Friday, February 29, 2008

The View from the Medical Tent

- Terry Barnato -

Saturday, 26 January 2008, may not have been the hottest day this year, but it certainly was a stinker! It also happened to be HoĆ«rskool Zwartberg’s Sports Day.

Called upon to “man” the medical tent for a second year, meant stocking up on lots of Deep Heat and filling the freezer with water and ice blocks the night before. It meant arriving at the school field laden down with cooler boxes and any other available bags to meet the steady demand for ice and water!

We were pleasantly surprised however.... this year, the parents had remembered, or perhaps the children reminded them of the need to wear hats and drink lots of water. As a result, our vast ice stores were waiting to be carried home again at the end of the day!

So the morning was surprisingly uneventful. In the beginning, with the long distance running, the young runners had forgotten that starting off at breakneck speed was not exactly a good idea or something they could maintain for longer than half a lap!

As a result, we doctored some cramped muscles and nursed some stitches.... and the casualties recovered well enough to compete in their next event.

On this note, I should add that cramp due to sudden, strenuous exercise will almost always be a problem if the person has not trained enough and has also not warmed up a little before the event.

Tight muscles and a relaxed heart rate plus a burst of strenuous exercise equals cramp.

The treatment is very simple. Instead of running around grabbing every tube of available Deep Heat (or any similar salve for that matter) and rubbing it on furiously, all one should do is sit quietly next to the track and massage the area (without cream) and after a few minutes the cramped muscle will relax itself. Finally, remember to warm up well before each event!

Well, it was a good day, passing without any major medical catastrophes for which we were very glad. It was lovely to see such a good spirit in all the teams. Well done to the Gold team for bringing home the silverware!

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