Category Archives: Bone Health

annual physical

Where Can I Get a Physical Exam Near Me? (Hint: Your Local Urgent Care!)

Whether you are going to the doctor to address an illness or injury, or you’re there for an annual checkup, a physical exam is a critical part of your visit. Doctors can learn a lot about your general health by way of physically examining your body from head to toe. That’s why physical exams are so important to your overall preventive care plan along with a healthy diet and exercise.

What many patients don’t know is that you don’t necessarily need to have primary care established to get your physical exam completed. You can actually get a physical exam at your local UrgentMED location! Read on to learn more about this type of exam.

What is a Physical?

Since we receive numerous calls from patients regarding physicals and what they entail, our knowledgeable team at UrgentMED has put together a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about physical exams.

A physical examination, or as it is often called, a physical is where a physician looks at you, both with the naked eye and through specialized tools, to determine different aspects of your health. This exam can be general or specific to a particular issue. Generally speaking, your primary care physician conducts a physical at least once every year, but it may be more frequent if you are suffering from any health issues.

You will be asked to provide your medical history during the exam. Health questions about you and the immediate members of your family (parents, siblings, children, and grandparents) may also be asked to form a complete diagnostic picture. So make sure you have all this information with you before you go in for your appointment.

You’ll also need to provide information about any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medications you have been taking, and any medical procedures you’ve had in the past.

A physical lasts about 30 minutes and covers your full body including your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. To give you an idea of what an annual physical or a general wellness checkup looks like, here’s what our UrgentMED physicians do:

  • Check your vital signs – heart rate, blood oxygenation, temperature, breathing rate, and blood pressure
  • Check your general skin health – the condition of your hair and nails, how you walk, your standing posture, presence of any skin issues like acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc., and more
  • Check your neck and head, including the throat, nose, ears, eyes, mouth, arteries, lymph nodes, and thyroid
  • Check your arms and legs for any physical abnormalities
  • Check your neurological health – your reflexes, balance, mental alertness, muscle strength, and nerves
  • Check your abdomen for signs of illness (this may involve touching and pressing on your abdomen)
  • Listen to your heart for irregular heartbeat, heart murmur, and other conditions
  • Listen to your lungs for any wheezes, crackles, and other abnormal breathing sounds that might indicate issues like asthma, emphysema, or pneumonia
  • The exam also includes other parts which vary by gender. For example, the pelvis and breasts are often checked in case of women, and the prostate and testicles for men.

Do I Need a Physical Every Year?

It depends. If you are healthy and in good shape, there is no standard recommendation for how often you should get tested. We recommend asking your primary care physician how often they want to see you.

However, if you are at high risk of certain diseases or you are in your 50s or 60s, you should get an annual physical exam even if you’re feeling well. Having risk factors (like pre-diabetes or borderline high blood pressure) means you have to be vigilant about your health. The same goes for older adults as they are more likely to fall ill.

Also, if you have a chronic condition, like diabetes or arthritis, you should get a physical every few months even if you have it under control. If you are on a prescription medication regimen, that also warrants more frequent checkups. Keep in mind that these visits are not only about looking for a condition you’re not aware of – their purpose is to evaluate your current state of health in light of an illness or risk factors you already have.

Are There Different Types of Physicals?

Broadly speaking, there are three main types of annual physical examinations: general wellness exam, sports physical, and work physical. While they all follow the same format, they are designed to check your readiness for different things.

General Wellness Exam

You should get a general physical once a year or whenever you transition to a new doctor. You will be asked about your overall family medical history, and if there’s any particular illness that runs in your family. A blood and urine test will also be conducted to ensure your body is functioning as it should.

This exam is recommended when your doctor wants to diagnose a problem in its early stage. For example, you may be experiencing certain issues but you don’t know the cause. That’s why a wellness exam is considered a crucial part of preventive care.

Sports Physical Exam

doctor performing sports phsyical

A sports physical, also known as pre-participation physical examination (PPE), is an exam that measures your fitness for the sport you are currently playing. In other words, it’s conducted to determine whether or not you are physically able to participate in a sport safely.

While the precise test varies depending on the sport, usually the doctor will check for three things: your general fitness level, your emotional health, and any issue that may lead to an injury. Most states require students to take a sports physical exam before they can play school sports, which is why the test is also referred to as school physicals or camp physicals.

Employment Physical

As the name suggests, this exam checks your fitness for a particular job. If you are applying for a job that needs you to perform frequent lifting or heavy labor, your employer is likely to ask you to complete a physical to test your physical ability and stamina. It will help them ensure that you have the physical ability to endure the demands of the job.

