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Walking with a pinched nerve in my back

peregrina2000

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Staff member
I’ve done some forum searching on pinched nerves but haven’t found too much that seems relevant to me. A few months ago, I started having some pain on my outer left thigh, nothing severe, and nothing that has interfered (yet) with my daily routine (biking, hour on the elliptical, etc). I did some PT, and the tentative diagnosis was that it was a recurrence of some tendinosis I had a few years ago in the glute/hamstring. It has not resolved, and my sports medicine doctor now thinks it’s a pinched nerve in my spine causing referred pain. I will get an MRI, and if that diagnosis is correct, there will be some spinal injections. But that won’t happen before my April 11 departure date!

A few weeks ago, I put on my pack, loaded to about 18 pounds, and spent two hours going up and down, up and down, the biggest “hill” in my flat midwestern town. Nothing felt worse. In fact the athletic trainer at the Sports Medicine place said that having the pack firmly around my hips could well produce a benefit of opening up the space between the discs a little bit. It has always been my experience that an internal frame pack properly placed on my hips has made me very comfortable walking, so that suggestion makes sense to me and I am not worried about adding the pack to my daily routine.

My doctor has said there is no indication (yet) that I should not walk and she advises me to continue with the exercises (clamshell, bridge, hip abductor). I am also in the process of trying to get some good recommendations on the best yoga stretches (she said they would be good, but she doesn’t know anything about yoga).

I would love to hear from any other forum members who have walked with this kind of issue. I know things could go south once I am walking, but I am planning to keep up my exercise and stretching routine while walking and have my fingers crossed. I have also found that Aleve does a great job, but I only want to use that on the Camino if and when the pain gets worse.

Not looking for medical advice, don’t worry! Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
 
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I wrote a little something about my pinched nerve here. It's all good now, by the way. It seems to have sorted itself out with a little time. YMMV.

Edit: Don’t worry, not giving medical advice, but the description of your symptoms does sound very similar to my issues back then. Especially when you also mention placing the waistband of your pack "around my hips" and then "on my hips". Has the possibility of meralgia paresthetica been mentioned during diagnosing?
 
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I get a similar warning pain occasionally - I can't really tell if it is my back, my hip, or a glute muscle, but I know that it means I've been carrying my baby granddaughter on my hip too much. Fortunately, she has started to walk now so I will carefully avoid that as my spring Camino trip approaches.
 
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Do you know of a good osteopath? One of my best friends is a very good one. I tell him frequently that he only has one tool in his toolbox; but once in a while it’s the right one - in your case I’d consider it.

Meanwhile, I get a large ‘numb’ patch on the outside of my left thigh from time to time, it’s pretty clearly a pinched nerve; so if you get yours sorted, could you share the secret please?

In the meantime, best wishes.

D
 
Is there some strange curse suddenly afflicting the mods? I have a torn meniscus in one knee and hoping physio can sort it out. The magical disappearance of pain when you walk with a back pack makes sense though. Assuming you are walking a camino in April, which route?

As Henry says, best wishes, hope it gets better.
 
Is there some strange curse suddenly afflicting the mods? I have a torn meniscus in one knee and hoping physio can sort it out
I hope not! I was just starting to play pickleball, but decided that taking up a new sport with different movements than I am used to (thinking about ankle injury) might not be the best preparation for a Camino.
 
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Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
Wow. Just in time for your next camino.
😢
I've never had this particular affliction, so can only offer sympathy - and am hoping @LTfit chimes in with some yoga advice. I've done the pigeon pose to stretch the deep hip flexor, but don't know if that would exacerbate the pinch.
 
I have this problem occasionally and I'm so sorry you're having this terrible pain.
What has helped me the most has been a chiropractor and something called Miracle Balls.
I got mine on amazon. I've gone through 3 sets.


