Severe Stomach Pain: Causes & When to Go to the ER

Odds are, you’ve experienced stomach pain at some point in your life. Stomach pain isn’t exactly uncommon, but that doesn’t mean that it’s normal. It’s usually a sign that something is wrong — either you’re having trouble digesting a heavy or spicy meal, you ate too much candy, and it’s upsetting your stomach, or you’re more stressed than usual. None of these situations are necessarily life-threatening though, so how do you know when your severe stomach pain is a reason to visit the emergency room?

What causes severe stomach pain?

When you’re experiencing stomach pain — especially if it’s severe — it’s usually a problem that’s more serious than eating a spicy meal. Instead, the source is typically an organ not functioning correctly, the symptom of a condition, or the result of a sudden change within the body — such as is the case with dehydration. Some of the most common causes of severe stomach pain are:

5 Signs You Should Go to the ER for Severe Stomach Pain

Since some causes of severe stomach pain are life-threatening, it’s important that you recognize the signs, monitor your pain as it develops, and take note of any additional symptoms that may occur. If you’re experiencing severe stomach pain, you should visit an emergency room immediately if you:

  • Are pregnant
  • Experienced the pain within a week of abdominal surgery or a gastrointestinal procedure
  • Have ever had a gastric bypass, colostomy, or bowel resection
  • Experienced pain after severe abdominal trauma
  • Have an abdomen that appears bruised or is rapidly expanding in size

In some cases, your stomach pain may begin as mild discomfort and develop in severity over time. If this is the case, you should visit an ER if you experience any of the following systems in addition to your severe stomach pain:

  • Your abdomen is extremely hard
  • Your abdomen is tender to touch
  • You’re coughing up or vomiting blood
  • You have persistent vomiting
  • You have bloody diarrhea
  • You have chest pain or pressure
  • You’re having difficulty breathing
  • You’re feeling dizzy
  • You’re fainting
  • You’re unable to have bowel movements without also vomiting
  • You have pain in your neck, shoulder, or between shoulder blades
  • Your vision changes

Diagnosing & Treating Your Severe Stomach Pain

The location of your severe stomach pain can provide insight into what may be causing issues. Your doctor will review your health history and give you pain medication to relieve your discomfort. They’ll also conduct a variety of tests to determine the root cause and rule out other possibilities. Common tests include:

  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
  • Liver function test
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound

Once your doctor has diagnosed the source of your pain, they can provide treatment options to get you on the road to recovery. Your treatment plan will depend on the cause of your severe stomach pain but will include a prescription for pain medication to help relieve your symptoms. You should always talk to your doctor about your options before beginning any treatment plans.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have a medical emergency, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Visit us online to find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Coughing up Blood (Hemoptysis): Causes & When to Go to the ER

When it comes to your health, there are certain indications that make it easy to say, something’s not right. Whether it’s a fever more than 100 degrees or coughing up blood, you know that you’ll need serious medical attention. But, how serious is serious, and when should a trip to the emergency room be your first priority?

What is hemoptysis?

When you cough up blood that originated in your lungs or bronchial tubes, it’s known as hemoptysis. Other forms of spitting up blood include pseudohemoptysis and hematemesis. The amount of blood and your family history helps determine which condition you’re experiencing.

Causes of Hemoptysis

When the case is hemoptysis, the cause is usually due to pulmonary or bronchial hemorrhage. But, other conditions or situations may also contribute. The most common include:

  • Bronchitis — acute or chronic
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Lung abscess
  • Lung cancer
  • Non-cancerous lung tumors
  • Parasitic infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Tuberculosis
  • Blood thinner usage
  • Inflammatory or autoimmune conditions
  • Cocaine usage
  • Foreign objects within your airway

8 Signs You Should Visit the ER After Coughing up Blood

Ultimately, if you are coughing up blood, you should always seek medical attention. But, some cases are more time-sensitive than others. You should visit the emergency room if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing up blood after drinking
  • Coughing up blood that’s mixed with mucus
  • Coughing up blood after a surgery
  • Coughing up blood while pregnant
  • Coughing up more than a few teaspoons of blood
  • Coughing up blood while also experiencing chest pain, dizziness, fever, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood following a fall or injury to the chest
  • Coughing up blood and also experiencing blood in your urine or stool

Hemoptysis Treatment

During your visit to the emergency room, your doctor’s first goal will be to stop the bleeding. They will also ask questions about your family history and conduct tests to determine the likely cause. Some common treatments include:

1. Bronchial Artery Embolization

Your doctor runs a catheter through your leg to an artery supplying blood to your lungs. They’ll put dye into the catheter to get a better look at your arteries on a video screen and identify the source of the bleeding. Then, they’ll block the source using metal coils or other methods.

