On the Camino de Santiago you will be exposed to some situations that can lead to injuries if you are not well prepared.
Regardless of the route, the Camino de Santiago involves a great effort for our body. It will be many days traveling tens of kilometers; crossing surfaces of all kinds and sometimes exposing ourselves to inclement weather. A conglomerate of elements and situations that, if not well prepared and equipped, could end in injury.
And it is that injuries on the Camino de Santiago is something very common, especially if we have not had the physical preparation months ago or we do not wear the right footwear. At ViveCamino we want you to be aware of the most common injuries, but also how to avoid them.
Foot injuries and knee injuries are the most common on the Camino de Santiago. In the first case we are talking about an area that is in almost direct contact with the surface and all types of terrain: steeper, sand, rain, mud... In the case of knee injuries we have one of the most fragile areas, having to support the entire weight of our body. That said, the most frequent injuries on the Camino de Santiago are:
Blisters are one of the most common injuries on the Camino de Santiago, directly linked to footwear and socks. These two elements are the ones that we have to take care of the most when preparing our backpack for the route. One of the easiest ways to avoid blisters is to avoid walking with wet feet for a long period of time as much as possible. In addition to blisters, others such as plantar fasciitis, Morton's neuroma or metatarsalgia are also frequent.
Knees and ankles are two of the parts that suffer the most on the Camino de Santiago. As we have already mentioned, these are parts that our body must support and that are also exposed to very long walks of tens of kilometers every day.
On the Camino de Santiago we will also be exposed to injuries such as cramps, strains or sprains. All of them of a muscular nature, quite uncomfortable and painful as a result of not having stretched before.
One of the crucial points before beginning the first stage of the Camino de Santiago is knowing what to carry in your backpack. Only in this way can we avoid overloading the complement and, more importantly, avoid back injuries in the future that also end up affecting the shoulders.
Is there the best time to do the Camino de Santiago? This is one of the most common questions when we begin to assess one route or another. The truth is that depending on the season in which we start our adventure, we may find moments in which we will be exposed to dehydration and heat stroke. Always carry a bottle of water on hand is important to avoid this.
It is not an injury per se, but there is no doubt that fatigue makes an appearance every day throughout the different stages of the Camino de Santiago. The onset of fatigue can lead to missteps due to exhaustion and therefore increase the likelihood of falls and injuries. Being well rested and fed is vital to rule out fatigue.
If you want to avoid injuries on the Camino de Santiago, there are several tips that, at Vive Camino, we recommend you comply as much as possible. Some of them you will already know due to the comments of other pilgrims and others of course go hand in hand with logic: drink water throughout the stage, stretch, etc.
The physical preparation for the Camino de Santiago is one of the most important points before even deciding the route. This is carried out several months before the first stage and in it we will gain physical strength in terms of resistance. The best way to prepare is to go to a trainer who evaluates us and include cardiovascular activities, stretching and strength in our routine.
Footwear is another one of those features that you should never overlook. The boots for the Camino de Santiago are one of the most crucial decisions. These will accompany you throughout the trip, they will be your most faithful companions in the most complicated stages. A boot that fits like a glove, is comfortable and has all the features in terms of safety and materials will avoid an unpleasant injury on more than one occasion.
Stretching before starting the stage and at the end of it are very important. Only then will we be able to avoid and prevent muscle injuries and tendinitis.
Throughout the Camino de Santiago you can find numerous situations, mainly inclement weather can be a determining factor. Drinking plenty of water during the stage will prevent dehydration, while sun protection (also including sunglasses and a hat) will not lead to sunstroke or burns. All of them are moments that you could deal with especially if you opt for the Camino de Santiago in summer.
Rest and food are your best allies to avoid injuries on the Camino de Santiago. Getting adequate sleep each night will not result in a battered body the next day. Remember that you can also take breaks as many times as you need throughout the stage. On the other hand, diet plays a crucial role, it being extremely important that you focus on nutritious and energetic foods to maintain energy throughout the day.
With these tips and after taking a look at some of the most common injuries on the Camino de Santiago, you should not have any problem to be very careful throughout the route and reduce the probability of damage.
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