A work physical also includes an alcohol and drugs test, usually in the form of a urine sample or breathalyzer. As mentioned earlier, these three are the main types of physical exams, however, there are a few more that don’t necessarily fall into the preventive care category, such as:

Pre-Operative Physicals and More

When a patient is scheduled to undergo surgery, their surgeon may request a pre-op physical to ensure they are healthy enough to safely undergo anesthesia and the subsequent procedure. This evaluation can include a physical exam, lung function exam, cardiac assessment, and necessary lab tests.

Well-Woman Annual Gynecological Exam

Women should start getting one annual physical when they turn 18 or 21, or when they become sexually active. But if you are experiencing symptoms like pelvic pain, vaginal pain, unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding, lumps, sores, tenderness, swelling, or other abnormal changes in the breast, you should schedule an exam right away. The physical will include a breast exam, pap smear, urine sample, and an internal and external pelvic exam.

Other Types of Physical Exam

At UrgentMED, we offer all of the physicals mentioned above, and since we accept walk-ins, you can get it done as soon as you come in. Some of the most common physicals we perform at our urgent care center are:

  • Annual physicals for men and women
  • Pre-employment checkups
  • Pre-op checkups
  • Sports physicals for adults joining a new team
  • School physicals and camp physicals for children attending a new school or joining a new team
  • Women’s wellness physicals
  • Drug testing
  • Strep, mono, and flu testing
  • STD testing
  • COVID-19 testing
  • And other kinds of physicals

How Much Does a Physical Cost at Urgent Care Clinics?

Prices vary by center depending on what type of physical you are getting. Your exact out-of-pocket cost will depend on factors like whether you have insurance, type of insurance, additional tests required, your immunizations, etc. In Los Angeles, CA, annual physicals are covered by most health insurers, so people who have insurance can most likely get it free of charge.

If you have insurance but it doesn’t cover a free annual physical exam, you may be responsible for a copay. Check with your insurance provider for more details.

But what if you don’t have insurance at all? Urgent care centers like UrgentMED provide several low-cost options for uninsured patients, which include comprehensive physicals, PAP smears, and blood work. We accept almost all insurance providers and have affordable rates for those who don’t have insurance but still need medical attention.

Can You Get a Physical at a Walk-In Clinic?

Yes, you can. People think that because it’s an “urgent care” clinic, it only offers medical emergency care but that’s not true at all. You can visit your local urgent care center for any number of preventive care such as physical examinations.

Some urgent care clinics accept both appointments and walk-in patients, while others accept walk-ins only, so you don’t need an appointment. Make sure to call before you go in to ensure an appointment is not necessary to be seen by a healthcare provider.

Here at UrgentMED, we are open 7 days a week and you can walk in whenever you want, no appointments necessary. We perform affordable physicals for adults and children when preparing for sports, camps, school, and work.

What is the Importance Of Routine Physical Exams?

factors that go into physical exam importanceAs our doctors like to say, physicals are like airport security – irritating but necessary. Doctors can learn a lot about your overall health by looking at your body and examining it for signs of disease that are not always obvious to you. For example, they may find a suspicious-looking mole on your back where you might have missed it.

Many serious diseases first manifest as little signs before the patient even feels any different. For example, if someone has heart disease, they can be symptomless for years. But their constantly elevated blood pressure numbers can notify the doctor that their arteries might be hardening.

These exams are a great way to catch health concerns early before they become more serious and expensive to treat. By going in for a physical every year, you allow the doctors to keep an eye on your health over time and identify any changes that may be alarming.

You can get a physical today at any of our many urgent care clinic locations in southern California.

How Often Should I Get a Physical?

Children should have a physical every year until they start school. This ensures that they are up to date with their vaccinations. After that, we recommend a physical every 2 years just to keep track of their health.

For adults, a physical is recommended every year, depending on your current health, risk factors, and underlying medical conditions. Our UrgentMED physicians will be happy to give you a recommendation on when your next physical should be.

It should be noted that a physical is different from a wellness visit. If you have been going for annual wellness visits and think they are enough, they are not. Physicals are much more extensive than wellness checks as they involve bloodwork, vision acuity, and many other tests. An annual wellness visit only includes checking your blood pressure, weight, and height.

Wellness checks are all well and good (no pun intended), but you must get a physical to determine what’s really happening in your body. And since a lot can happen in a year, yearly physicals are the way to go.

Where to Get Physical Exam Near Me?

You can pay us a visit at any of our many locations spread across California for a physical. You don’t need to make an appointment, just bring us your paperwork and our medical staff will perform the physical you need. Our goal here is to give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your child are in good physical condition.