The balls are the size of an overlarge softball and you can use a bicycle pump to make them harder or softer
I ignored the book - and used a technique my chiropractor suggested.
You simply put one ball on each side of the spine right where the pain is and lie down on them.
I put a pillow under my head.
It hurts like HELL for a few minutes until your muscles begin to relax.
I usually put on a movie and just lie back onto the balls - and let them do their magic.
After the initial pain, the muscles begin to relax and eventually the pain subsides.
i've fixed my pinched nerve in anywhere from 1 session to 6 sessions.

I know it sounds weird, but this has worked for me.
 
Not looking for medical advice, don’t worry! Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
Sorry if this sounds weird, but I was moved by the “misery loves company”. I’m living with Crohn’s Disease and had a cancerous tumor removed from my kidney last year. The doctors say they never would have discovered it had it not been for the BLESSING of having Crohn’s and the need of having regular Ultrasounds. I’m doing my Camino as a way to show that I’m stronger now than before; I’m also doing it to show that God is in control. I think that if you’re having health issues and you’re being called to still do this Camino, then you’ll not do it alone. Buen Camino.
 
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Best luck to you Laurie on your Camino. All gain, no pain.

A few weeks ago, I put on my pack, loaded to about 18 pounds, and spent two hours going up and down, up and down, the biggest “hill” in my flat midwestern town.

I saw your Wikiloc track and profile last week. I had a few WTH moments until StreetView showed me Illinois' version of Mt. Whitney.

Screenshot_20240224-101704.png
 
I've had a pinched nerve in my neck for years that has caused a variety of referred symptoms to other parts of my body, like numbness/tingling going down one arm to my middle fingers when I ride a bike or, for awhile, tingling down both arms to my fingers every morning when I wake up.

Sometimes I get a stabbing headache that shoots up behind my ear or to my temple every 30 seconds or so. It's called a "shotgun headache" which describes it well. One night I had that headache and called my friend who is a massage therapist, asking if he could give me a neck massage. He was looking at his schedule for the next day and I said "Nope, I'm on my way to your house right now!" When I arrived about 9:30pm, he answered the door, handed me a glass of wine, had his massage chair set up in the living room and soca music playing (he's Trinidadian). Wiped the headache out right away! I highly recommend massages. Wish I could talk him into coming with me on the Camino!

I also had something done by my PT called "dry needling" NOT accupuncture; the needles go in deep and stay there for 5-10 minutes. If the needles are in the right places, the muscle starts trembling. Then she removes them and the body goes to work repairing that area. It was excruciating the first time, but it seemed to help and strangely I wanted to do it again. I call my physical therapist my dominatrix.

I blame my neck problem on years of cradling a phone receiver on a shrugged shoulder and cocked head while receiving case reports while I was on the computer. No speaker phones in the olden days!
 
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I suggest you Google or YouTube search “nerve flossing”. It has solved a couple of mystery pain issues for me and other athletes I know over the years.
Recently My kinesiologist traced my mysterious hamstring cramping after prolonged walking or cycling to nerve entrapment, partly due a slightly too posterior tilt in my hips than was constricting the channel the nerve passes through. Exercises to correct the hip position and a nerve flossing exercise seems to have cured it.

The idea behind nerve flossing is that the nerve needs to be able to lengthen and shorten while your limbs move and therefore must slide slightly within its sheath. If it binds on the sheath, then you will get pain, and sometimes numbness. Nerve flossing exercises extend the nerve pathway gently back and forth between its maximum and minimum length, causing nerve to slide in the sheath to free up the points that are binding. Doing this proactively means that the nerve will be sliding effectively in its sheath before you get out on the trail and less likely to bind.

I don’t know if that is really what happens, but it has worked on a couple of different problems for me. There are different exercises for different nerves obviously so you will have to figure out which nerve it is. The exercises all are pretty gentle, and don’t take long. In fact, practitioners recommend that you don’t do them vigorously or really frequently, as you don’t want to damage the nerve.
 
