Urgent Care Clinic or Emergency Room? Sprains
Sprains are bound to happen at one point or the other given they concern joints, which given that they are hugely responsible for locomotion and movement, receive a lot of strain. One can suffer a sprain from normal activities such as walking or lifting or they can suffer sprains when doing sports or when exercising. Some of the parts that suffer the most when it comes to sprains involve the ankle, the wrist, the neck among others. As is covered in great detail over at the ever reliable frontlineer.com, a sprain is when ligaments are injured either by they being stretched, torn or both. While some sprains are minor and can be handled and treated at home by using the “R.I.C.E” method which basically is an acronym standing for rest, ice, compression and elevation, some are quite serious and severe and they may require urgent attention. For the later cases it is important to know when to head to an urgent care clinic and when to visit an emergency room. This article will look to help those making this decision by highlighting cases that should be treated in either of the two.
One of the first things to keep in mind as far as sprains and urgent care clinics go is that sprains in the extremities are the ones that it is mostly recommended that they are taken to an urgent care clinic. This include sprains on the hand, foot, ankle or wrist. This is because these sprains most of the time only require an X-ray to diagnose, facilities that are available in most urgent care clinics, as per the experts over at frontlineer.com. Physicians in urgent care clinics will also be in a position to set a cast or a compression bandage, which are the ones that are used in helping the sprain heal. You might decide to use the “R.I.C.E” technique to heal a sprain, however, if after a day or two there is still some swelling, then you should look to head to an urgent care clinic to get yourself checked out. If you suspect you have a sprain and are also experiencing pain that persists even after taking of pain medication, then you should ensure you visit an urgent care for treatment. One thing that is clear, mild to moderate sprains to the extremities can be comfortably handled at an urgent care clinic and as such it is recommended that you head over there if this is what you are experiencing.
On the other hand, severe sprains of the extremities, that is the hand, foot, ankle or wrist, should be taken to the emergency room and not urgent care as most of these usually involve not only sprains but fractures and breaks as well. Another case where a visit to the emergency room is required as far as sprains are concerned and not an urgent care clinic is when the sprain is of the neck or back. This is because this means that you may have sprained the spinal cord and as such you need to be assessed as soon as possible. So if you are experiencing sharp neck pain, you should visit an emergency room, with frontlineer.com being the best place around. Another circumstance where one should visit an emergency room for a sprain is if the injured area or joint is visibly deformed and looks crooked. This is also a sign of a severe sprain and may involve a fracture or break. If you also can’t put any weight onto the injured area, you should forego the urgent care clinic and head to an ER.
Other symptoms as far as strains go that indicate you should give the emergency room a visit is if the limb involve buckles or gives way completely when one tries to use it. This could be severe sprain where the ligaments have been torn, which is serious. If you see signs of infection on the injured part like red streaks, you should visit an ER as should you if you start experiencing numbness over the injured area as this is a sign of severe nerve damage. If the injured are completely loses function and as such you cannot move or use it, you should also head over to an emergency room and you should do the same if you sprain an area where you had surgery on before. These serious cases can only be handled at the ER as per the experts over at frontlineer.com, since the pain involved means that sedation may be requires, something that can only be performed at an emergency room with said facilities not available at urgent care clinics. Serious sprains may also require surgery to fix the ligaments, something that can happen at an emergency room but definitely not at an urgent care clinic. While urgent care clinics have X-rays for diagnosis, if one needs to find out if the damage to the ligament is partial or there is a complete tear, magnetic resonance imaging is required, something only available in an ER.
From the foregoing, it is clear which cases of sprains need to be attended to at an urgent care clinic and which need an emergency room and why that is the case. If you need more information, check out the subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com.