All of our urgent care clinics are open from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday and from 9am to 5pm on weekends. We serve patients from Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas, Culver City, Eagle Rock, Fairfax, Glendale, Hollywood, North Hollywood, Downtown LA, Huntington Park, Lake Forest, Lawndale, Long Beach, Mar Vista, Moorpark, Pasadena City, Rancho Palos Verdes, Santa Monica, Torrance, Tustin City, Burbank, Encino, Long Beach, Pico Rivera, West Hills, Whittier, and more.

If you have any questions about our physicals, leave a message here or call us today.

Broken Bone

Broken Bone? Take These 5 Steps Immediately

Suffering from a broken bone can be extremely painful and you may be unsure of what to do in the case of an unexpected injury. Your first instinct may be to search for an X-ray near me. Although you will need to get an X-ray at some point, there are a few steps you will need to take beforehand.

Broken Bone

Get Medical Help

No matter how severe your injury is, you will need medical attention. If there is a major trauma such as a car accident or a fall from a building, you should call 911 immediately. In other situations, you may be able to go to an urgent care center that offers treatment by searching for x-ray near me online. Do not try to treat a broken bone on your own as this can lead to disfigurement or improper healing of the bone. Seek medical help first and foremost. 

Stop the Bleeding

There will more than likely be some bleeding when your bone breaks and it is important to try and stop it. If possible, apply a bandage and use gauze while awaiting medical help. You can risk infection by leaving an open wound uncovered and untreated. At the hospital or urgent care, they will irrigate the wound and prescribe antibiotics to help avoid infection. 

Immobilize the Bone

An important step when dealing with a broken bone is to make sure to immobilize the area. Moving the injured part of the body can cause the injury to worsen. A splint is preferable for support, however, may not be an option depending on where you are at the time of the injury. You can try and use what you have, even if that means using your own two hands. You must immobilize the body part, search for x-ray near me to properly assess the break and get a reliable splint. 

Ice and Elevation 

Broken bones can be agonizing and cause immediate swelling. You should ice the broken bone and remember to use a towel or other form of protection between the bone and the ice. Using a protective (and clean) cloth or towel will protect your skin while still preventing excessive amounts of swelling. You will also need to keep the broken bone elevated to prevent further swelling. Elevation and ice may be a routine in your treatment plan, which should be discussed with your doctor. 

Follow Up With Specialists

It is important to update your primary care physician and diligently follow all care instructions. You may need to get several x-rays throughout the healing process to ensure you are healing correctly and avoid permanent damage so you can get back to living your life. A commonly made mistake is skipping steps of their care instructions or stopping altogether the moment you feel better. Just because you feel better does not mean that you can stop or become careless with your treatment.

Broken Bone

Contact UrgentMed at a Location Throughout Los Angeles

You may need to have surgery after a broken bone or in less severe cases only wear a splint and use crutches for some time. The severity of your injury can only be diagnosed by getting medical treatment and finding an x-ray near me. If you think you may need to treat a broken bone or need an x-ray contact UrgentMed today to find the location nearest you. 

sprains vs broken bones

Sprains vs Broken Bones: What’s the Difference?

Accidents happen; a stumble on a rug, a fall on the sidewalk, or an injury on the soccer field. But how do you know when it’s serious? Broken bones and sprains often have similar symptoms, making it difficult to tell how serious your injury really is and what kind of treatment you need. Treatment options vary greatly between bone fractures and sprains, so it’s important to have some guidelines on how to know if a bone is broken or sprained. Sprains vs Broken Bones, let’s learn the difference:

Bone Fractures vs Sprains

A fracture is a broken bone while a sprain is a stretched or torn ligament (tissue connecting two bones). 


Sprains are generally the result of a fall, twist, or blow to a joint, which then overextends or ruptures the supporting ligaments.  

  • A mild sprain happens when the ligament is stretched but the joint remains stable. 
  • A moderate sprain happens when the ligament is partially torn, causing the joint to be unstable.
  • A severe sprain is when the ligament tears completely or separates from the bone. 

Typical symptoms include pain, swelling or inflammation, bruising, limited movement, or a “pop” sound in the joint. The most commonly sprained joint is the ankle. 

sprains vs broken bonesFractures

Fractures can be crack, splinter, or complete break in one or more bones or cartilage as a result of trauma to the body. Symptoms are typically more severe and they include: 

  • Stiffness 
  • Bruising 
  • Swelling 
  • Inability to move 
  • Severe pain in the area 
  • Inability to put weight on the bone or limb 
  • Protruding bone 

Keep in mind that severe sprains can be just as painful as fractures and an x-ray is the only way to truly differentiate between the two.

