back up.
  • Start out doing this 10 to 20 times. As you build flexibility and strength, increase the number of repetitions.
  • If you need help with balance, hold onto a railing or other nearby surface.

Walking Calf Raises

Walking calf raises can help to strengthen your calves as well as the tendons.

  • Do this exercise barefoot.
  • Raise up onto your toes and begin walking. While you are walking, you should feel a stretch in your calf muscles.
    • Start with 15 steps.
    • As you gain confidence at performing this exercise, increase the number of steps each day until you are able to take 100 steps walking just on your toes.
    • Be patient!!! It can take time to reach this goal.

Towel Stretch
  • Sit with one leg straight out in front of you.
    • This is best done on the floor, but can be done seated on a chair or sofa as long as you can maintain balance.​
  • With a towel that is long enough, place the towel around the ball of your foot while grasping the ends in each of your hands.
  • Gently pull the ends of the towel toward you until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for 40 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.
    • Repeat twice.​
    • Over time as you are able to increase the stretch, hold for up to a minute.​
Wall Stretch

This one is a bit difficult to explain. It is easier to see how it's done rather than to describe it. I tracked down this YouTube video to provide a demonstration of this type of exercise.
Incredibly helpful! Thank you so much
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
I was listening to a podcast of a lady who did the French one and she mentioned that even though she did a lot of training nothing had prepared her for the number of hills and she developed Tendonitis because of that.
Hi Sal,

Davebugg says it all. From his reply you might understand that tendonitis isn't merely caused by walking in hills/mountains. On my first Camino (the Frances), climbing the Pyrenees and later the mountains of Galicia was OK. During the middle part, about 250 km. of flat territory (just what I was used in Holland), I got tendonitis pretty bad.

Apparantly climbing (and descending) to me was OK and the repetitive motions of walking in flat territory caused my problems. But other people get when walking in hills or mountains.

So, like Davebugg sais: stretch!!
 

Espee84

...
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés June/July 2018
VdlP- hatching plans
As above. It’s not the hills that cause tendinitis. Listen to your body. I’ve heard it said numerous times on the Camino that the body can cope with 20km walking every day. More than this and you run the risk of developing problems (and not just musculoskeletal/blisters etc.) There’s a lot of truth in this. I got tendonitis in my foot in week 4 - partly due to overuse, partly due to shoes wearing out. Kinesiology tape came to the rescue. I was very sceptical but it worked a treat.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
There are a number of conditions and locations for tendonitis in the lower leg, ankles, and feet. You did not mention a specific tendonitis issue, so my advice is focused on the most common type experienced by backpackers, walkers and trekkers. It involves the large Achilles tendon at the back of the foot leading to the calf.

There are two common causes:
  1. Constant rubbing or pressure against the tendon
  2. Stiffness and tightness of the tendon and lower leg muscles with a sudden and repetitive increase of exercise.
The first cause mostly involves the upper collar of the shoe pressing against the tendon. If the footwear is well above the ankle, the pressure may also come from the back of the boot as it flexes with each step. This can create a severe irritation to the tendon which results in swelling and tenderness as the tendon reacts to the pressure.

Eliminating or reducing that pressure will alleviate the tendonitis.

The second cause often goes hand-in-hand with lack of preparation. For this type of tendonitis, a routine of stretching to loosen the calf muscle and increase the flexibility to the tendon is the primary method of prevention. It is also important to stretch this area prior to walking each morning.

Stretches and Exercises

Heel Drops


This will help to strengthen the Achilles tendon.
  • Stand on the very bottom step or platform.
  • Position your toes and the balls of your feet so that they rest on the step. Your heels will hang over the edge of the step.
  • Gently and slowly lower your heels toward the ground. When you feel the stretching in your heels and in your calf muscles, stop and hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly your heels back up.
  • Start out doing this 10 to 20 times. As you build flexibility and strength, increase the number of repetitions.
  • If you need help with balance, hold onto a railing or other nearby surface.

Walking Calf Raises

Walking calf raises can help to strengthen your calves as well as the tendons.

  • Do this exercise barefoot.
  • Raise up onto your toes and begin walking. While you are walking, you should feel a stretch in your calf muscles.
    • Start with 15 steps.
    • As you gain confidence at performing this exercise, increase the number of steps each day until you are able to take 100 steps walking just on your toes.
    • Be patient!!! It can take time to reach this goal.

Towel Stretch
  • Sit with one leg straight out in front of you.
    • This is best done on the floor, but can be done seated on a chair or sofa as long as you can maintain balance.​
  • With a towel that is long enough, place the towel around the ball of your foot while grasping the ends in each of your hands.
  • Gently pull the ends of the towel toward you until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for 40 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.
    • Repeat twice.​
    • Over time as you are able to increase the stretch, hold for up to a minute.​
Wall Stretch

This one is a bit difficult to explain. It is easier to see how it's done rather than to describe it. I tracked down this YouTube video to provide a demonstration of this type of exercise.
Thank you for this! I have been struggling with tendonitis in the top of my foot. It rarely flares up after local canyon hikes but really doesn't seem to like when I walk around my house. I leave for the CF in four days so I've been working on these stretches!

@Salpal I hope your Camino is filled with health and happiness!
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
On my first Camino (the Frances), climbing the Pyrenees and later the mountains of Galicia was OK. During the middle part, about 250 km. of flat territory (just what I was used in Holland), I got tendonitis pretty bad.
I replied to this thread about me getting tendonitis pretty bad.

4 people 'liked' it!!! :mad:
 

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