I’ve done some forum searching on pinched nerves but haven’t found too much that seems relevant to me. A few months ago, I started having some pain on my outer left thigh, nothing severe, and nothing that has interfered (yet) with my daily routine (biking, hour on the elliptical, etc). I did some PT, and the tentative diagnosis was that it was a recurrence of some tendinosis I had a few years ago in the glute/hamstring. It has not resolved, and my sports medicine doctor now thinks it’s a pinched nerve in my spine causing referred pain. I will get an MRI, and if that diagnosis is correct, there will be some spinal injections. But that won’t happen before my April 11 departure date!

A few weeks ago, I put on my pack, loaded to about 18 pounds, and spent two hours going up and down, up and down, the biggest “hill” in my flat midwestern town. Nothing felt worse. In fact the athletic trainer at the Sports Medicine place said that having the pack firmly around my hips could well produce a benefit of opening up the space between the discs a little bit. It has always been my experience that an internal frame pack properly placed on my hips has made me very comfortable walking, so that suggestion makes sense to me and I am not worried about adding the pack to my daily routine.

My doctor has said there is no indication (yet) that I should not walk and she advises me to continue with the exercises (clamshell, bridge, hip abductor). I am also in the process of trying to get some good recommendations on the best yoga stretches (she said they would be good, but she doesn’t know anything about yoga).

I would love to hear from any other forum members who have walked with this kind of issue. I know things could go south once I am walking, but I am planning to keep up my exercise and stretching routine while walking and have my fingers crossed. I have also found that Aleve does a great job, but I only want to use that on the Camino if and when the pain gets worse.

Not looking for medical advice, don’t worry! Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
I replied earlier. I am not sure it went through. Here it is again.

I walked the Camino Frances in April of 2023--all 500 miles. I had developed sciatica 1.5 years before. It caused horrible pain on my left leg from my hip. My left big toe was numb. However, I was able to walk well, though when I would get a flare up I would take Aleve. Sitting and getting up was the problem, the pain was unbearable. My doctors by having various diagnostics including MRI and x-rays, determined that the problem was on the L1-S5 (lumbosacral joint.) I did a lot of physical therapy, including yoga type of exercises to stretch my muscles and strengthen my core. They worked somehow but did not alleviate the majority of the pain. Finally, I went through some injections in said joint (two to be exact). So far so good. Even with sciatica, I would do the walk again. I walk 3-6 miles each day. By the way I am 72 years old.
 
Thanks so much, guys. In some weird way, it’s comforting to know that others have walked under similar circumstances and have lived to tell the tale. I am now feeling much less stressed and anxious about the whole thing. As some have told me in PMs, hey, this is just part of being in your mid 70s and being in an old body. My doctor has said she thinks I am not crazy to try it. So I will pack the aleve, pack my resistance band and a list of stretching exercises and hope for the best!
 
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Thanks so much, guys. In some weird way, it’s comforting to know that others have walked under similar circumstances and have lived to tell the tale. I am now feeling much less stressed and anxious about the whole thing. As some have told me in PMs, hey, this is just part of being in your mid 70s and being in an old body.
Wishing you well, Laurie. I feel your pain and anxiety but, with the strategies you have, I agree you are not at all crazy to 'give it a crack'. Late last year - as I recall you read on my Find Penguins blog - on a long awaited '10th anniversary since the last time' Camino Frances, I had to stop due to, what was later revealed to be, a stress fracture of the tibea where it joins the knee bone. Nothing had happened. There was no incident. It was an overuse injury, no doubt many years the making. So disappointing.

In the weeks that followed when I had to walk with crutches, it put too much weight on my left leg and I ended up with a meniscus tear - so a stress fracture on one side, and a meniscus tear on the other. A very quiet 3-4 months followed. Patience, it turns out, is not one of my virtues, at least not in this instance. It sucks to have something happen that gets in the way of your plans, especially camino plans. But, when I think about all the walking I've done in the last 15 years, I feel like my body owes me nothing and it was probably just a matter of time before I'd be stopped in my tracks. On the bright side, I'm just now starting to feel that I can build up my kms again - and although I'm not ready for the VdlP that was to be this April/May - I will be ready for next year.

