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Physios lend a hand at Great North Run

20 September 2013 - 3:39pm

Physiotherapy staff and students helped runners recover from the largest half marathon in the world, the Great North Run.


Sarah Mellan, Denise Lewis and Kirsty Thomas

The race saw 56,000 people run over 13 miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to South Shields on 15 September.

Among the volunteers were five respiratory physios from Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sarah Mellan, Jen Ferguson, Kirsty Thomas, Nick Walker and Peter Hall.

They spent the day treating runners who had completed the race in a specialised intensive care unit tent, provided by the British Red Cross.

As well as offering advice on stretching exercises, the volunteers strapped and treated the ‘walking wounded’ for injuries such as sprains and fractures.

The team also worked with runners who had collapsed, or who were dehydrated or experiencing severe cramp.

‘We used a lot of massage and stretching, with Vaseline as our only medium,’ said Ms Mellon.

‘It was a brilliant day, despite the awful wet weather, and a great way to work in a different environment and help all those runners who were raising thousands of pounds for charity.’

More than 20 physiotherapy students and lecturers from Northumbria University massaged weary runners who were supporting three charities. These were two national charities, Scope and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and one locally-based one, the Percy Hedley Foundation.

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