Concussion Signs & Symptoms

football player in helmet at risk for concussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs when a sudden blow or jolt to the head causes your brain to slide back and forth against the walls of your inner skull. This forceful movement creates chemical changes in the brain and can stretch or damage brain cells. Concussions can occur during contact sports and motor vehicle/bicycle accidents, or from falling or physical abuse.

This type of injury can temporarily affect your brain function, and lead to serious long term complications. General symptoms include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. You may have a concussion and not realize it.

Concussion symptoms

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Confusion
  • Feeling foggy, dazed, groggy, in a haze
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms may appear hours or days after the injury. You may experience issues with concentration, memory, and sleep. Irritability, personality changes, sensitivity to light and noise, and disorders of taste and smell are also common.


Signs of a concussion, as seen by others:

  • Amnesia or confusion surrounding the traumatic event
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appears dazed
  • Slurred speech
  • Forgets instructions, or is confused during simple tasks
  • Loss of consciousness

For any head injury, it’s important to seek an evaluation from a doctor, even if emergency care isn’t required.

As long as you did not experience a loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting as a result of your head injury, our urgent care center is a good place to seek care. Our providers are available to perform quick diagnostics and can ensure that the injury is not life-threatening or require emergency treatment. Always err on the safe side in regards to a brain injury! Walk into our clinic today for a fast, affordable evaluation and an expert treatment plan.

When to seek emergency treatment:
Call 911 or head straight to the emergency room for any head injury associated with a loss of consciousness, seizures, neck pain, vomiting or numbness, prolonged confusion or amnesia, or weakness in arms or legs.

When and Where to Seek Treatment for Burns

person with bandage and medication for burn We run the risk of burns throughout our daily lives. Burns can occur during simple activities such as making dinner, curling your hair, ironing clothes, or making a pot of coffee. And while some burns can be safely treated at home, others require professional medical attention. Underestimating the severity of a burn can delay proper treatment, lead to infection, and in extreme cases, life-threatening conditions. Learn when and where to seek the appropriate treatment for burns.

Consider the following factors to determine the level of care your burn needs:

Depth

Superficial, or first-degree, burns are red and painful like a sunburn, affecting only the outer layer of the skin. These burns can usually be treated at home.

Deeper second-degree burns cause swelling and red, white or blotchy skin. Blisters can develop, pain may be severe, and scarring is possible.Head to an urgent care for this type of burn.

Full-thickness third-degree burns involve the entire epidermis and dermis layers of the skin, may have patches of black, brown or white, and appear leathery or charred. At this point, emergency care is necessary.

Location and Size

Most minor burns can be safely treated at our urgent care center. However, any burn involving the face or covering a large area of the body should be treated at a hospital.

Infection

It’s important to see a doctor if your burn is showing any signs of infection. Our urgent care can assess your burn, and provide antibiotics or referrals as necessary. Symptoms include:

  • Increasing pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Drainage
  • Odor
  • If you’re unsure of your burn’s severity, it’s best to seek professional care. Walk into our clinic for a fast, affordable evaluation and high quality treatment of minor burns.

    Seek emergency care for:

  • Burns that cover the face or a large area of the body
  • Deep burns, which means burns affecting all layers of the skin or even deeper tissues
  • Burns that cause the skin to look leathery
  • Burns that appear charred or have patches of black, brown or white
  • Burns caused by electricity
  • Difficulty breathing or burns to the airway
  • Treating a Dislocated Joint

    person at doctor office due to dislocated joint Dislocating a joint can be a frightening and painful experience; a sudden fall or awkward collision knocks your bone out of place, leaving your joint swollen and immobile. Learn the risk factors and symptoms of a dislocated joint, and why you should get treatment right way.

    How Dislocations Happen

    You can dislocate any joint in your body– your finger, knee, hip, elbow, shoulder, etc. The injury occurs when an abrupt impact causes your bone to slip out of its joint. You can suffer a dislocation bracing for a fall, in a motor vehicle accident, or playing sports. Dislocated joints are especially common among athletes in contact and high impact sports, such as football, hockey, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, skiing, and gymnastics. Another risk factor is hereditary. Some people have naturally loose ligaments, and consequently, are more prone to this type of injury.

    A dislocated joint is generally easy to see. It may be:

    • Visibly deformed or out of place
    • Swollen, bruised, red or discolored
    • Intensely painful
    • Immovable
    • Numb and Tingling

    It can be difficult to tell the difference between a broken bone and a dislocated joint. But for either injury, it’s important to seek immediate medical treatment.

