Category Archives: General Health

The Differences Between a Sprained and Broken Foot

How to Tell If You Have a Broken or Sprained Foot

It can happen while doing something as simple as walking, taking a misstep or exercising. Before you know it, you have a broken or sprained foot. These are two different injuries that require different treatments, so being able to tell one from the other is important to help you heal.

Our medical experts can easily determine your condition and discuss options with you. If you think you’ve injured your foot in any way, head to the affordable clinics that make up the UrgentMED network. Keep reading to learn how to tell if you have a broken or sprained foot.

Is Your Hurt Foot Sprained or BrokenSimilar Symptoms

Differentiating between the symptoms of a broken foot and sprained foot can be tricky because they are very similar. If you’ve broken your foot, you will experience immediate pain and swelling, along with bruising. The pain will usually be so intense that walking will not be physically possible.

Similarly, foot sprains can also cause severe pain, swelling and bruising. In some cases, you are also unable to walk from a sprained foot depending on how bad the injury is.

Do you happen to remember the sound you heard when the accident occurred? If you sprained your foot, you may have heard a popping sound. With a broken foot, however, you would have heard a cracking sound.

Treatments are Different

If the doctor determines your foot is sprained, then the treatment will be to rest, ice the injured area, compress the swelling and elevate the injured area. He or she may also suggest you take anti-inflammatory medications. The treatment for a broken foot is based on its severity and the location of the fracture. Along with rest and medications, you may need a cast, brace or boot for your broken foot. In a worst-case scenario, you will need surgery in order to repair any damages to your foot.

How to Tell If Your Foot is Sprained or BrokenSeeking Help for a Broken or Sprained Foot

If you suspect you have broken or sprained your foot, visit an UrgentMED Network clinic immediately. The medical professionals at UrgentMED Network – the largest urgent care network in Southern California – are ready to help you seven days a week. They will be able to quickly examine your broken or sprained foot on a walk-in basis at any of our 15 convenient Southern California locations.

If needed, the UrgentMED Network provides on-site physical therapy at our West Los Angeles Urgent Care. We accept over 15 private insurance plans as well as Medicaid. Do not hesitate to seek medical help if you find yourself injured or sick. Find the UrgentMED Network clinic nearest to you to address all of your health concerns today.

What Do My Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

What Do My Blood Pressure Numbers Mean and How Can I Lower Them?

When you go for a check-up, or any medical appointment, a nurse or other medical professional typically takes your blood pressure. The results are a fraction, with the number typically being 120/80 or less. Do you know what those numbers mean and what they reveal about your health? Many people often wonder “what do my blood pressure numbers mean and how can I lower them?” Here’s a brief explanation about what blood pressure readings are and why it’s important to keep yours in a healthy range.

What Is Blood Pressure?

When your heart beats, it contracts and pushes blood through your arteries, which makes your blood pressure go up. Blood pressure is measured in two numbers, which reveal how hard your blood is pushing against the walls of your arteries as it travels through your body. Too much pressure is not good for your body.

What Do My Blood Pressure Numbers Mean and How Can I Lower ThemWhat Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean?

The top number is the amount of pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats, also known as the systolic pressure. Ideally, it should remain below 120.

The bottom number is your diastolic pressure, or the amount of pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats. This number should stay under 80. Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart’s health.

A normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. If your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, it is considered high blood pressure.  If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90, you have what is known as “prehypertension,” which means that if you do not take important steps, your elevated blood pressure can turn into high blood pressure.

Your blood pressure regularly rises and falls throughout the day and varies during different activities. Having high blood pressure makes your heart work harder than it should. Although you likely cannot feel it, elevated blood pressure can damage your arteries, increasing your chances for developing diseases in many organs.

High blood pressure can have many dangerous consequences. That’s the main reason why high blood pressure is known as ‘the silent killer.’ High blood pressure is also called hypertension.

Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure. Many are unaware that they have it. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure it is to have your blood pressure checked routinely.  

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

Typically, high blood pressure causes no symptoms. People with high blood pressure can have damage to their heart, kidneys, eyes, and circulation with no warning signs. That’s why every routine examination at UrgentMED includes blood pressure testing.