2. Bronchoscopy

Using a tool at the end of an endoscope, the doctor can navigate and uncover the cause of your bleeding. The tool helps to stop the bleeding, while the endoscope helps them see what’s causing the issue.

3. Surgery

If the reason you’re coughing up blood is severe, your doctor may suggest surgery. This usually involves removing all or part of your lung. This option is typically only suggested if your cause is life-threatening.

Once the blood has stopped, your doctor will be able to prescribe treatment for the root cause of the issue. Treatments often consist of antibiotics, chemotherapy or radiation, or steroids. After diagnosis, your doctor will be able to provide the best options for your situation — including talking about the risks and benefits of each treatment.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have a medical emergency, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Visit us online to find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to Go to the ER for a Burn

Getting burned is always an excruciating experience. The shock, pain, and scarring are all blatant reminders that the body has just experienced trauma. But, not all burns are the same. Minor ones can heal with a topical ointment. However, the more serious the burn, the higher the risk of infection and having it affect your overall health. What are the types of burns that require medical attention? How can you learn to recognize symptoms? And, if you were relatively lucky enough to only get a minor one, what’s the best way to treat it?

Degrees of Skin Burns

The skin has three layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer and serves as protection to the body. The dermis is right under the epidermis, and it contains hair follicles and sweat glands. The hypodermis is the innermost layer, and it contains fat and tissue connecting the skin to the muscles and bones.

There are three degrees of burns — first, second, and third-degree. They range in severity from minor to significant skin damage, with third-degree burns being the most dangerous. It’s also important to note that there are several ways of burning your skin — open flames, touching a hot surface, chemical burns (from chemicals or detergents), cold burns (frostbite), sunburns, and friction burns. They all can cause damage to your skin.

First-Degree Burns

These types of burns cause minimal skin damage. They only affect the epidermis and heal within two weeks, without leaving any scars. Signs include pain, redness, and minor inflammation. As the burn heals, you may also notice peeling skin.

Second-Degree Burns

These types of burns include damage to the epidermis and dermis. They also cause the skin to blister. Since the blisters can pop open, they are more prone to infection. They usually take within three weeks to heal and — while there’s no scarring — you may notice a difference in skin pigmentation at the site of the wound.

Third-Degree Burns

These are the most severe types of burns — affecting every layer of the skin, all the way to the hypodermis. And, while they are the most dangerous, it’s possible that the person experiencing it may not feel as much pain as with other types of burns, due to nerve damage. Signs include a waxy, white color, charred skin, or a leathery texture. They can take a significant time to heal, and typically leave scars.

Signs You Should Go To the ER Immediately

You should never attempt to treat a third-degree burn on your own. Even if you feel no pain, call 911. Failing to seek immediate medical attention can result in a long list of complications — such as infections, blood loss, dehydration, sepsis, tetanus, muscle contractions, damage to your nervous system, and going into shock.

In addition, there are circumstances that require medical attention on an emergency basis, regardless of the type of burn. These include:

  • The burn is on your face, hands, feet, or on a joint
  • The burn was caused by an electric shock or a chemical
  • There’s pus oozing from the burn
  • The pain gets worse with time
  • The burn is larger than three inches
  • Change in the thickness of the burn
  • Foul odor
  • Fever

How to Treat Minor Burns

First-degree burns can be treated at home. To promote healing quicker, use home remedies as soon as possible. These include submerging the burn in cool water for several minutes, applying a topical anesthetic cream or antibiotic ointment, and covering the burn with gauze. If the pain lasts for an extended period of time, take an over-the-counter painkiller.

There are some forms of relief that you should avoid. Don’t apply ice to your burn, because it may worsen the damage, and don’t clean it up with cotton balls, since its fibers can stick to the wound — increasing the risk of infection.

24-Hour Emergency Room Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have a medical emergency, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to Go to the ER for Kidney Stones

When you suddenly experience severe pain in the abdomen, your mind races to what could be causing the problem — is it your gallbladder, a cyst (if you’re a woman), or your kidneys? Has your time on this earth finally reached an end? While that last question may be a little dramatic, most people experiencing sudden, extreme pain usually only think about one thing while in the moment — how to make the pain stop.

