Originally published January 16 2015
How to relieve runner's toe using everyday items
by Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) As any serious prepper knows, survival knowledge is just as important as having an extensive stockpile of necessities when the SHTF.
Mobility is also a key consideration, and anything that might slow you down when it's time to make a move could mean the difference between life and death.
So it's crucial to be ready to deal with any difficulties that might arise when you, your family or any group of people are traveling on foot together during a crisis situation.
A common ailment that can occur when traversing long distances by foot is a condition known as a subungual hematoma, or runner's toe.
Runner's toe is not a serious physical threat, but it can be extremely painful, making walking or running difficult, if not impossible. It typically afflicts those wearing tight boots or shoes and those who are not used to trekking long distances. It can also be caused by new footwear that has not been properly broken in.
The condition, also known as black toenail, is brought on by downward pressure on the toenail (usually on the big toe) and causes the normally pink-colored nail to turn dark red or black when the flesh underneath begins to fill with blood due to the injury.
The pain can be excruciating, and anyone suffering from it will be forced to limp or walk very slowly. In certain conditions, this could be a serious problem for an individual or group that needs to get somewhere fast on foot.
Luckily, there is an easy solution that relieves the pain immediately and takes only a few seconds to perform, according to Ryan Chamberlin at ThePrepperPages.com.
The fix requires only the most rudimentary of tools -- a lighter and a paper clip.
If you or one of your traveling companions begins to slow down due to a painful limp, remove the footwear to inspect the toenails. If you see the tell-tale discoloration associated with runner's toe, the procedure is simple.
Take a straightened-out paperclip and heat the tip of it with a lighter. Apply the heated tip to the nail for one or two seconds, and repeat the process until the paper clip pierces the nail.
It's important to not hold the heated paperclip against the nail for more than a couple of seconds at a time; otherwise, the heat will be conducted throughout the nail, resulting in sharp pain.
After a few repetitions, the nail will be pierced, allowing the blood to escape and releasing the pressure causing the pain. Once the pressure is relieved, the discomfort will be alleviated immediately. When the procedure is finished, the boot can be put back on and the journey can be resumed.
It's important to perform the procedure as soon as possible. If you wait more than 36 hours, the blood may have a chance to clot, making the process ineffective and requiring letting the injury heal on its own.
If you don't have a paperclip handy, you may also use a safety pin, needle or piece of wire. An even better solution is to use a battery-powered cautery pen, which can be purchased cheaply (around $10 - $25) at fishing, sports or hobby stores.
Cautery pens may also come in handy for a number of other uses and are a worthwhile addition for any prepper's bug-out bag.
Successful prepping includes learning about how to deal with any situation that might arise, and tidbits of useful information, such as this quick fix for runner's toe, could prove to be key to survival in a disaster scenario.
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