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Playing sports and working out is a great way to stay in shape year-round. However, there are many common injuries you can incur as a result of these activities. You can prevent these injuries if you know how they occur and your physical limitations. At AFC Urgent Care West Chester, our board-certified physicians, and experienced nurses can help you prevent these sports injuries. We can also diagnose and treat them if they do occur. Our walk-in urgent care center can treat sports injuries in both adults and children.
At AFC Urgent Care West Chester, we can treat many common injuries that can occur as the result of exercise or sports. While any part of the body can suffer a sports injury, most injuries occur in the musculoskeletal system. This system includes bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and other tissue.
Some common injuries include:
Sprain – A sprain occurs when connective tissue joining bones, commonly referred to as ligaments, stretch or tear. This happens when a blow or fall knocks a joint out of its usual position. When you suffer a sprain, some of the common symptoms include inflammation, pain, tenderness, swelling, and bruising. You also may find your joint feels “loose" or you lose your ability to move it all together. At our urgent care center, we often see sprains in the knees, wrists, and ankles. We can treat minor to moderate sprains. Severe sprains, which results in a complete tear of a ligament, often requires surgical repair from a specialist.
Strain – When you overstretch, overcontract, or tear a muscle or tendon, you suffer a strain. A strain can be the result of twisting or pulling harder than your muscle or tendon can withstand. Much like sprains, we can treat minor to moderate strains. Severe strains, resulting in damage or loss of function of a muscle, often need to be seen by a specialist. Strain symptoms include loss of strength, pain, and muscle spasms. One of the most common strains we see are hamstring strains, and groin pulls.
Achilles tendon injuries – Also known as ACL injuries, this tendon in your calf muscle runs to your heel. Your ACL can stretch, tear, or become irritated. Often these injuries can be sudden and very painful. A tear can generally be treated if your injury is adequately braced. An extremely painful ACL rupture usually results in a complete loss of function. Tears must be managed appropriately and braced to prevent further damage.
Tennis Elbow – This injury is the result of overuse of your arm and forearm, resulting in elbow pain. Unfortunately, this injury is not confined to only tennis players. It can occur to anyone who overuses their arms in their daily activities or sports. “Golfer’s elbow" is another term that is often associated with this condition. This condition is more likely to occur in someone’s dominant arm.
Shin splints – Also known as medial tibial stress syndrome, you may have shin splints if you find your shins aching or throbbing after running or sprinting. The muscles and ligaments along your shin bones become inflamed and painful. Shin splints can be the result of flat feet, shoes that don’t fit well or provide support, or weak ankles, hips, or core muscles. If you work out often, you can help prevent shin splints by warming up and cooling down muscles in this area.
Runner’s Knee – The medical term for this condition is patellofemoral syndrome. Also known as “Jumper’s Knee," this occurs when you overuse your knee joint or suffer trauma to the area. Knee trauma can occur due to blows or falling onto it. You don’t have to be an active runner to suffer from this condition, and it can happen with anyone overusing that joint. Symptoms can including pain in the knee when exercising, bending, climbing, jumping, or squatting. Pain can also occur after sitting for an extended period, like when watching a movie. “Cracking" or “popping" in the knee joint can also occur.
Concussion – A concussion is a brain injury. It can result in the temporary loss of brain function and is often caused by a the blow to the head. In many cases, there is no external trauma to the head. While in the movies, it usually is shown that someone loses consciousness; in many cases, a person will not. At AFC Urgent Care West Chester, we have concussion specialists who can help diagnose and treat concussions. They need to be carefully approached to prevent your injury from getting worse, prolonging your recovery.
Dislocations – Dislocations are common in sports and high impact sports. Itoccurs when two bones that form a joint become separated. Dislocations, while not uncommon, require medical treatment. It is not something that can heal on its own with rest. Bones must be repositioned and put back into place for the injury to heal correctly.
Fractures – When a bone brakes, you suffer a fracture. Acute fractures occur when there is a clean or simple break in the bone that results in little if any damage to the surrounding tissue. Compound fractures occur when the bone breaks the skin. At our urgent care center, we can treat an acute fracture. Compound fractures should be immediately taken to the emergency room for treatment.
First and foremost, you should know your body’s limits. You can prevent strains and sprains by warming up before you engage in an activity. Warming up your body increases the blood flow to your body’s muscles, preparing them for an activity. You should also stretch your muscles and ligaments before and after your activities to prevent tears. Finally, injuries can occur due to muscle fatigue. Periodically resting can help prevent injuries.
You never need an appointment to be seen at AFC Urgent Care West Chester for a sports injury. We have convenient hours and an onsite digital x-ray. You can visit us seven days a week for all of your urgent care needs.
Injuries such bones protruding through the skin, a head injury causing loss of consciousness, loss of sensation in hands or feet, or other severe or life -threatening injuries should be treated in an emergency room at a hospital. Most other injuries can be evaluated, diagnosed, and treated at our center and/or referred to the appropriate specialist.
We do treat simple or closed fractures at our urgent care center. If the bone has broken the skin or has broken in multiple places, please immediately go to an emergency room for treatment.