When the cause is kidney stones, a trip to the emergency room is typically your best bet. But, what if you’re not yet experiencing excruciating pain? How do you know when severe is severe enough?

Causes of Kidney Stones

When there is an imbalance of water, salt, and mineral water in your urine, you may begin developing small crystals that turn into stones within your kidneys. As the stones grow in size, they can lead to severe pain and other symptoms. But, before enlarging, they’re often resolved without any medical interference.

Kidney stones typically occur when you’re drinking less water than what your body needs. People in warmer climates are often more susceptible, as they sweat more and require more water to stay hydrated. But, other factors can increase your risk of developing kidney stones — including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Signs of Kidney Stones

It’s not uncommon for kidney stones to begin to occur but resolve without any medical treatment. In these minor cases and similar mild cases, it’s fairly common not to experience any symptoms. However, kidney stones, if left untreated, can enlarge and become infected — posing a dangerous problem. When this happens, you’ll experience:

When to Go to the ER for Kidney Stones

In addition to the symptoms above, you should visit the emergency room immediately if you have:

  • A fever higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Burning during urination
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Intolerable pain
  • Certain medical conditions that make passing a stone more dangerous — such as diabetes or decreased kidney function

At the ER, you’ll be administered an x-ray and/or CT scan of your abdomen and pelvis. This is to determine that you do have kidney stones and are not experiencing symptoms of a different condition. Once confirmed, you’ll be prescribed medications to help alleviate the pain and manage your symptoms.

In some cases where the kidney stone has grown too large, surgery may be required. When this is the case, you’re administered a non-invasive shockwave treatment procedure — or something similar — to remove the enlarged kidney stone.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

In some cases, an ER visit isn’t necessary. This includes not having severe symptoms, but still feeling some discomfort around the abdomen, groin, genitals, and side area. When this is the case, there are three main ways to treat your kidney stones:

  • Allowing the stone to pass on its own
  • Using medications to help the stone pass
  • Surgery to treat or remove the stone

Your treatment options are dependent on the size and location of the kidney stone. A good rule of thumb is that if your kidney stone is larger than 5 millimeters, then you’ll likely need surgery to remove the mass.

Preventing Kidney Stones

To lower your risk of kidney stones, you should drink the suggested amount of water per day. For the average adult, this should be eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This increases when experiencing warmer conditions — such as from warmer climates or exercising. Since obesity can also raise your risk, if your BMI is within the obese range, you should talk to your doctor about making lifestyle changes and creating a diet plan that works with your body type.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one are showing signs of kidney stones, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Fainting & Passing Out: When is Fainting Serious?

Turn on any soap opera, and there is no doubt that at some point during your viewing, you’ll see someone faint. You’ll watch as the character slowly falls on the nearest piece of furniture – unable to comprehend the scene that has unfolded before them. But, for some Americans, fainting isn’t an act to stimulate drama. It’s a real condition that occurs suddenly with little indication. Why does fainting occur, and when should someone who has passed out visit an emergency room?

Causes of Fainting & Passing Out

Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness that typically occurs from insufficient blood flow to the brain. Fainting is caused by a variety of conditions, ranging from mild to life-threatening. Some of the most common causes of fainting and passing out include:

Types of Fainting

There are two specific categories of fainting spells – pre- or near-syncope and syncope. Pre- or near-syncope occurs when you experience symptoms of fainting, including falling and losing consciousness, but you remember everything. Syncope is when you’re experiencing fainting and its symptoms, but don’t remember the part where you fall.

Aside from these two categories, there are three different types of syncope:

  • Vasovagal syncope involves the vaus nerve and is triggered by emotional trauma, stress, and standing for long periods of time
  • Carotid sinus syncope involves the carotid artery and results when the neck is constricted
  • Situational syncope is caused by straining and occurs when coughing, urinating, moving your bowels, or experiencing gastrointestinal issues

Symptoms of Fainting & Passing Out

Losing consciousness is the most sure-sign of fainting, but there are several symptoms that occur before passing out. These signs act as warnings, and usually occur before you fall/slump over and lose consciousness. The most common signs before fainting include:

  • Heaviness in the legs
  • Blurred or tunnel vision
  • Confusion
  • Feeling warm or hot
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or a floating feeling
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning
  • Becoming pale
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Weak pulse

When should you go to the ER?