Wishing you all the best for your upcoming camino. Walk well @peregrina2000
 
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I’ve done some forum searching on pinched nerves but haven’t found too much that seems relevant to me. A few months ago, I started having some pain on my outer left thigh, nothing severe, and nothing that has interfered (yet) with my daily routine (biking, hour on the elliptical, etc). I did some PT, and the tentative diagnosis was that it was a recurrence of some tendinosis I had a few years ago in the glute/hamstring. It has not resolved, and my sports medicine doctor now thinks it’s a pinched nerve in my spine causing referred pain. I will get an MRI, and if that diagnosis is correct, there will be some spinal injections. But that won’t happen before my April 11 departure date!

A few weeks ago, I put on my pack, loaded to about 18 pounds, and spent two hours going up and down, up and down, the biggest “hill” in my flat midwestern town. Nothing felt worse. In fact the athletic trainer at the Sports Medicine place said that having the pack firmly around my hips could well produce a benefit of opening up the space between the discs a little bit. It has always been my experience that an internal frame pack properly placed on my hips has made me very comfortable walking, so that suggestion makes sense to me and I am not worried about adding the pack to my daily routine.

My doctor has said there is no indication (yet) that I should not walk and she advises me to continue with the exercises (clamshell, bridge, hip abductor). I am also in the process of trying to get some good recommendations on the best yoga stretches (she said they would be good, but she doesn’t know anything about yoga).

I would love to hear from any other forum members who have walked with this kind of issue. I know things could go south once I am walking, but I am planning to keep up my exercise and stretching routine while walking and have my fingers crossed. I have also found that Aleve does a great job, but I only want to use that on the Camino if and when the pain gets worse.

Not looking for medical advice, don’t worry! Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
Hi Laurie
Wishing you all the best for your upcoming Camino
I’ve always kept the rucksack very close to my back and a tight lower strap gives great support…..for me it’s always mega tight

To be honest with you, I wouldn’t let anyone near my back.eg. Osteopath, physio, or chiropractor without having a proper diagnosis of what could be wrong
An MRI will show what the problem is …EG..prolapsed disc, trapped nerve etc etc and then any necessary treatment can commence
Right now though with what you are doing, it should not stop you walking the Camino
 
I’ve done some forum searching on pinched nerves but haven’t found too much that seems relevant to me. A few months ago, I started having some pain on my outer left thigh, nothing severe, and nothing that has interfered (yet) with my daily routine (biking, hour on the elliptical, etc). I did some PT, and the tentative diagnosis was that it was a recurrence of some tendinosis I had a few years ago in the glute/hamstring. It has not resolved, and my sports medicine doctor now thinks it’s a pinched nerve in my spine causing referred pain. I will get an MRI, and if that diagnosis is correct, there will be some spinal injections. But that won’t happen before my April 11 departure date!

A few weeks ago, I put on my pack, loaded to about 18 pounds, and spent two hours going up and down, up and down, the biggest “hill” in my flat midwestern town. Nothing felt worse. In fact the athletic trainer at the Sports Medicine place said that having the pack firmly around my hips could well produce a benefit of opening up the space between the discs a little bit. It has always been my experience that an internal frame pack properly placed on my hips has made me very comfortable walking, so that suggestion makes sense to me and I am not worried about adding the pack to my daily routine.

My doctor has said there is no indication (yet) that I should not walk and she advises me to continue with the exercises (clamshell, bridge, hip abductor). I am also in the process of trying to get some good recommendations on the best yoga stretches (she said they would be good, but she doesn’t know anything about yoga).

I would love to hear from any other forum members who have walked with this kind of issue. I know things could go south once I am walking, but I am planning to keep up my exercise and stretching routine while walking and have my fingers crossed. I have also found that Aleve does a great job, but I only want to use that on the Camino if and when the pain gets worse.

