Pharmacy first stop for sports injury advice

Visiting a pharmacy for treatment for minor sports injuries could ease the pressure on doctors and minor injuries clinics, a Shropshire pharmacist said today.

John Gentle, superintendent pharmacist at The Pharmacy at Caxton in Owestry, said a pharmacy can act as a vital first stop for people seeking advice or treatment for minor sports injuries.

He said: “We get a number of people coming into our pharmacy after they have hurt themselves playing sport.

“Often they need something simple such as ibuprofen-type medication to help ease any aches and swelling or a bandage to provide support.

“If we think that they need to see a doctor then we will give that advice.

“In that way it is helping to ease demand on GP appointments caused by people unnecessarily going to their surgery.

“What we provide is a first-stop facility for people with concerns to get advice.”

For Tracey Royle, pharmacy technician at Caxton, avoiding sports injuries is something she is keen to do as she celebrates playing hockey and netball for 20 years.

The mother-of-one, of Llanymynech, is currently Manager of the Oswestry Ladies Hockey Team, playing in the Cheshire league.

She also plays netball for a team sponsored by Oswestry firm DPH in the Oswestry and District League.

Mrs Royle, who has worked for Caxton for 10 years, said: “The main types of injury that I see during hockey are astro turf burns, bruises, sprained ankles and occasionally people are hit by the ball.

“We don’t have any serious injuries really.  Often the pharmacy is able to help with pain killers, creams such as Deep Heat and cold packs.

“We also have special dressings available if people have wounds they need to cover.

“People sometimes have a sore knee or arm and come in to see if we can help them to recover from the injury.”

She said it was not just customers with injuries that were coming to the pharmacy for first aid help.

She said: “We get a number of people who are involved with sports clubs or teams who need to have a first aid box available.

“They visit the pharmacy to find items to fill the box and can speak to staff to ensure they have all that they need.

“For example, some people are allergic to plasters so it is important that there is an alternative in the first aid pack.”

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