Serious issues that cause fainting include heart problems, which temporarily lower your blood pressure. In these scenarios, you may experience palpitations — your heart is skipping a beat or racing — shortness of breath, or chest tightness. Experiencing these symptoms are clear indicators that you should take a trip to the emergency room. Make sure that you either call an ambulance or have someone else drive you – never drive yourself.

If you experience minor fainting episodes caused by suddenly standing up or heat exhaustion, then you may not need to visit an emergency room. An exception is made if falling after fainting has caused damage to your body – including concussions, fractures, or other severe injuries. If you’ve hit your head when fainting, are excessively bleeding, or are in pain and seemed to have broken a limb, have someone drive you to an emergency care clinic or call for an ambulance.

Diagnosing the Cause of Your Fainting

Whether you’re visiting an emergency room or your regular doctor, a physician will first check your blood pressure and identify any medications in your medical history that can cause the issue. They’ll draw blood and perform a series of tests to check for irregular heartbeats, then determine if you’ve been experiencing syncope or pre- or near-syncope.

Your doctor will also talk to you about your symptoms and try and help you identify what triggers your episodes. In some cases, lifestyle changes may be suggested to avoid heat exhaustion, reduce hunger, or eliminate stress – since these are some indications of minor fainting causes.

Treatment Options

If you have underlying health conditions that caused you to faint, then you’ll need medical treatment. Your doctor will be able to create a treatment plan for your condition and help you identify triggers to prevent future issues.

If you suffer from vasovagal syncope, then avoiding triggers like seeing blood will help you reduce your risk of fainting or passing out. If you notice symptoms of syncope starting to occur, find a safe place to play down to avoid getting hurt. Often, this simple act can also prevent passing out altogether. Make sure to rise slowly to reduce blood pressure from pooling.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one have experienced a fainting episode, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

When to Go to the ER for Back Pain

If you live a semi-sedentary lifestyle, then there are good odds that you may experience some sort of back pain during your lifetime. But, sedentary lifestyles aren’t the only cause of back pain. With so many different variations, it can be difficult to determine when a trip to the local store for an ice pack or a trip to the emergency room is more appropriate. So, how do you know when a trip to the ER is necessary, and what caused your pain in the first place?

Causes of Back Pain

The cause of your back pain is typically determined by the location, severity, and duration of your pain. If your pain is acute, happened suddenly, and lasts less than six weeks, then it’s likely due to an overuse injury – such as a herniated disc, muscle strain, or sciatica. While chronic back pain usually lasts more than three months and is the result of degenerative disc disease, spinal conditions, or spinal stenosis.

But, acute and chronic aren’t the only causes of back injuries. Back pain can also be the result of:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Aging
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • Poor posture

5 Back Injuries that Require an Emergency Room Visit

1. Slipped Disc

Discs are located between the individual bones that construct the spine. Each bone is cushioned by them so as not to come into contact with each other. But, when a disc slips and is pushed out of the spine, it can cause severe back pain. Slipped discs — also known as a herniated disc — are usually the result of excessive bending or lifting of heavy objects from the floor. When the disc protrudes, it can irritate nearby nerves, which is what causes the pain in your back.

Symptoms of a herniated disc may include:

  • Pain and numbness associated with one side of the body
  • Pain that extends into your arms or legs
  • Pain that worsens overnight or with specific movements
  • Pain when standing, walking, or sitting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling, aching, or burning sensations

2. Arthritis

When present on the hands or knees, arthritis is uncomfortable but overall manageable. When present in the spine, it can cause severe pain and makes standing up difficult. Sometimes, this can also impact the ribs – making it very difficult for you to breathe. Symptoms typically include pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips – especially after inactivity or a night of sleep.

The most commonly affected areas include:

  • The joint between the base of your spine and pelvis
  • Vertebrae in your lower back
  • Places where tendons and ligaments attach to bones
  • The cartilage between your breastbone and ribs
  • Hip and shoulder joints

3. Sciatica

When you experience a herniated disc, but fail to resolve the issue. The disc can wear over time and push into the longest nerve in your body – the sciatic nerve. This can produce severe pain in your lower back and make it difficult to move. Sciatica can be severe, and in those cases, physical therapy can help relieve the issue.