Not looking for medical advice, don’t worry! Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
Hi - have you had an EMG - figures out exactly what nerves are affected and from where the pain starts. I have had spinal fusion L2/3, both hips replaced. These have really helped me stay active. What really screwed things up was a perforated colon and a surgeon damaged the nerve that goes from my left hip the outer edge of
My thigh and over the top of my knee. Can’t be fix but my awesome pain management guy does injections into the nerve to numb the pain. We are doing another injection 2 weeks before we leave for Porto.
My caveat - be realistic - with what you can really do day after day. So we are walking short days 10-18 km and we are having our bags transported for us. We are both older and the albergue scene is not for us. After 5 abdom surgeries and shoulder impingement surgery (it’s a bitch to get old) I had to try several types of day packs to find one that allows me to carry what I need and at the same time has the weight not tax a certain body part.
With age came wisdom. So - we are
Walking 110 km (Vigo - and the spiritual route) over 10 days. Time to really take
In the culture of Galacia.
Best luck. Find good health care providers
 
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2016, I walked from SJPDP over the Napoleon Route to Zubiri...then had to give up. I had messed up my IT Band. 2018, I came back and took the Valcarlos Route from SJPDP to Maneru, then that same pinched nerve that took out my left IT Band, dug further in and took out my left quads. No pain in the last few years, unless I begin to pal[ate those areas, then it is really sore. even after 6 years.
 
I’ve done some forum searching on pinched nerves but haven’t found too much that seems relevant to me. A few months ago, I started having some pain on my outer left thigh, nothing severe, and nothing that has interfered (yet) with my daily routine (biking, hour on the elliptical, etc). I did some PT, and the tentative diagnosis was that it was a recurrence of some tendinosis I had a few years ago in the glute/hamstring. It has not resolved, and my sports medicine doctor now thinks it’s a pinched nerve in my spine causing referred pain. I will get an MRI, and if that diagnosis is correct, there will be some spinal injections. But that won’t happen before my April 11 departure date!

A few weeks ago, I put on my pack, loaded to about 18 pounds, and spent two hours going up and down, up and down, the biggest “hill” in my flat midwestern town. Nothing felt worse. In fact the athletic trainer at the Sports Medicine place said that having the pack firmly around my hips could well produce a benefit of opening up the space between the discs a little bit. It has always been my experience that an internal frame pack properly placed on my hips has made me very comfortable walking, so that suggestion makes sense to me and I am not worried about adding the pack to my daily routine.

My doctor has said there is no indication (yet) that I should not walk and she advises me to continue with the exercises (clamshell, bridge, hip abductor). I am also in the process of trying to get some good recommendations on the best yoga stretches (she said they would be good, but she doesn’t know anything about yoga).

I would love to hear from any other forum members who have walked with this kind of issue. I know things could go south once I am walking, but I am planning to keep up my exercise and stretching routine while walking and have my fingers crossed. I have also found that Aleve does a great job, but I only want to use that on the Camino if and when the pain gets worse.

Not looking for medical advice, don’t worry! Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
I started the Camino Frances with a few MSK problems that were resolved well before reaching Santiago. One in particular, left hip early osteoarthritis did not get better with pack wearing low on my hip as recommended by PT. In fact it exacerbated the problem so I started sending my large bag through with transport. I don’t know how the walking helped but 18 months ‘down the track’ there is no sign of any arthritis pain! On the other hand I saw several people who injured themselves on the pilgrimage and needed to stop. Particularly those who pushed hard and got Achilles injuries. They would keep going, still pushing through making the problem worse.
You sound very organised with lots of medical and allied health advice. Good luck and Buen Camino!
 