In some instances, people with high blood pressure may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath

Reducing the Risk of High Blood Pressure

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Numbers

The consequences of high blood pressure depend on how long you’ve had it, its severity, as well as your underlying medical condition. You don’t have to overhaul your entire life to improve your blood pressure. Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of hypertension by changing your lifestyle and making healthier choices, including these six tips:

  • If you are overweight, lose weight
  • Eat foods low in cholesterol, salt, saturated fat and trans fat
  • Limit alcohol consumption

Treating High Blood Pressure

If these lifestyle changes do not substantially lower your blood pressure, a physician with the UrgentMED network of clinics may prescribe medicine. Some of the types of medicines that can help are ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and diuretics.  

If you test your blood pressure at home and the results are abnormally high and you have no other symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, or a severe headache, visit a walk-in clinic that is part of the UrgentMED Network. We have 15 locations in the Southern California area to help you start feeling better today.

Can Urgent Care Help with Back Pain? Yes! Visit an UrgentMED Network clinic today

How Can Urgent Care Help with Back Pain?

Get Help for your Back Pain

If you’re experiencing back pain, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most commonly experienced medical problems in the United States – and not just with athletes. Everyday tasks such as gardening and housework are common culprits of spinal injuries, along with improper posture or age. Back pain can take many forms, sometimes appearing as a sharp and sudden pain while on other occasions be a constant dull aching.

You’re injured, now what?

Determining whether your back pain requires medical attention will depend on the severity of your injury. Since back injuries can occur at any moment, your primary physician may not be available to provide aid when it strikes.

Urgent care facilities can help you with your back pain, those like the clinics that are part of the UrgentMED Network can perform x-rays of the c-spine, l-spine, and t-spine in order to diagnose how severe your back pain is. If your back pain requires further medical attention, each of our clinics is closely connected with top rated specialists in the Southern California area. Additionally, we have two physical therapy centers attached to our West Los Angeles Urgent Care and West should your injury require rehabilitation.

Urgent Care Clinics with Back Pain

Types of Back Pain

Many instances will heal on their own with the use of heating pads, painkillers, and rest. Only the severe types of back pain will require back surgery, so emergency rooms are rarely needed for this type of injury. In most instances, a physician or an urgent care facility would be the appropriate place to have your injury examined.

Back Sprain/Back Strain

Health professionals say that back sprains and back strains are one of the most common healthcare issues they encounter – second only to headaches. Back sprains are instances where a ligament is stretched or torn, while back strains involve the tendons that support the spine being either pulled, twisted or torn.

Acute Pain

Acute back pain is the most common type of back injury. This is the type of sharp, sudden pain that occurs due to activity (lifting something the wrong way, falling, a sudden movement). Acute pain typically doesn’t last longer than six weeks.

Chronic Pain

Back pain is categorized as chronic when the pain persists for longer than three months. This type of pain is much less frequent.

Urgent Care can help with your back pain

When do I need to see a doctor about back pain?

Most often, back injuries will heal on their own with the aid of rest, pain relievers, and hot/cold compresses. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s very likely that your back pain is not an isolated issue and will require further medical evaluation:

  • Fever
  • Persistent pain
  • Trouble urinating
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Numbness/Tingling (particularly in the legs)

If you are experiencing acute pain, back pain directly related to an accident or fall, we highly recommend that you visit a physician to ensure that more serious damage was not incurred by the incident.

When dealing with back pain, turn to the urgent care clinics of the UrgentMED Network for fast relief. These walk-in friendly facilities have licensed physicians on hand seven days a week to provide medical assistance when you need it. Urgent care can help with back pain wherever you are as we have 14 convenient locations in the Southern California area. Visit one of our urgent care locations nearest you and get relief today!

Top Medical Tests All Women Should Have

Top 5 Medical Tests All Women Should Take

The Most Important Medical Tests All Women Should Take

September is Gynecological Awareness Month, which means we’ll be highlighting female-oriented health concerns. Certain procedures like Pap smears and mammography are common knowledge, being frequently and openly talked about in the media. However, there are a number of other examinations that women need to undergo to stay in optimal health. Here are the top medical tests all women should take.

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

If you have heard of a DRE before, it was most likely in reference of one of the primary examinations for men – a prostate exam. However, digital rectal examinations for women are just as important, serving as a means of detection for rectal, uterine, or ovarian cancer, as well as being used to identify problems with a woman’s reproductive organs and check for hemorrhoids. This is part of a gynecological examination and should be undergone annually starting at the age of 40.

Computed Tomography Scan

Although lung cancer is not exclusive to males or females, it has been scientifically proven to be more prevalent in women. In fact, lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and tied to the highest cancer mortality rates (26% of all cancer-related deaths), even higher than breast cancer.