Symptoms of Sciatica often include:

  • Pain on one side of the body
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in your buttock or leg when sitting
  • Hip pain
  • Burning or tingling down your leg
  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving your leg or foot
  • Shooting pain down your leg that makes it difficult to stand

4. Cauda Equina Syndrome

If you’re experiencing back pain and it includes bowel issues — including uncontrolled urination or the desire to urinate but being unable — then the problem is likely cauda equina syndrome. This happens when the nerve sac in your lower spine is compressed, and the nerves at the end are damaged. Since the result is usually uncomfortable, it’s important to see an emergency care clinic immediately to relieve the issue.

Including bowel issues, cauda equina syndrome signs also include:

  • Severe lower back pain
  • Motor weakness, sensory loss, or pain in one or both legs
  • Saddle anesthesia – the inability to feel in the body areas that sit on a saddle
  • Recent bladder dysfunction
  • Sensory abnormalities in the bladder or rectum
  • Recent onset of sexual dysfunction
  • Loss of reflexes in the extremities

5. Kidney Disease

The correlation between your kidneys and back pain may not be second-nature, but the truth is that your kidneys are one of the organs situated at the back of the abdominal wall. That means that when your kidneys are having issues, they can cause lower back pain. This pain is often called referred pain because it’s pain caused by somewhere else in the body.

Kidney disease symptoms typically include:

  • Severe lower back pain
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Painful urination
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Foamy urination

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one are showing signs of having severe back pain, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

From the tiniest Min Pin to the largest of Great Danes, dogs come in all breeds and sizes. There are quiet and yappy dogs, lazy and active dogs, and passive and aggressive dogs. So, when someone lets the dogs out, and it results in you or a loved one getting bit, what do you do next?

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite

Step 1. Get to safety.

Whether it’s a rogue bite from a pet being played with or an attack from an unknown dog, remove your loved one’s presence from the dog. Use force if necessary, but be mindful not to get bit yourself. Dogs that are acting erratically or foaming at the mouth are likely to have rabies, and medical attention should be sought immediately.

Step 2. Evaluate the wound.

Is the wound a single bite, or is the wound deeper and larger? Is any bone exposed? Has your loved one lost the ability to function their limb or bend their fingers? If the wound is deep and covers a large or sensitive area, you should take your loved one to an emergency room. Other reasons to visit an emergency room post a dog bite include:

  • If you or they can’t remember when they’ve had a tetanus shot
  • If they feel weak, disoriented, or faint
  • If they are running a fever

Step 3. Ask About the Dog’s Vaccination History

If possible, ask the dog’s owner for their vaccination history. Have they had a rabies shot? If so, how long ago? Get the owner’s information – including name and telephone number. If the owner isn’t around, ask any nearby witnesses if they’re familiar with the dog or know where you could find the owner.

Step 4. Clean the wound.

If the wound is a single bite that has penetrated the skin, use soap and warm water to clean the area. Gently press on the area to promote a small amount of bleeding – this helps to flush out germs. Then, use an antibiotic and bandages to address the wound. If the dog hasn’t had their rabies shot, you should also visit an emergency room to prevent further issues.

If the wound is deep, covers a larger or sensitive area, or exposes bone, an emergency room will be able to clean, disinfect, and provide wound care. They’ll also be able to administer a rabies vaccine if you’re unsure of the dog’s vaccination history or know that the dog hasn’t had one.

How to Prevent Infection from a Dog Bite

Since dogs can introduce dangerous bacteria to your loved one’s body, it’s important that the wound is properly cleaned and taken care of. To keep wounds from becoming infected, you should:

  • Use topical antibiotics in and around any broken skin.
  • Change bandages daily
  • Identify signs of infection before they spread
  • Follow your doctor’s treatment plan – including taking antibiotics for the time prescribed

Complications of a Dog Bite

For any dog bite, you should monitor the wound for signs of infection until it’s fully healed. It may be a sign that the area is becoming infected if the wound is:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Warm
  • Tender
  • Produces pus

Infection isn’t the only risk of a dog bite, however. Other complications may include:

  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • Nerve and muscle damage
  • Death

If the wound gets worse, your loved one experiences pain, or they develop a fever, you should visit the emergency care clinic immediately. A doctor will be able to provide antibiotics to treat infection and get your loved one back on the road to recovery.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Most Common Basketball Injuries

Sports — especially basketball — are often full of quick twists and turns. A play can change dramatically, and you find your loved one running back up the court as quickly as they can. Some of these sudden changes in movement also include physical contact, so it’s no wonder that basketball injuries are so common. But, basketball is a fun and exciting way to get exercise, so how can you prevent your loved one from the most common injuries?