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For those of us in the US, it’s very good to get a European perspective. I am learning that in the US, the medical system seems quicker to jump to a medical intervention. It seems that the alternative approaches like exercise and stretching are recommended as a first step in Europe. in part, it may be because our clinic has established so many separate silos of specialization, that the spine center doesn’t talk to the Sports Medicine Center, which doesn’t talk to the geriatrics department. I may be over-simplifying, but that’s how it seems to me. I will go ahead with the MRI, but I’m going to see if something other than injections or, god forbid,surgery, will help when I get home. Thanks to all.
 
I have walked nine of my ten Caminos after developing sciatica, which I would guess if the same thing as a pinched nerve. I have 4 compressed disc but it’s L5-S1 that causes the most problems. I’m in the U.S. and I had to jump through all the initial hoops PT… to get more treatment. It just might be faster here. Anyway, I did injections and once they found the right spot it would last for a few months. I would try to time it a month before Camino. My miracle was when I discovered RFA which ablates the nerve. It will grow back in a year or more, but there is complete relief of pain. It’s no more complicated than getting a guided injection. I’m not sure why more people don’t get it….maybe it cuts back on the need… hence income. I time this about a month before a Camino as initially it can stir things up. Anyone with this horrible pain, who’s not ready for surgery should investigate this to get back on the trail.
 
I’ve done some forum searching on pinched nerves but haven’t found too much that seems relevant to me. A few months ago, I started having some pain on my outer left thigh, nothing severe, and nothing that has interfered (yet) with my daily routine (biking, hour on the elliptical, etc). I did some PT, and the tentative diagnosis was that it was a recurrence of some tendinosis I had a few years ago in the glute/hamstring. It has not resolved, and my sports medicine doctor now thinks it’s a pinched nerve in my spine causing referred pain. I will get an MRI, and if that diagnosis is correct, there will be some spinal injections. But that won’t happen before my April 11 departure date!

A few weeks ago, I put on my pack, loaded to about 18 pounds, and spent two hours going up and down, up and down, the biggest “hill” in my flat midwestern town. Nothing felt worse. In fact the athletic trainer at the Sports Medicine place said that having the pack firmly around my hips could well produce a benefit of opening up the space between the discs a little bit. It has always been my experience that an internal frame pack properly placed on my hips has made me very comfortable walking, so that suggestion makes sense to me and I am not worried about adding the pack to my daily routine.

My doctor has said there is no indication (yet) that I should not walk and she advises me to continue with the exercises (clamshell, bridge, hip abductor). I am also in the process of trying to get some good recommendations on the best yoga stretches (she said they would be good, but she doesn’t know anything about yoga).

I would love to hear from any other forum members who have walked with this kind of issue. I know things could go south once I am walking, but I am planning to keep up my exercise and stretching routine while walking and have my fingers crossed. I have also found that Aleve does a great job, but I only want to use that on the Camino if and when the pain gets worse.

Not looking for medical advice, don’t worry! Just looking to hear how it went for others, kind of in the “misery loves company” category.
Hi Laurie:
I am with you, I from time to time I also have the pinched nerves on my back. On one time it was caused by a sneeze that pinched the nerve so back that I had to get to the hospital by ambulance as I was not able to get on my feet.
What helps me is taking some anti inflammatory pills (you already taking them), some combination of heat-cold treatments and deep massage therapy. The last is my suggestion, talk with your physiotherapist if it refer to someone that would know about it.
I’m sure that if you get the deep massage therapy, you’ll be ready for your April Camino in no time.
Best to you,
Iván
 
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€149,-
I get a similar warning pain occasionally - I can't really tell if it is my back, my hip, or a glute muscle, but I know that it means I've been carrying my baby granddaughter on my hip too much. Fortunately, she has started to walk now so I will carefully avoid that as my spring Camino trip approaches.
Sooo tempting to pick up grandchildren (though my teenage ones are safe now 😂😂).
 
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Thanks so much, guys. In some weird way, it’s comforting to know that others have walked under similar circumstances and have lived to tell the tale. I am now feeling much less stressed and anxious about the whole thing. As some have told me in PMs, hey, this is just part of being in your mid 70s and being in an old body. My doctor has said she thinks I am not crazy to try it. So I will pack the aleve, pack my resistance band and a list of stretching exercises and hope for the best!
Wishing you all the best. I'm sitting here with aches and pains but the magnificence of the Mozarabe is worth it. Buen camino and take care.
 
