It turns out that walking 185 miles carrying a full pack for 13 days did not cause the physical problems I experienced after Offa’s Dyke – and I can’t tell you how pleased I am!
In a nutshell, and you can read the full details on “The Unexpected Physical Consequences of Offa’s Dyke”, within a week of returning from Wales I started experiencing lower half numbness. Initially I thought it was a repeat of an inwards slipped disc from four years ago (which had similar symptoms), but after a clear scan it was suggested that it was inflammation around the nerves – no doubt caused by Offa’s Dyke.
To be honest I was pretty down – I enjoyed Offa’s Dyke, my first taste of multi-day hiking, and the thought of my body not being able to cope with a similar strain again was hard to take. It was also difficult to cope with having no diagnose as symptoms got worse to the point where I needed a walking stick to even walk down the street!
Well the good news is that my symptoms are fading – I can now walk properly (a big relief!), and every day the numbness seems slightly reduced. I should make an almost complete recovery! It also seems to be a complete coincidence that it occurred after Offa’s Dyke – so there will be no problem with hiking in the future!
The only sting in the tale is that it is not such good news if it happens again – but as there is nothing I can do, or not do, that will make that any more or less likely, it is time to get back out there and enjoy the wonderful British countryside!