The 6 Most Common Basketball Injuries

1. Deep Bruising

Usually occurring on the thigh, deep bruising can occur when physical contact is made with another player. Deep bruising can also occur on the arm, shin, ankle, and other body parts. It results in a dark, discolored area of skin that is tender to touch.

2. Sprains

Ankle sprains frequently occur because they’re caused by sudden turns. Weak ankles can also be at higher risk when landing from a jump or collision. Sprains involve pain and swelling – and depending on the severity of the sprain, it can be difficult to walk.

3. Jammed Fingers

Even passing the ball comes with its own risks. If the ball makes contact with the end of a finger, it can cause the finger to jam – swelling at a single joint. Sometimes the pain occurs quickly, but other times it can occur over the course of the game.

4. Facial Cuts

Whether from someone’s shoe, nails, or another body part, cuts to the face can occur during physical contact while grabbing for the ball or going up for a layup. Depending on the depth and severity of the cut, there can be a significant amount of blood, and the wound should be addressed before play continues.

5. Stress Fractures

Similar to football injuries, stress fractures in basketball can occur when there is a rapid increase in activity level or training. They most commonly occur in the foot and lower leg, due to the nature of the game. Depending on the severity of the stress fracture, your loved one may not be able to put weight on the impacted body part.

6. Knee Injuries

Due to the high-intensity, stop-and-go maneuvers of basketball, the knee — including the ligaments and menisci — is at a high risk of injury. When a knee injury occurs, there is a lot of pain and swelling, and it can be difficult to walk or put weight on the knee. In the most severe cases, your loved one may experience a tear that could prevent them from playing the remainder of the season.

Treating the Most Common Basketball Injuries

1. Treating Deep Bruising

This minor injury is usually resolved with RICE – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Bruising will subside anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks, but your loved one should be able to continue training while recovering. When icing a bruise, remember to limit the time to 10-15 minutes with intermittent breaks.

2. Treating Sprains

Similar to deep bruises, sprains can be resolved with RICE. If the pain persists after a few days, then you may consider getting an x-ray and evaluation to determine the severity of the sprain. Sometimes an ankle sprain can be the result of an injury to the growth plate located around the ankle.

3. Treating Jammed Fingers

If a jam occurs during a game, then icing and taping the jammed finger to the next finger over will usually provide enough pain relief to keep them in the game. But, if pain and swelling persist longer than a week, you should take your loved one to see a physician or athletic trainer. They may x-ray the finger if needed.

4. Treating Facial Cuts

Depending on the depth of the wound, stitches or wound closure tape may be required to close the cut. Icing the wound for 10-15 minutes can reduce swelling and pain as the cut heals. To determine the severity of the injury, you should visit an emergency room – especially if the wound is close to the eye or mouth. The wound should heal anywhere between one to three weeks. Your loved one will be able to return to play after the wound has been addressed.

5. Treating Stress Fractures

Overuse injuries need to be medically diagnosed, so if you think your loved one may be experiencing an overuse stress fracture, then you should take them to the emergency room. A doctor will be able to diagnose the fracture using digital imaging and provide an adequate treatment plan. Stress fractures can take anywhere between a week to three weeks to heal. Your loved one won’t be able to return to play until the fracture is completely healed, and they’re pain-free.

6. Treating Knee Injuries

If your loved one receives a knee injury that prevents them from walking normally, you should take them to the emergency room. While a medial collateral ligament injury can be treated with ice, a brace, and rest, an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is more serious. To get a proper diagnosis, a doctor will use digital imaging to determine the cause of your loved one’s injury and provide a treatment plan to get them back on the court as quickly as possible. Depending on the severity of an ACL tear, surgery may be required as part of the treatment – which would keep your loved one out for the remainder of the season.

Preventing Basketball Injuries

While basketball injuries range from minor to severe, even the mildest sprain can be prevented. Adequately hydrating while training or playing, and maintaining proper fitness during the off-season can help lower risks of overuse during the basketball season. Other preventative measures include:

  • Getting a pre-season physical examination
  • Training gradually to get back into shape
  • Talking to your coach or athletic trainer about incorporating stretches that prevent ACL injuries
  • Refraining from returning to play until fully healed
  • Being mindful and preparing for environmental conditions – including heat

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been injured while playing basketball, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Most Common Football Injuries

It’s football season – and not just for the professionals. Fall is a time for cheering on your loved ones from the stands and getting grass stains out of uniforms. It’s supposed to be an exciting and competitive time – but if your loved one gets hurt, it could mean the end of their season. What are some of the most common football injuries, and how do you treat them?

