When Should You Seek Medical Help For A Sports Injury?

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Virtually all athletes, whether professional, amateur, or even little-league, will experience some kind of sports injury during their careers. In most cases, these injuries are minor and do not necessarily require professional care. However, certain types of sports injuries can lead to severe complications or long-term consequences if left untreated. At MedNorth Urgent Care in Kalispell, MT, experienced emergency physicians Dr. Shane Hill and Dr. Scott Rundle are dedicated to providing the most advanced and effective sports injury care to help patients get relief from their pain, avoid permanent damage, and safely return to their favorite activities as soon as possible. Keep reading for important information on what signs and symptoms may indicate your sports injury should be evaluated by a medical professional.

What is a sports injury?

A sports injury does not necessarily have to occur when actively engaged in a sporting event, though it certainly can. In some cases, sports injuries are sustained when training, practicing, or even warming up before a game. These injuries can be due to poor technique, overuse, direct contact/trauma, or multiple factors. Some of the most common examples of sports injuries include:

  • Bone fracture
  • Muscle strain
  • Joint sprain
  • Ligament tear
  • Open wound/laceration
  • Bruising
  • Concussion

When is a sports injury serious enough to go to the ER?

For mild muscle strains or minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises, immediate medical care may not be necessary. With rest and at-home care, including over-the-counter medications and proper cleaning of any open wounds, many of these injuries will resolve on their own. For more serious sports injuries, however, a trip to your nearest urgent care may be critical for preventing worsening symptoms, further complications, and even long-term consequences. Some examples of sports injuries and sports injury symptoms that should be evaluated and treated by an emergency physician and/or urgent care provider include:

  • Concussion (signs and symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, light sensitivity, headache, vertigo, blurry vision, and more)
  • Extensive open wound with or without fracture
  • Bone fracture
  • Joint sprain
  • Ligament/tendon tear
  • Head injury
  • Eye injury/eye laceration
  • Bleeding that does not stop
  • Protracted and/or intractable pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Visible lump or bump
  • Redness, itchiness, or other signs of infection

If you or your child are experiencing any of these sports injuries or signs and symptoms of a sports injury, please visit your nearest urgent care right away. If left untreated, some sports injuries can lead to infection, nerve damage, disfigurement, long-term muscle or tissue damage, and other consequences.

How is a sports injury treated in an urgent care center?

At MedNorth Urgent Care, Drs. Hill and Rundle utilize state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge technologies to evaluate and treat sports injuries. Treatment may require splints, sutures, wound cleaning, setting a fracture, and more. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury, patients may be referred to a specialist for further treatment, including surgery and/or physical therapy. Most important, early treatment for a sports injury can prevent long-term complications and help athletes resume their activities.

Get back to the game you love with sports injury care in Kalispell, MT

Even the fittest and most experienced athletes can sustain a sports injury, which may need medical evaluation and treatment to prevent worsening problems. If you or your child has a sports-related injury that you suspect needs professional care, the expert team at MedNorth Urgent Care in Kalispell, MT – under the direction of experienced emergency physicians Dr. Shane Hill and Dr. Scott Rundle – can help.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.