Both female smokers and non-smokers are at higher risks of developing lung cancer than their male counterparts, and non-smoking females account for nearly 75% of all lung cancer cases. Scientists link this to genetic and hormonal differences fueled by estrogen. As such, it is recommended that women between the ages of 55 and 74 undergo a CT scan regardless of whether they are a smoker.

Diabetes Screening

The diabetes epidemic affects approximately 15 million women in the United States alone. While this disease is not more likely to occur in one gender or another, diabetes affects women differently than it does men. Diabetes can lead to a number of debilitating health problems as well as complications during pregnancy.

Compared to men, women have lower diabetes survival rates accompanied by a higher risk for heart disease (stroke or heart attack), blindness, and depression. Even more alarming is the latest scientific research that has shown an increasing correlation between type 2 diabetes and cancer.

The general recommendation is that women between 40 and 70 years old are tested for diabetes, but you are advised to do so earlier and more frequently if you are overweight or have a history of diabetes in your family.

 

5 Tests All Women Should Take - Not Just Gynecological

Pap Test

A Pap test (or Pap smear) is a gynecological screening procedure used to detect cancerous cells in the cervix. It is recommended that women receive Pap smears every three years once they turn 21, regardless of sexual activity.

Mammogram

One in eight women is expected to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. This likelihood increases tremendously based on a number of factors: age (40 or older), race (African-American women are at the highest risk), or family history (the risk of breast cancer doubles if an immediate relative is diagnosed with breast cancer).

Mammograms are recommended by the American Cancer Society as one of the best methods for early detection of breast cancer. Women aged 40 or older should have a mammogram screening every year and can change to every other year once they are 55 or older.

Female Health Services

The clinics that are part of the UrgentMED Network are happy to provide fast, friendly, and convenient gynecological services as well as all other means of female well-being. Visit one of our 14 Southern Califonia locations to schedule a gyno appointment today.

Top Medical Tests All Women Should Take During their Lifetime

How to File for Workers Compensation in California

The Most Common Reasons to Visit an Urgent Care Clinic

The Best (and Most Common) Reasons to Visit an Urgent Care Clinic

According to U.S News, the number one reason why patients go to urgent care is to diagnose respiratory infections (colds, bronchitis and sinus infections). Urgent care clinics have risen in popularity since their humble beginning in the 1970s, accounting for nearly 20% of all primary care visits in the United States.

That number may seem astonishing, but industry reports show that these walk-in friendly clinics show no sign of slowing down. In 2015 there were just under 7000 urgent care centers in the U.S – now there are nearly 7,600 of them. But why exactly are urgent care centers so popular and why are so many springing up? Read on to discover the five most common reasons to visit an urgent care clinic.

Reason 1: Walk-Ins are Always Welcome

The busy lifestyle of modern day society is a nonstop rush from point A to point B. A lifestyle that rarely affords the luxury of setting (and waiting for) an appointment. Fortunately, there is finally a healthcare alternative that can keep up with this “go-go-go” mentality. This alternative comes in the form of urgent care clinics – like the ones that are part of the UrgentMED Network – that don’t require appointments to see a doctor.

In addition to the convenience of bypassing any scheduling headaches, urgent care clinics typically have short wait times that are under an hour. In fact, the majority of UrgentMED Network patients have a turnaround time of 30 minutes. Urgent care centers make it possible to go to the doctor on your lunch break.

Reason 2: Urgent Care Clinics have Extended Hours

Taking time off work for a doctor’s appointment is disruptive and, thankfully, has become less necessary. Urgent care clinics typically operate during times when doctor’s offices are closed (evenings, weekends, and holidays). Those that are part of the UrgentMED Network are open seven days a week and late into the evenings.

These conveniently extended hours make urgent care clinics the ideal facilities to handle time-sensitive health conditions. Visit an urgent care center for treatment of a burn, rash, or sudden fever, to renew prescriptions or diagnose conditions as quickly as the symptoms occur.

Reason 3: Visiting the Emergency Room is Too Expensive

According to the British Medical Journal, 40% of visits to the emergency room don’t actually require emergency care. That means that a significant number of ER patients are unnecessarily spending around $1200 to $2100 (the average range of costs for an ER visit, which is nearly 24 times as expensive as the average urgent care clinic visit). Going to urgent care is preferred over the ER when it is not a life-threatening medical emergency.

Reason 4: On-Demand Medical Services

Urgent care clinics also boast licensed physicians that can perform more than just routine examinations. While urgent care clinics were originally simple facilities that dealt with colds, flu, and the like, they have since adapted and evolved to fulfill many more advanced medical needs.

