Category Archives: General Health

common cycling injuries

Common Cycling Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Of all outdoor recreation enjoyed throughout summer, few activities top lists like a good bike ride. Whether in the city, on the beach, down the hills, or up to the mountains, biking is a great way to get both exercise and a breath of fresh air, all while saving your wallet a trip to the gas station. Before you hop on and get those pedals moving, however, it’s important to prepare yourself in order to prevent bodily harm. Here are a few common cycling injuries, and some tips on how to keep safe and happy during a ride.

Lower Back Pain

Riding can require you to maintain a hunching position, often for extended periods of time. If a cycle isn’t adjusted properly, or simply isn’t the right size for you, this can result in lower back pain. Moreover, if you already lack good flexibility, the combination is almost certain to produce an aching back. To help keep your back feeling good as new, make sure your bike’s frame is the proper length for you, and be sure to adjust both the seat and handlebars to a comfortable position. And, like when doing any exercise, be sure to warm up appropriately by stretching and loosening your muscles.

lower back painKnee Injuries

You don’t have to fall and scrape your knee to hurt it while riding a bike. In fact, of all potential cycling injuries, the most commonly reported ones are knee-related, and they usually happen without anyone taking a tumble. Instead, these injuries tend to occur from a combination of over-exertion and ill-fitting equipment. Something as simple as the angle of your seat can, in fact, have a large effect on the movement of your legs and how they are pedaling. Similar to preventing back pain, a well-sized bike and correctly adjusted components can dramatically help your knees from getting damaged. 

Muscle Fatigue

While biking can certainly provide thrill-seekers a healthy dose of adrenaline, it’s vital to remember that many of your muscles are working the whole time, regardless of whether you’re gliding down the boardwalk or pedaling up a hill then winding down one. Strains, sprains, and pulls are ailments often courtesy of a bike ride that might have been too difficult or just too lengthy. Knowing your physical limitations can be helpful for preventing muscle fatigue. To better know your personal limits and receive helpful recommendations and suggestions on physical activity, you can visit us here at UrgentMED, seven days a week, for a physical with one of our friendly and professional staff members, no appointment necessary.

muscle fatigueGet The Medical Attention You Need from UrgentMED

If you’ve had a cycling injury, or are suffering unrelated but uncomfortable body pain in your knees, back, neck, or anywhere else, our UrgentMED clinics are here to serve you. At each of our 18 walk-in friendly locations around Southern California, you can count on fast, affordable emergency care from highly-skilled and compassionate professionals. We offer hours throughout weekdays, weeknights, and weekends. Find an UrgentMED location near you by visiting us online.

heat-related illness

How to Deal with Heat-Related Health Issues

There are several types of heat-related illness with varying degrees of intensity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these illnesses are categorized as heat rash, sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and the more extreme of the lot, heatstroke. Each heat-related illness should be dealt with in different ways. 

Heat Rash and Sunburn

As the name implies, heat rash looks like a regular rash (small pimples on the skin), and generally appear on the neck, chest or groin. If you’re experiencing heat rash, try to keep the area affected dry and bring your temperature down. Sunburn can range from mild to very bad; it can be just a sensitivity or pain along the affected area, or it can manifest in the form of blisters. In either case, you should stay out of the sun, use a moisturizing lotion, and avoid breaking the blisters. Stay indoors and in the air conditioning.

Dehydration

Dehydration happens when your body loses water and essential body salts. When your body heats up, it attempts to regulate the temperature sweating. Sweating cools the body as the sweat evaporates. If you find yourself dehydrated, you should drink water. Two bottles of water should see you fully hydrated after 45 minutes.

dehydrationHeat Cramps

If your muscles begin to hurt or spasm and you find yourself sweating heavily, you should stop all physical activity. Find a cool place, drink water, and rest for at least an hour before renewing physical activity. If you have heart issues, are on a low salt diet, or your cramps last for over an hour, you should seek out medical attention.

Heat Exhaustion

This is the next level up from heat cramps. You have the same symptoms, but you could also experience a fast and/or weak pulse. You may also become unusually tired and weak. Headaches, dizziness, and clammy skin are also symptoms of heat exhaustion. The best thing to do is to find a place with air conditioning, make sure your clothes are loose, slowly drink water, and even take a bath. If your symptoms get worse, last over an hour, or you find yourself vomiting, it is time to seek a medical professional. 