Dear, remember you can have your pack transported ahead of you and walk with a light bag or none at all if you are brave. And using walking sticks may help too. Also, when people tell you there are no mountains or challenging walks between Sarria and Santiago, they are not telling the truth.
Love,
A midwestern flatlander (8 m average +/- per walk or per corn field).
 
Dear, remember you can have your pack transported ahead of you and walk with a light bag or none at all if you are brave
Thanks, but there is no pack transport option on the Via Serrana. And to anyone else in this situation, though I have said this before, do some experimentation before you decide not to carry your pack. Carrying my pack properly on my hips has brought great relief to me. I have done some training walks just to make sure. My PT people say that is not surprising, because when the load is properly placed on the hips, it pushes downward and onto the hip. That in turn works against the compression of the discs and the resulting pressure on the nerve, which is the source of the pain in the first place. Any pack placement that results in putting the weight on the shoulders will iincrease the compression and exacerbate the pain almost instantaneously for me. That means no more unsupported day packs.

Buen camino, @Gringazolana- I’m a midwesterner, too— if you’re anywhere near east central Illinois, we could meet up and walk in the cornfields together.
 
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Do you have Bowen practitioners in the US?
Mine releases trapped nerves and the many minor misalignments of a well-used and aging body.
It’s a very non-invasive, gentle treatment that works both during and after you’ve had the treatment.
It’s good for dodgy shoulders too, as well as, strangely, things like blocked sinuses.

Buen Camino Laurie, hope the walking leaves you even stronger,
 
Thanks, but there is no pack transport option on the Via Serrana. And to anyone else in this situation, though I have said this before, do some experimentation before you decide not to carry your pack. Carrying my pack properly on my hips has brought great relief to me. I have done some training walks just to make sure. My PT people say that is not surprising, because when the load is properly placed on the hips, it pushes downward and onto the hip. That in turn works against the compression of the discs and the resulting pressure on the nerve, which is the source of the pain in the first place. Any pack placement that results in putting the weight on the shoulders will iincrease the compression and exacerbate the pain almost instantaneously for me. That means no more unsupported day packs.

Buen camino, @Gringazolana- I’m a midwesterner, too— if you’re anywhere near east central Illinois, we could meet up and walk in the cornfields together.
♥️ 🌽 (oops, sorry the mods don’t like emojis) 🤣
 
Carrying my pack properly on my hips has brought great relief to me. I have done some training walks just to make sure. My PT people say that is not surprising, because when the load is properly placed on the hips, it pushes downward and onto the hip. That in turn works against the compression of the discs and the resulting pressure on the nerve, which is the source of the pain in the first place. Any pack placement that results in putting the weight on the shoulders will iincrease the compression and exacerbate the pain almost instantaneously for me.
Basically, the backpack becomes a traction device.
 
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I have walked nine of my ten Caminos after developing sciatica, which I would guess if the same thing as a pinched nerve. I have 4 compressed disc but it’s L5-S1 that causes the most problems. I’m in the U.S. and I had to jump through all the initial hoops PT… to get more treatment. It just might be faster here. Anyway, I did injections and once they found the right spot it would last for a few months. I would try to time it a month before Camino. My miracle was when I discovered RFA which ablates the nerve. It will grow back in a year or more, but there is complete relief of pain. It’s no more complicated than getting a guided injection. I’m not sure why more people don’t get it….maybe it cuts back on the need… hence income. I time this about a month before a Camino as initially it can stir things up. Anyone with this horrible pain, who’s not ready for surgery should investigate this to get back on the trail.
I’m going to look into this. Sciatica pain has just returned. 9 months since last injections. RFA sounds like the answer. Thanks
 

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