The 6 Most Common Football Injuries

1. Shin Splints

When your loved one is just beginning to train, they may experience mild to severe shin splints. This is usually a pain in the shins caused by muscle tightness and overtraining too quickly. It can also be caused by not breaking in new shoes or cleats. Symptoms include pain along the inner side of the shins and swelling.

Treatment: To recover, your loved one may need to temporarily stop training to reduce the stress put on their shins. Exercises to stretch the shins and calves can be helpful to reduce tightness. Other exercises like swimming or biking can help stretch the muscles and maintain activity without further harming the muscles impacted by shin splints. Rest paired with ice can help reduce this injury over the course of a few days.

2. Sprains

From an ankle to a wrist, sprains can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms include tenderness, a limited range of motion, and a popping sensation in the injured body part. If your loved one has experienced a mild sprain, they’re likely still able to play and train with some minor discomfort, but playing with a severe sprain can further injure the ankle or wrist. This can slow recovery time and may lead to your loved one being unable to play.

Treatment: Regardless of the severity, you can treat sprains with ice, compression, rest, and elevation. Icing an ankle should be done intermittently for 10-15 minutes at a time. By resting and reducing any swelling associated with the sprain, your loved one can fully recover within a few days to a couple of weeks – depending on the severity of their sprain.

3. Strains

Strain injuries are a little more serious than sprains and are usually associated with pain that is severe and radiates. They occur when a person’s muscle fibers tear due to using improper form when exercising, or by overuse and lack of appropriate rest. Symptoms include muscle spasms, weakness, stiffness, and swelling. Whether your loved one is experiencing a hamstring, rotator cuff, or other strain, they may be unable to train or play until their wound has been treated.

Treatment: If your loved one has experienced a strain, they should visit an emergency or urgent care clinic to help determine the severity of their injury and get a treatment plan. Some strains include tears that may require surgery to repair. Your doctor will be able to provide you with an adequate treatment plan that includes rest and exercises to help strengthen their impacted muscle. Depending on the location and severity of your loved one’s strain, it can take anywhere from two days to 10 weeks for their full recovery.

4. Knee Ligament Injuries

Injuries to your loved one’s knee, including a dislocated kneecap or ACL tear, can be detrimental to their season. Knee ligament injuries are typically extremely painful and prevent your loved one from bending their knee properly. Walking will likely be difficult and painful for the first few days, and treatment should be acquired as soon as possible. The most common types of knee ligament injuries include an ACL tear or an MCL tear. An ACL injury often is accompanied by a popping sound at the time of injury, an inability to fully extend the leg, tenderness, swelling, and feeling like the knee is giving out. By the same token, an MCL tear includes the same symptoms – however, your loved one would also be unable to carry their body weight on the injured knee.

Treatment: By visiting an emergency room or an urgent care clinic, you can evaluate the severity of your loved one’s knee ligament injury. A doctor will be able to determine the best treatment plan and whether or not surgery is a requirement to repair the knee. Depending on the severity of the tear, your loved one may be unable to play for anywhere between a couple of weeks to three months.

5. Metatarsal & Other Stress Fractures

Metatarsal bones are long and slender bones located in the middle of your foot and toes. Tackles, overuse, and excessive rotation can cause small stress fractures to occur. Stress fractures — whether metatarsal or otherwise — can cause pain during activity and are accompanied by swelling and possible bruising.

Treatment: If your loved one has swelling and bruising that doesn’t subside after a few days, you should visit an emergency room or an urgent care clinic to get x-rays and determine if a stress fracture is the cause of their pain. A doctor will be able to properly diagnose the condition and prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to help relieve the discomfort and swelling. Depending on the location and severity of the stress fracture, recovery can take anywhere from one to six weeks.

6. Concussions

Concussions occur when trauma causes the brain to jolt back and forth too fast. One of the most commonly occurring football injuries, they can have long-term effects on your loved one. If your loved one plays a defensive position, they have a 17.8% chance of receiving a concussion each play. Anytime your loved one receives a head injury — regardless of impact — you should take them to an emergency room or an urgent care clinic to ensure there is no internal bleeding. Signs of a concussion include headaches, blurred vision, slurred speech, sensitivity to light or noise, confusion, nausea, and/or memory loss.