HeatStroke

Heatstroke is more intense than heat exhaustion though it shares many of the same symptoms. Aside from the symptoms of heat exhaustion, you may experience confusion and even loss of consciousness. Your body temperature may climb over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and your skin may feel hot and dry to the touch, as well as become red. Heatstroke is quite serious and should be treated as a medical emergency. Call 911 right away, move the affected person to an air-conditioned environment, and try lowering their temperature using water on their skin. It is not recommended to give someone suffering from heatstroke anything to drink. However, let the person drink cool water to rehydrate if he or she is able. Don’t give sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages to a person with heatstroke.

heatstrokeThe UrgentMED Network is Here for You

When in doubt, reach out to your medical professional. UrgentMED is your Southern California health-keepers. With 18 convenient walk-in locations, we offer fast, professional service without long wait times. Let us assist you with all your healthcare needs. Visit the location nearest to you today.

swimming safety rules

Safety Rules for Summer Swimming

From the pool to the ocean, L.A. has a million ways to keep cool this summer. But if you’re not careful, there are a million more ways to end up spending your last vacation day in the emergency room with a serious injury. Before you blow your final moments of freedom with that crazy cannonball, read through these five swimming pool safety rules to stay safe throughout Summer 2019 and beyond.

Swimming Safety Tips

Never Dive Alone  

Swimming doesn’t always have to be social. Sometimes you just want to put your phone down and feel the waves. But no matter how relaxed the water makes you feel, you should never swim in the pool or ocean without at least two partners or an active lifeguard on duty watching your back. Even the world’s best swimmers know to bring a buddy in case they catch a cramp, get tired, or lose consciousness in the water. Don’t get caught slipping because you wanted to swim solo.

Dress for the Drip 

Always wear the proper gear before diving in. Some clothing can weigh you down and increase the risk of drowning. Also, use goggles and earplugs to protect against water damage and infections. And always make sure to take your jewelry, gadgets, and watches off, and place them away from the water. Oh, and never feel like you’re too cool for a pair of floaties. Swimming safety is no joke.

swimming pool safetyKnow the Ledge  

Before you dive in, you should know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Is the water clean and safe? Is your swimming strong enough to make it in the deep end? Is the pool you’re about to dive in shallow? These are all questions you should be asking every time you and your loved ones decide to go for a swim.

Keep It Clean

Don’t forget your potty training just because you’re in the pool. No matter how relaxed that margarita has you feeling, nobody wants to swim through your bodily fluids or dive face-first into your used Band-Aid. Hit the bathroom before hopping in and, be sure to cover and protect all open wounds and leaky faucets. Urine can combine with chlorine to make potentially harmful chemicals.

Respect the Waves  

Water is one of the most powerful forces on earth — and it only takes a little bit to create a serious medical emergency. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in the world, and over 6,600 non-life threatening injuries happen in swimming pools and spas across America each year. With that in mind, parents should pay extra attention to toddlers near the water. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 made up 59 percent of all kids treated for pool and spa-related, nonfatal drowning injuries. 

swimming safety tipsUrgentMED is Here for Your Summer Care

Did you break one of these swimming safety rules? It’s OK, aside from following these swimming safety tips we can help you get back in the flow of things before summer is up.

All 17 of UrgentMED’s walk-in-friendly L.A. facilities treat your emergencies with urgency and special care. With licensed physicians available seven days a week at 17 locations across Los Angeles, UrgentMED will get you in and out without creating another headache. 

For patients who can’t afford to be patient with their health, UrgentMED is the go-to source for urgent care and more. To learn more or find out how to find one of our 17 locations, visit our website.

summer urgent care

Top Four Reasons For Summer Urgent Care Visits

Summer’s in full swing! Whether it’s hiking deep into the backwoods, cruising the salty seas, or just lazing around the neighborhood in front of the grill with friends, this time of year spells “fun in the sun” like no other. But while spending more time outside can heal the soul, it can also pose risks to the body. Sometimes a summer day enjoyed improperly can lead to an unexpected trip to urgent care. Here are the top four reasons for urgent care visits during the summer months, and some preventative tips to help keep a visit out of your future.

