When to Seek Urgent Care for a Sports Injury

Sports injuries occur when playing sports or exercising. They range from minor to serious and include sprains, strains, bruises, fractures, dislocations, and concussions. Most sports injuries can be treated with rest and rehabilitation, while more serious injuries may require medical attention.

Sports injuries can be painful and debilitating, but most can be avoided or successfully treated properly. It is important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from injury, such as warming up before physical activity, wearing protective gear, and learning proper techniques for playing sports. However, when you have a sports injury, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention. 

Here are a few telltale signs you should seek urgent care after a sports injury. 

1. Severe pain that does not subside

If you experience severe pain that does not subside after a sports injury, it is important that you seek urgent care immediately. This type of pain could be a sign of a serious injury, such as a broken bone or a torn ligament. If the pain is severe enough, you should go to the emergency room right away. It is also important to keep track of your symptoms and any treatments that you have tried, as this information can be helpful to the doctor in diagnosing your condition.

2. Swelling, bruising, or deformity

If you have suffered a sports injury and have any swelling, bruising, or deformity, it is important to seek urgent care as soon as possible. Delayed treatment can lead to more serious complications and even permanent damage. An orthopedic specialist can help diagnose and treat the injury, and in some cases, will refer you to a physical therapist for further treatment. The earlier and more aggressive the treatment, the better the chances of a full and lasting recovery.

3. Numbness or tingling

Numbness or tingling may be a sign of nerve damage or a more serious underlying condition. Delay in seeking medical care may lead to further impairment of the affected area and may also increase the risk of long-term disability. Further, numbness or tingling may be a sign of a spinal or head injury and thus require urgent medical attention. It is important to keep the affected area immobile and to seek help as soon as possible.

4. Difficulty moving or bearing weight on the injured limb

You should seek urgent care if you have difficulty moving or bearing weight on an injured limb after a sports injury. This is especially important if you feel any sharp pain, numbness, tingling, or swelling in the area of the injury. If you do not seek help immediately, you could risk further complications, such as infection, joint damage, or long-term pain. Urgent care is the best option, as medical professionals can assess the injury, provide you with the appropriate treatment, and refer you to a specialist if necessary.

5. Cuts or open wounds that are deep or bleeding profusely

This is particularly important if the wound is more than a half-inch deep or if the bleeding does not stop after applying pressure for several minutes. Urgent care centers have the necessary supplies and trained personnel to handle such injuries. They can assess the wound, provide treatment such as stitches or sutures, and prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent further complications and to ensure a safe recovery.

6. Signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, pus, or fever

Infections can be serious and even life-threatening if not treated quickly. Urgent care centers are equipped to diagnose and treat certain infections, and if necessary, refer you to a specialist for further care. You should also pay attention to any other symptoms that may arise, such as chills or body aches. It’s important to act quickly to avoid further complications.

7. Confusion or altered level of consciousness

An altered level of consciousness after a sports injury could be a sign of a serious medical condition, such as a concussion or internal bleeding. It is important to seek medical attention immediately as these conditions can worsen quickly and can be life-threatening. Your doctor may order imaging tests or a neurological exam to assess your condition, as well as provide you with appropriate treatment.

8. Head injury with symptoms of dizziness, headache, or nausea

If you have suffered a head injury during a sport and are experiencing dizziness, headache, or nausea symptoms, it is important to seek urgent medical care. Even if the symptoms seem minor, any head trauma should be taken seriously and treated by a medical professional right away. A doctor or trained medical team can evaluate the injury and determine whether further tests are necessary. Getting any head injuries checked out immediately is important, as they can have serious and long-term consequences.

9. Spinal or neck injury with symptoms of neck pain, tingling, or numbness in the arms or legs

Depending on the severity of the injury, you might need to go to an emergency room or trauma center if you experience a spinal or neck injury. Getting the appropriate medical attention as soon as possible is essential to minimize any potential long-term effects. Imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, may be needed to identify the severity of the injury properly. An orthopedic specialist or neurosurgeon may need to be consulted for diagnosis and treatment.

If you have a sports injury, visiting us at OSSM Urgent Care is the right choice. Our team of experienced medical professionals will evaluate your injury and provide the best treatment plan for you. We can provide on-site imaging, like X-rays, to diagnose and treat your injury and expertly administer any medications you may need. Our doctors can also provide advice and support to help you get back into the game quickly and safely. Plus, our convenient location and extended hours make it easy to get the care you need when you need it.

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