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    If you suffer a possible dislocation, head into our urgent care clinic for fast evaluation and treatment. Our provider will examine your joint, review your symptoms, and may perform an X-ray to confirm the dislocation and check for broken bones or other damage to the joint. For more severe dislocations, you may also need an MRI to assess soft tissue damage. We are happy to provide a referral in this instance.

    Treatment of a dislocated joint depends on the area and severity of the injury. Sometimes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) is enough to naturally heal the joint. Other times, the provider will need to gently maneuver your bones back into place. This method is called Manipulation. Depending on the level of pain and swelling, you may be given a sedative or anesthetic to help ease the procedure. Once your bones are back in position, the provider may ask you to wear a splint, sling, or cast for several weeks. Immobilization allows the joint to rest and fully heal.

    Some dislocations may require surgery.

    If you might have a dislocated joint, our urgent care center is a good starting point for fast, affordable treatment. Simply walk in when you need care!

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    Allergies Vs. Sinus Infection

    man with seasonal allergies holding tissue to noseAs we head into hay fever season, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of your congestion– are your sniffles due to seasonal allergies or a sinus infection? The two conditions share similar symptoms, but are not the same thing.

    Seasonal Allergies

    Allergies occur when our body’s immune system mistakes a harmless, everyday substance for a dangerous one. The body releases histamines to fight the perceived intruder (the allergen), causing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat.

    Pollen and mold are major allergens for millions of people, and during springtime, as plant species begin releasing pollen particles into the air and outdoor molds release their spores, cold-like, allergy symptoms abound. These seasonal allergies are sometimes called “hay fever” or seasonal allergic rhinitis.

    Sinus Infection (Rhinosinusitis)

    In contrast, a sinus infection occurs when your nasal cavities become infected, swollen and inflamed, usually due to a virus. Infected sinuses cause pain and pressure in the face, severe congestion, and nasal discharge that is cloudy, green, or yellow. Other possible symptoms include sore throat (due to post-nasal drip), fever, tooth pain, headache, and bad breath.

    Evaluation and Treatment

    While allergies and sinus infections are separate conditions, their treatments do share some overlap—if you are experiencing congestion with either, a decongestant medication can help to break up mucus in your nasal cavities.

    Allergies can be treated with antihistamines, such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin. These medications block the body’s histamine-producing response and help to reduce symptoms. Allergies cannot be fully prevented, but you can minimize your exposure to known allergens.

    For viral sinus infections, your best bet is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Antibiotics are not effective in treating viruses. Nasal irrigation can also help to clear your sinuses, relieve dryness, and flush allergens. With proper care, most sinus infections go away on their own within 1-2 weeks.

    If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies or a possible sinus infection, head into our clinic today. Our friendly medical team can offer quick treatment and expert advice to help you feel better.

    Where To Take Your Sick Child For Care

    woman holding child in lap - where to take your sick child for careYour toddler is running a fever and acting extra fussy… Do you rush to the emergency room, or simply set an appointment with the pediatrician for next week? How about a trip to the local urgent care center? Determining what level of care your little one needs is often a difficult and confusing task. While your first step should always be a call to your pediatrician or an after-hours answering service to discuss symptoms, below, we offer some general guidelines for when and where to take your sick child for care.

    When To Head Straight To The ER

    A visit to the emergency room should be reserved for true medical emergencies, such as trauma, surgical procedures, and life-threatening situations.

    Call 911 or go right to the ER if your child:

    • is under 2 months old and has a fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher
    • suffered a serious head or eye injury
    • suffered a serious burn or large cut
    • had a seizure
    • has a broken bone with visible swelling
    • shows signs of dehydration (dry lips and mouth, absence of urination for more than 12 hours, lethargy and confusion)
    • is having trouble breathing
    • ingested a poison, drug, or unknown substance

    When To Use An Urgent Care

    If your child is able to walk, talk, play and interact, it’s most likely not a medical emergency. For minor injuries and illnesses that require immediate attention, an urgent care center is a time- and cost-saving alternative to the ER.

    Urgent care centers are able to treat a wide range of non life-threatening injuries and illnesses, and offer extended evening and weekend hours, usually with X-rays and lab testing on-site. Average waits are under an hour and the cost per visit is much less than the ER.

    Common children’s medical issues that can be treated by an urgent care include:

    • Coughs/Stuffy Nose
    • Strep throat
    • Minor Cuts and Burns
    • Common Cold
    • The Flu
    • Pink Eye
    • Minor Broken Bones and Sprains
    • Ear Infections
    • Rashes
    • Asthma
    • Vomiting/Diarrhea

    It’s also a good idea to call the urgent care ahead of your visit to verify what ages and conditions they treat. Based on your child’s symptoms, the clinic may direct you to the ER.

    Now you know the basics of where to take your sick child for care. Remember, we’re here for you when an urgent care is the best choice.