Urgent Care for Sports Injuries
When people talk about sports injuries, they are usually talking about traumatic injuries. These are injuries that occur during collisions with other players, hard falls, and pulls and twists on joints and ligaments that happen during running or jumping.
Because these injuries occur during hard and fast movement, they usually cause a lot of damage to the injured area. Contact sports such as rugby and ice hockey cause the worst injuries, but sports injuries are possible in any type of sport.
When it comes to sports injuries, mild or minor injuries are those that usually will heal on their own over time. These include mild contusions, strains (tearing of muscle fibers), sprains (injury to the ligaments around a joint), and wounds (including punctures, cuts and abrasions).
These injuries might require medical assistant, followed by rest and sometimes the application of ice/heat. You might also need painkillers and sometimes a splinter to immobilize the area to help it heal.
Sports injuries such as bone fractures or head contusions always require medical attention. Depending on the severity and the location of the injury, you might need to be hospitalized and might even require surgery. Any injury to the spine is classified as a catastrophic injury because of the severity of it and it should be considered a medical emergency.
Immediate Care and Response
If you suffer a sports injury, try RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) as a first step. The RICE method is recommended by both providers and physical therapists for mild to moderate injuries that require no further medical care. The goal of this method is to reduce swelling and help the injury heal faster.
If you don’t see any improvement over the following couple of days, reserve your spot with one of the providers at our urgent care in Rockville, MD for an assessment.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
These are injuries that occur over time, usually due to putting a lot of pressure or stress over a certain area of the body. For example, runners are prone to knee problems and tennis players can develop elbow pain and ligament tears.
The problem with repetitive stress injuries is that you often don’t notice them until the damage is extensive. In some cases, you might end up needing surgery or physical therapy to deal with these.
Aside from RICE, your provider might prescribe a number of therapies to help your sports injury heal faster. For example, he might recommend corticosteroid injections. These not only help with the pain but also ease severe inflammation that might not respond to oral medication.
Physiotherapy and Massage
These are useful therapies to improve the range of motion after an injury. For example, if you injured a muscle or a joint, a therapist will help you perform exercises that keep the area flexible and prevent stiffness while it’s healing.
Massage also improves blood flood, which in turn aids in healing. Massage must be performed by a trained physical therapist, who will know how intense the pressure must be and on what areas. Putting too much pressure in the wrong place can actually worsen the injury and cause more pain.
Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process and it can include many different things. Massage and physiotherapy can be part of rehabilitation. So can ultrasound therapy and gentle exercises such as walking or swimming.
After you have been injured, a healthcare professional will evaluate your condition and decide what is the best approach to deal with your injury. Although surgery is often not needed, a fracture or a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in your knee might require an operation.