Whether To Seek Emergency Or Urgent Care Treatment For Sports Injuries

Posted on: 29 October 2014


When you are injured while playing sports or working out, you might have questions about what your best treatment option is. Should you go to the emergency room? Should you wait until you can get an appointment with your primary care doctor? Should you just try to tough it out? Many athletes are quite accustomed to suffering minor injuries, and might be tempted to not seek treatment at all. This option poses a risk of improper healing or long healing times, which can be particularly detrimental to someone often engaged in sports. Going to urgent care is a great option for sports injuries that need to be seen to as soon as possible but are not true emergencies.

When to Visit an Emergency Room

If a sports injury is life threatening or very serious, then you should call 911 or go to an emergency room. This includes head injuries, which should receive swift emergency medical attention. Concussions are a common result of sports related head injuries and can cause damage to the brain. Additionally, uncontrollable bleeding should be seen to in an emergency room, because there is the possibility of needing stitches or even a blood transfusion if the cut is serious enough. It is better to be safe than sorry—if at all in doubt, make an emergency room the first stop. Although an urgent care center might be able to help, your best bet is to go straight to the hospital.

When to Visit Urgent Care

If your injury occurs outside of regular doctors' hours, on the weekend, or you are unable to get an appointment with your doctor, you should seriously consider visiting urgent care. Prompt treatment can prevent minor problems from becoming serious ones.

Examples of sports related injuries that can be treated at an urgent care center include minor sprains, minor fractures, dehydration, dislocations, back pain, and whiplash. The sooner treatment is started, the sooner a full recovery and a return to full bodily function can be expected. If you find yourself having difficulty moving, it is best to seek help from an urgent care facility instead of trying to wait it out. Mild to moderate asthma issues resulting from physical activity should also be brought to an urgent care facility. It is unsafe to leave such conditions untreated, but if they are very serious, then it is time for a trip to the emergency room.