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Turf Toe 9 days before start of Camino. Any advice?

David Schultz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2016)
Frances (2017)
After several months of training I am about to start my second Camino 9 days from today. I have been in Spain for a few weeks vacationing and also training (walking 8-12 miles a day). I felt 100% ready and then I hyperextended my toe during stair training on a castle walk in Alicante and I now have turf toe. That was about 5 days ago and I have been using R.I.C.E and iBuprofen to hopefully alleviate the problem. However I have had turf toe two other times in my life (I'm 55) and it usually takes a few weeks to completely heal. I am considering seeking out a cortisone shot but being from America, and not part of the EU health care system, it sounds difficult and probably expensive. I have heard that health care along the Camino for pilgrims is very affordable and I could wait until I get to St Jean, or a day or two into the Camino, to seek medical help. Right now walking more than a few miles is barely possible. My big toe is wrapped so it is basically immobilized right now. Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations? Thank you in advance.

Deleted member 3000

Medical care in Spain will cost less than most copays in the U.S. I had dental work done for 50E that would have been $550 in the U.S. A visit to the Sarria clinic was free. I suggest you get treatment now. If you wait until you are on the Camino, you should plan a break in walking. Generally after a cortisone shot, you need to keep the affected area immobilized for a few days. Continuing to bend the toe can make it worse. You are doing the right treatments at the moment, so keep them up.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
I had to ask Dr Google about turf toe because had never heard of it. Hopefully not too much ligament damage done and just a simple sprain. Not sure how much it costs you to get to Spain but for me the cost is significant so I always factor any costs involved in being able to walk against the cost of the airfare and connections and associated travel costs for stop overs etc. Eg. oh, $190 for boots that turn out to be too tight when my feet swell? Don't worry about it. Buy some new shoes that fit if thats what it takes to be able to walk. For me, paying for a steroid injection would be a similarly worthwhile investment. Take care, peregrino.

David Schultz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2016)
Frances (2017)
Thank you al. Excellent advice on the shoes. I am going shopping for wider shoes this weekend. I have been walking in Salomon hiking shoes for many years now and I have never had a issue so breaking them in won't be a problem. The shoes I wore last year were wider and less flexible and I hope to find the exact same shoe here in Spain. My shoes this year are one of their trail running shoes and less wide which might now be an issue. My only concern with the cortisone is I can't find any recommendations for using it to treat turf toe. It is a common injury among soccer and football players so I would think that there would be information on it if it worked well to treat the injury. Thanks again


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I would be seeking help from a medical professional now, preferably in a reasonably sized medical centre or hospital, not waiting until the CF. If the treatment is a cortisone injection then you would be wanting it sooner rather than later, to make sure it works. I do know from being treated for plantar fasciitis that there is controversy about whether cortisone is good for ligament damage.

Whatever the treatment, I do hope you recover before you start walking.


Active Member
You might try Voltaren cream massaged into the area if you opt out of the cortisone injection. It is available at the farmacia. I have had success with superficial areas of inflammation. Good luck.


Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
I have had a couple of shots of a cortisol steroid combined with a long acting pain reliever (some kind of ...caine) for plantar facsiitis. From what I remember, the cortisone can weaken the tendons, so they limit the number of shots (~ 2) in a given area. I think it is primarily used to reduce the inflammation to aide the healing process. The shots will take a couple of days to have an affect, so the sooner the better if you decide to go that route. As a reference, the shot and visit at the podiatrist was about $200 here in the US before insurance. You might also check into a carbon spring plate. It is a thin plate that goes under your insole and limits the bending of your foot, toes. I used one for a metatarsal fracture for a while. Here is a hyperlink to see what it looks like: https://www.myfootshop.com/spring-p...MI8dTLiYLw1QIVjhuBCh1w0gWYEAQYAiABEgJ5uPD_BwE
You would think that you would walk really flat footed, and I guess you do to some extent. However, it was not as bad as wearing an orthotic boot etc. I got mine at a local running store, and the sales person said that someone had bought them for the camino. Everyone's feet are different though.

Buena Suerte

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