First Aid for Broken Bones and Sprains

The most effective and immediate treatment for a sprain is to treat it with the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation as well. A fracture, meanwhile, most likely requires immediate medical assistance and should be treated as a medical emergency. Generally, a healthcare professional will first immobilize the area with a splint and elevate. Treatment typically involves a cast or other long-term brace. In the event of a severe fracture, physical therapy or an operative procedure might be recommended. 

If you think that you or a loved one has a break or a sprain, the best step is to get to a doctor, ER, or urgent care. An x-ray can confirm or rule out a broken bone, and the medical professional can quickly diagnose your injury and provide treatment. 

Sprains vs Broken BonesKnow Where to Go for Care

If you suspect that you have a compound fracture, or if it is a break in a large bone such as the femur, or a suspected fracture in the head, neck, or back, then you should visit the emergency room immediately. However, if your symptoms don’t seem to require an emergency room visit, you might be better off going to urgent care

The UrgentMED has 18 convenient walk-in clinics throughout Southern California, offering digital x-rays to confirm a diagnosis. The injury can be stabilized if necessary, and a treatment plan provided or referral made to a specialist. If you’ve experienced an accident and suspect a broken bone or sprain, don’t wait. Sprains vs Broken Bones, whatever it is we can help. Visit the closest UrgentMED clinic to you.

symptoms of a broken bone

What Are the Symptoms of a Broken Bone?

Broken bones may have a lot of causes, ranging from a hard one-time impact, lots of smaller impacts causing a stress fracture (such as what runners can experience), or a rolling or twisting motion that applies more pressure than the bone can take. A weakening of the bones, such as from osteoporosis, can also lead to fractures. But what are the symptoms of a broken bone?

broken or fractured bone is considered a medical emergency and needs medical attention as soon as possible, so if you think you may have broken a bone, head to Venice Urgent Care right away.

Symptoms of a Broken Bone

Do you think you may have a broken bone? Believe it or not, sometimes it’s not as obvious to determine as you might think. If you’re not sure, here are a few symptoms  of a broken bone to look out for:

Popping or Cracking SoundsSome people report being able to hear the break happening. While abnormal sounds alone don’t guarantee that a bone has broken, they often warrant a trip to an urgent care or walk-in clinic, like our clinics in Venice and Long Beach.

DeformitySome broken bones will stick out or be situated under the skin at angles they shouldn’t be, making it perfectly obvious they’re broken.

Bone ProtrusionIf the broken bone is protruding through the skin, this is known as an open or compound fracture. Compound fractures are severe and require immediate medical attention.

symptoms of a broken bone

Loss of Mobility – If you can’t say where any of them are broken, wiggle your fingers or toes. If doing so happens to be difficult or painful, you may have a break above that point.

Intense PainBreaks are painful, especially under pressure. If you’re experiencing a lot of intense pain, especially when the injured area is moved or put under pressure, you may have a fracture or break.

Numbness or Tingling – Sometimes an area that has suffered a broken bone will go numb or develop a tingling sensation. If this happens, get to an urgent care clinic as soon as possible.

Swelling or BruisingSwelling or bruising around the spot of injury can also indicate a break.

Five Most Frequently Broken Bones

So which bones are the most common to break? Here are the five most common types of breaks.

Arm – Fully half of broken bones in adults occur in the arms, often when reaching out to stop or cushion a fall.

Clavicle – The clavicle, or collarbone, is another commonly broken bone. Because it’s long and thin, it can break easily if placed under pressure or duress, usually in the middle.

Wrist – The wrist is another common place to break a bone, especially on the side closest to your thumb. As with broken arms, this often happens when people reach out to catch themselves when falling.

symptoms of a broken boneAnkleThe ankle is another common area to break bones, usually by rolling or twisting the ankle, especially when wearing shoes that do not support the ankles.

Foot or ToeYou can break your toe or foot by tripping, dropping something on it, or even by repetitive stress that occurs with jogging, hiking, or other sports activities.

What to Do if You Think You Broke a Bone

A fractured bone requires prompt medical attention, as ignoring it can have serious consequences. For instance, even something as a broken toe or a slightly broken foot can cause lifelong chronic pain and arthritis if it doesn’t heal properly. Broken bones left unattended are unlikely to heal back to their normal shape and position. Walk-in clinic specialists can help set, cast, and splint a broken bone and can provide information on how to ensure the break heals as quickly as possible so that you can get back to daily life.

Let UrgentMED Take Care of Your Broken Bone

If you think you may have a broken bone, it’s important not to wait. Visit one of our 18 convenient locations in the UrgentMED and we’ll diagnose the issue. If it is a break or fracture, we can get it set properly right away so it heals correctly. Come into a location near you today. We offer free parking and are open every day of the year.