Treatment: Depending on the severity of their head wound, your doctor may suggest shorter school days and suggest taking breaks throughout the day. Pain relievers can help mitigate discomfort, but rest is the best medicine for injuries of this caliber. Once signs and symptoms have resolved, your loved one can return to training and playing – but you should consider getting approval from a neurologist or other physician to minimize long-term complications.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been injured playing football, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.

Trampoline Injuries: Statistics, Common Injuries, Prevention, & More

For a child, jumping on a trampoline is exciting and fun – the feeling of leaping through the air, learning tricks, and trying to bounce higher than all your friends is enough to entice anyone. As a parent, you want your child to have a good time, but you also want them to be safe. A Consumer Product Safety Review found that 18,000 people were sent to the emergency room from trampoline parks alone in 2017. That’s not even considering the number of injuries that occur on at-home trampolines. What injuries can occur on trampolines, and how can you prevent them?

Types of Trampolines

There are a variety of different trampolines and shapes. Round trampolines are the most common, and some brands include a netting to help prevent people from falling off while jumping. There are also rectangular trampolines that are mostly used for gymnastic purposes and commonly used in trampoline parks.

Often, gyms will provide mini trampolines that you can use to exercise. These mini trampolines can also be found in homes for the same purpose. While falling from a mini trampoline doesn’t seem as likely, there are still risks associated with them.

In an attempt to reduce the risks of trampolines, there are also trends for in-ground — or sunken — trampolines. These are trampolines that have been placed within the ground, and the tops are flush with the rest of the yard. While these types of trampolines reduce the falling hazard, maintaining them brings other safety concerns. Improper draining can cause the base of the trampoline to rust and break during use.

Trampoline Safety Statistics

Why all the hubbub about trampolines though? Sure, trampoline parks seem dangerous, but if your child is jumping on a trampoline by themselves, surely they’re safe from harm? The answer to this question isn’t so black and white. Yes, jumping on a trampoline is safer when it’s one person at a time, but that doesn’t eliminate all the risks. Let’s look at the facts:

  • 93% of fractures in children 16 or younger are caused by trampolines
  • About 15% of injuries on trampolines happen to children younger than six
  • One in 200 injuries result in permanent neurological damage
  • 40% of injuries are caused by falling from the trampoline
  • About 75% of trampoline injuries happen when more than one person is jumping at a time

Types of Trampoline Injuries

Trampoline injuries can range from small scrapes and bruises to greater risks, such as permanent brain damage and death. Injuries can occur when people bounce, land, or run into each other, fall off the side, step or fall on the springs around the edges, attempt tricks like back/front flips, and a variety of other circumstances. Trampoline injuries may include:

How to Prevent Trampoline Injuries

Trampolines are a great way to get your children to exercise, but how do you lower their risk of harm? While the easiest answer is: don’t buy one, the reality is that your child will likely come into contact with a trampoline whether you own one or not. Talking with your child about trampoline safety is the best way to help them learn to recognize the risks and minimize harm. But, children will be children, so if you own a trampoline, you should:

1. Create rules for jumping.

Make sure only one child is jumping on the trampoline at a time. Children under six shouldn’t use a trampoline – remove the trampoline ladder to prevent young children from entering the trampoline while someone else is bouncing. Tricks like somersaults and flips shouldn’t be performed without spotters and protective equipment like a harness. Provide careful supervision to ensure your children are following the safety instructions.

2. Maintain your trampoline.

Before anyone jumps on the trampoline, make sure you routinely check the trampoline’s supporting bars, springs, and other landing surfaces. Padding around the edges should be in good condition and positioned correctly. There should be no tears, rips, or deterioration in the netting or mat. The metal base should be regularly cleaned to prevent rust and create a sturdier base. Order replacement parts as needed.

3. Buy safety accessories.

Make sure that your trampoline has a protective netting around the edges. While this netting won’t prevent every fall — as typically is the case with older children and adults — the net will provide a boundary for safe play. Consider installing an in-ground trampoline to prevent falling risks. Make sure your trampoline is installed on an even surface. Harnesses and other equipment can minimize the risks associated with tricks and gymnastics on the trampoline.

Emergency Services in Colorado Springs and Texas

If you or a loved one has been injured on a trampoline, we can provide the care you need. If you have questions or need immediate treatment, your nearest Complete Care location is ready to help, no matter the time of day or night. We offer a variety of services to help you and your family in your time of need. No appointments are necessary.

Find the Complete Care location nearest you.