Medical Advice for runners from the Red Cross

Strains, Sprains, Aches and Pains: Prevention is better than cure….

Blisters

Prevention
– Well fitting not tight shoes
– Wear socks
– Do not wear new footwear for the first time
Recognition
– Reddening
– Fluid under the skin
Treatment
– If you feel one starting see a first aider
– Do not pop them
– Following the race do not put on any creams or ointments. Do cover with a non adherent dressing.

 

Dehydration

Prevention
– Do not drink alcohol the night before the race or directly after it.
– Take a drink at every opportunity
– Try to run in the shade if it is very hot
Recognition
– Poor coordination
– Headache
– Dizziness
– Thirst
Treatment
– Drink plenty of fluids
– Drink isotonic drinks if possible
– See a first aider
– If you feel bad after the race either take some dioralyte or drink a litre of water that has had 1tsp salt and 4-5tsps of sugar added.

 

Cramp

Prevention
– Take a drink at every opportunity
Recognition
– Spasms
Treatment
– Depends on the severity
– If it is in your side i.e. a stitch stop and let it wear off
– If it is in a limb stretch the limb out and massage it

 

Strains & Sprains

Prevention
– Warm up adequately
– Wear well fitting footwear
– Look where you are running
Recognition
– Pain
– Tender especially at the joint
– Maybe swelling
– Maybe bruising
Treatment
– See a first aider
– If it is after the race then use the RICE principle
– Stop what you were doing that caused the injury.
– Rest – get off your feet, take the weight off the affected limb.
– Ice – Apply a bag of ice wrapped in a cloth to the affected area for 20 minutes every two hours.
– Compression – Wrap the area in an elastic bandage.
– Elevation – Raise the affected limb to a level above your heart.
– Anti-inflammatory drugs: Take ibuprofen to bring down inflammation.
See the doctor if there is significant swelling, stabbing or radiating pain or numbness or if it does not improve in 24 hours.

 

Rubbing / Chaffing

Prevention
– Well fitting clothing
– Use vaseline if the area is prone to rubbing
Recognition
– Redness
– Sore especially at clothing edges
Treatment
– Protect the area with vaseline

 

Chest pain or sudden shortage of breath

Do Not continue – see the nearest first aider who will advise you about what to do
Remember there will be first aiders throughout the course and there will be a manned first aid tent at the finish line. If you have a problem see a first aider or attend the tent where you will be assessed and if necessary treated and advised where to go.
Once the race has finished if you suffer groin strains, aches or pains try not to attend the casualty departments. There are alternatives (listed below) – only go to casualty as a last resort or if it is a problem of a more serious nature.

Alternatives
1. Your own general practitioner (GP) should be your first port of call.
2. Practice nurse at your GP surgery
3. NHS Direct can be rung for advice – 0845 4647
4. Minor injury units. These are situated at:
– Northwich Victoria Infirmary
– Congleton War Memorial
– Halton General Runcorn