The clinics of the UrgentMED Network offer a wide variety of services. They are equipped to provide x-rays, minor surgery, and other procedures. Additionally, the clinics within the UrgentMED Network feature in-house medical laboratories for on-site testing and faster results, as well as in-house medications which can provide prescriptions under the same roof where they are prescribed.

Reason 5: Urgent Care Clinics Accept Most Insurances

One would imagine that such convenient medical care would come at a steep cost, but urgent care clinics have continually proven themselves to be an affordable way to see a doctor on short notice. This is largely due to urgent care clinics accepting a wide arrange of insurance providers. The clinics in the UrgentMED Network accept over 20 national and California-based insurance providers.

When to Visit Urgent Care

Urgent care clinics have evolved from their simple beginnings to fill a much-needed gap between primary physician availability and the costly emergency room. Convenience, affordability, and efficiency make up the core reasons to visit an urgent care clinic, but the number one reason to go to urgent care is to stay in control of your health and well-being. If you are feeling sick and need a doctor at a moment’s notice in the Southern California area, visit any of the UrgentMED Network’s 14 locations to find the closest urgent care center to you and start feeling better today.

Can urgent care be primary care? When to go to your PCP

Can Urgent Care be Primary Care?

Urgent Care vs. Your Primary Physician

Determining whether urgent care can serve as primary care is a common inquiry in the healthcare field. Urgent care facilities and primary care facilities each have their own set of benefits and advantages – but can one truly replace the other? Both of these medical service providers serve complementary but distinct roles when it comes to maintaining your overall health.

The determining factors of when to go to urgent care versus your doctor are based on your distinct and immediate health care needs and concerns. We shall explore the unique attributes of both urgent care clinics and primary care centers and answer the frequently asked question “can urgent care be primary care?”.

Can Urgent Care Be Primary Care? When to go to your doctor instead

The Benefits of Primary Care

Your primary care physician or, PCP for short, plays an important and longstanding role in your health. PCP’s typically have a longstanding relationship with their patients. They are well versed in their patient’s medical history and as such, are quite familiar with the patient’s past ailments and treatments and more intuned to their specific medical needs.

Primary care physicians have broad medical knowledge enabling them to have a holistic view of the patient’s medical well-being. These doctors perform routine check-ups and other forms of preventative medicine in addition to treating chronic illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure. If you are looking to seek treatment for a chronic condition or illness, it is recommended that you visit your primary care physician rather than an urgent care facility.

The Benefits of Urgent Care

Urgent care is a great option when there is a time-sensitive medical issue that occurs outside of a primary care physician’s operating hours and cannot wait days for an appointment. These facilities can provide many of the same services as any primary clinic such as writing prescriptions, diagnosing illness, or administering diagnostic tests.  These walk-in friendly facilities can give urgent, non-life-threatening medical attention without the expensive cost of the ER or the long wait times. Some common reasons where patients would sooner go to urgent care rather than their primary doctors are:

  • Renewing prescriptions
  • X-rays
  • Strep throat tests
  • STD testing
  • Vaccinations
  • Stitches

Urgent care facilities typically have the same staff as primary care; licensed general practitioners, nurses, and supporting team.  However, the main aspect where urgent care differs (and excels) is its flexibility and ability to attend to patients much more quickly than at a doctor’s office. Patients can stop by an urgent care clinic at a moment’s notice – appointments are never necessary. Urgent care clinics purposefully have extended hours of operation and – some urgent care clinics are even open 24/7 – making them both highly accessible and ultra-convenient.

Can Urgent Care Be Primary Care? When to Visit an Urgent Care Clinic

Is Urgent Care More Expensive than Primary Care?

While time is usually the most significant factor in determining whether to go to urgent care or primary care, for others, the cost can be an intimidating circumstance that makes one shy away from one of the other. Primary care physicians have a reputation for being more affordable due to their ties with insurance providers and healthcare network. However, many urgent care facilities accept insurance and offer competitive rates for those without coverage.

All in all, no, urgent care clinics cannot replace your primary care providers. Urgent care facilities such as the ones of the UrgentMED Network are intended to supplement your medical treatment and provide a convenient option for when your primary care physician isn’t available. The urgent care clinics within the UrgentMED Network accept over 15 private insurance providers as well as Medicaid. Check out the full list of accepted insurance here. With convenient hours and 14 Southern California locations, find the nearest UrgentMED clinic near you and fast track your way to feeling healthy.