When your child is injured during a sports event or complains of pain during the off season, it's tempting to rush them to the emergency room. However, most non-life threatening sports injuries are better handled at an urgent care clinic to get you and your athlete in and out faster. Head to the urgent care clinic for these five common but not critical sports injuries.
Concussions are serious, but they don't immediately develop after a blow to the head. Instead of going to the emergency room and waiting hours every time your football player bumps helmets with a teammate, let the urgent care doctors handle the screening instead. They can quickly determine if there was any long-lasting effect to your child's brain and determine the best course of treatment if they are developing a concussion.
The noticeable symptoms of a concussion can take days or even weeks to finally show up, so it's far safer to make a quick trip to the clinic after each knock on the head than to wait and see what happens. However, you should head to an emergency room immediately if your child is throwing up or losing consciousness after a head injury. This indicates a serious concussion that needs advanced treatment. Less serious symptoms like dizziness and a lasting headache indicate a minor concussion, which is safely handled by urgent care treatment.
A sprained ankle, jammed finger, or overextended knee all take your teen athlete out of the game and can lead to long-term issues if not properly healed before exercise is resumed. Too many teens set themselves up for chronic pain and weakness by attempting to get back in the routine too quick. By having an urgent care doctor assess the sprain and recommend a period of rest for full recovery, you can rule out more serious ligament damage and make sure your child heals completely before getting back to their favorite activities.
Thankfully, infections are rare in most sports, but a scratch or puncture caused by field cleats can always end up infected rather than healing. However, swimmer's ear is one of the most common forms of infection associated with high school extracurricular activities. Swimmer's ear is far from life-threatening, but it is painful enough to distract your champion swimmer from their homework and classes. With one trip to the urgent care clinic, your swimmer will have the antibiotic drops they need to treat the infection and recommendations on how to prevent the problem in the future.
Is your teen athlete pushing it just a little too hard on the field or in the gym because of the pressure to win? Overuse injuries are common among hard-working athletes regardless of age, and wear and tear on the joints that isn't treated promptly results in lasting damage. Urgent care facilities can treat all the various overuse injuries linked to sports, including
- Runner's knee
- Tendonitis of the Achilles' tendon
- Tennis elbow
- Shin splints
- Swimmer's shoulder.
Of course, an overuse injury will return despite the best treatment if the athlete doesn't change their habits that caused the injury in the first place. Consider making an appointment with a sports medicine specialist to follow up to gain access to personalized training guidance that will help your child avoid these injuries in the future.
Finally, don't forget about strains to the muscles and tendons of the body. Strains like groin pulls and pulled hamstrings make it hard to walk around campus and keep up with non-sports related responsibilities too. Most strains only involve overstretched muscles and tendons that will recovery with rest, but complex tears of these fibers can require surgery to repair. A quick inspection from an urgent care doctor will determine what kind of treatment is needed to deal with the strain.
Contact an urgent care center like Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc. for more information.