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Running Tips - Preventing And Treating Blisters

Runners all fear the dreaded blisters - those little pockets of fluid that can appear anywhere on your foot. They can pop up and just cause discomfort and usually a nuisance. Blisters are caused by excessive friction between your foot and your socks. But the good news is that there are things that you can do to prevent blisters from happening.

The most important thing in the prevention of blisters is wearing good quality running socks. I actually used to be so afraid of getting blisters that I would wear 2 pair of socks whenever I went out for my run. But, now I've found that with the right pair of socks I don't need to do this.

You want to make sure that you are purchasing socks that are made especially for running. Stay away from any socks that are made of cotton - your socks should be made of some technical material. This material will wick the moisture away from your feet - which will keep blisters from forming.

Also, to help prevent blisters, make sure that you are wearing correct fitting shoes. Have your feet measured at a running store. They will find the correct shoes for your foot type and will fit you properly. You will find that your running shoes should be ½ size larger than your regular street shoes. This will take into account your feet swelling when you are longer runs - and will keep your feet from rubbing, which will in turn help prevent blisters.

If you find that you do have a blister, the absolute best thing to do is to leave it alone. It will eventually open and drain on its own. If it is painful, you can carefully drain it by piercing it with a sterilized needle. Once you do this, make sure that you put some antiseptic cream on it and cover it with a band-aid. Even if you do not drain it yourself, you may want to put a band-aid on it when you run to keep it protected.

Making sure that your shoes fit properly and wearing moisture wicking socks should keep you blister-free. However, if you are participating in a race and feel a blister developing, stop at one of the aid stations as soon as you can. They can treat it there and get you back on your way. This will keep you from making it worse and will help you finish the race.


Running Tips - Caring For Black Toenails

Many runners at one time or another will experience black toenails. These are caused by constant rubbing of the toes against the front of your running shoes. There are several causes of blackened toenails and several ways that you can prevent them. They are fairly common and you really don't need to be concerned if you do have one - as long as it doesn't get infected. (I wouldn't be too worried about infection - I've had my share of black toenails over the years and I've never had one get infected.)

Black toenails are generally found in long distance runners. Rubbing the toes against the toe box of your running shoe for long periods of time will cause a blood blister under your toe nail. They can also be found in runners that do a lot of downhill running. As you go down hills, your toes will thrust into the front of your shoes.

You can do your part to help prevent black toenails. First of all, make sure that you are wearing running shoes that fit you correctly. The best thing is to be fitted at a qualified running store. A general rule of thumb is that your running shoes should be ½ size larger than your regular street shoes. In addition to the rubbing of your toes into your shoe's toe box, your feet will expand as you run long distances. A shoe fitted properly will keep you running comfortably.

Another way to help prevent black toenails is to make sure that your toenails are always trimmed. I also recommend going for a pedicure every 3-4 weeks to make sure that your feet and toenails are properly taken care of. I do this myself, and I've heard from many runners how they have avoided black toenails altogether since they started getting regular pedicures.

Black toenails are uncomfortable, but not usually so much that you cannot run. Eventually, it will run its course and the toenail will fall off. If you do find that the pressure is too much for you, there is a home remedy that you can do. However, you need to be cautious doing this. Sterilize your toenail with alcohol and a pin with a lit match. While the pin is still hot, you can gently press it into the center of your toenail to drain it. It really sounds worse than it is - and you will be immediately better. But, I would only recommend doing this if the pain is simply unbearable.

Black toenails are common - and usually just a nuisance. However, if you find that it isn't getting better after a time - or it becomes red, please see a doctor about it.


The Prospects for Physiotherapist Assistant Career

If you enjoy working with people and the idea of helping someone gets back on their feet after an accident or illness excites you, then you may be ideal for a career as a physiotherapist assistant.

What Does A Physiotherapist Assistant Do?

The physiotherapist assistant (typically referred to in the United States as the physical therapy assistant) works with a trained and licensed physiotherapist to implement a plan of care.

Typically, the physiotherapist will see the patient first and establish treatment goals and a plan of care. The plan of care consists of different kinds of exercises aimed at helping patients regain their mobility.

It is up to the assistant to ensure that the plan of care is followed closely and to work with the patient to complete the prescribed exercises or interventions. He/her always works under the close supervision of the physiotherapist.

Physiotherapist assistants may also help physiotherapists by setting up and taking down exercise equipment, cleaning and disinfecting equipment, and getting patients ready for treatments.

Where Does A Physiotherapist Assistant Work?

They may work in many different health care settings including hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. In some instances, they may make visits to home patients.

What Training Does A Physiotherapist Assistant Need?

Training varies depending on location. In the United States, an assistant usually holds an associates degree as a physical therapy assistant. In the UK, there are no specific guidelines and most training occurs on the job, although applicants are ideally expected to have a solid background in science and mathematics.

What Kind Of Person Would Make A Good Physiotherapist Assistant?

No two people are alike, of course, but in general the ideal physiotherapist assistant candidate has excellent people skills and is able to work with many different types of clients.

He/her makes a living persuading people to do things that may feel frightening, uncomfortable, or even flat out painful. Therefore, the physiotherapist assistant needs imagination, intelligence, and an ability to engage even the most challenging patients.

The physiotherapist assistant also requires good communication skills so he or she can act as a liaison between the patient and the primary physiotherapist.

Finally, since the assistant is the person who has the most "hands on" contact with the patient, he or she needs to be observant. Does the patient seem more tired or uncomfortable than usual? Is his or her skin cold and clammy? Does a patient who normally follows requests suddenly not seem to understand what he/her is saying? All of these factors are valuable observations that the health care team needs to know about.

If you are interested in a career as a physiotherapist assistant, start looking for opportunities in the "help wanted" section of your local newspaper. This may be exactly the job you've been waiting to find!


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