Sunburn and Heat-Related Illness

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s probable that a good dose of vitamin D makes you feel great. And if you’re careful, it can make you look great too. If you’re not, however, you might find yourself in need of a nurse. Common summer injuries include sunburn, often considered an innocuous heat-related illness, which results in the all-too-familiar redness of skin (that may feel hot to the touch), pain, tenderness, itching, swelling,  blistering, headache, fever, nausea, and fatigue, all of which can require medical attention if severe enough. 

More concerning, however, is that overexposure to sunlight is considered to be the most common cause of a variety of skin cancers, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Luckily, the CDC also states that it is the most preventable cause. With that in mind, here are a few tips for enjoying the sun while saving your skin from burns:

  • Always wear sunscreen – Preferably broad-spectrum (offering UVA and UVB protection) and at least 30 SPF. Apply it on your skin whenever you expect lots of sun.
  • Avoid direct sun in the middle of the day – From about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the ultraviolet rays, which cause sunburn, are strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing – Hats, long-sleeve shirts, pants, or UV-resistant wear are all ideal ways to avoid burns.
  • Wear sunglasses that filter UV light – You’ll look cool too.

common summer injuriesInsect Bites

Here’s something else we can all agree on: mosquitoes are a total bother. Though for most victims insect bites just itchy and annoying, they can, in fact, spread illness. Other insects, like wasps, hornets, and horseflies can also pack painful stings, attack in large groups, and induce potentially severe allergic reactions. One insect of the non-flying variety that’s similarly pesky is the tick. Ticks are known to spread several diseases, Lyme being the most recognized. In short, while they may be small in size, insect bites can pose a not-so-small threat to our health. To prevent unwanted snacking on your skin this season, consider the following while romping under those August rays:

  • Use insect repellent – That contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing. Always follow the instructions on the repellent and reapply as directed. If you are also wearing sunscreen, apply your sunscreen first, let it dry, and then apply the insect repellent. 
  • Wear appropriate clothing –  If you know you’re going to be out at night or hiking in a densely-wooded area, dress to prevent bug bites. Cover exposed skin as much as possible by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks, and closed shoes instead of sandals. For additional protection, pull your socks up over your pants and tuck your shirt into your pants.
  • Use bed netting – If you are sleeping out in the open (if the net doesn’t reach the floor, tuck it under the mattress for maximum protection)
  • Pay attention to outbreaks – Check the CDC Travel Health Notices website and heed travel warnings and recommendations.

Dehydration

An ice-cold soft drink might sound like the best thing on a hot summer day, but none of those are likely to make your body as happy as a big glass of water. Water is essential. Because the body is made up of mostly water (around 60 percent) and the proper balance of water determines how well our internal systems function, hydration is a must for everyday physical and emotional well-being. As the temperature rises, so does the risk of dehydration, which is recognizable through the following symptoms: dizziness, headache, cramps, nausea, and irritation. In extreme cases, dehydration can lead to kidney stones, liver failure, long-term muscle and joint issues, and other common summer injuries. So, if you’re planning to spend the day under the sun, plan to keep yourself hydrated using these tips –

  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty – If you’re thirsty, you’re dehydrated. Most doctors recommend at least six to eight cups of fluid a day, and more if the temperatures are high.
  • Consider a water substitute – If you simply can’t stand the thought of 8 cups of water a day, consider filling one of those cups with a juice, a smoothie, or an infusion (fruits and veggies such as cucumbers, watermelons, and lemons give water’s hydrating qualities an extra boost). Some experts even suggest chocolate milk as a great way to re-hydrate, especially after a workout.
  • Don’t skip meals – You get much of your fluids through eating.
  • Avoid alcohol – Especially in the sun, as the combination of heat and alcohol is a recipe for dehydration.

heat-related illnessOutdoor and Sport-Related Injuries

Few summers would be complete without a game of pick-up basketball, a cannonball into a lake, throwing the pigskin around (on the trampoline), or perhaps a 10-mile slog up a mountainside. However you choose to spend your time outdoors, it’s important to make sure whatever you’re doing doesn’t result in common summer injuries. Sprained wrists, twisted ankles, pulled-backs cuts, scrapes, and broken bones are all common sights in urgent care clinics and emergency rooms between spring and summer. Here are a few safety tips for active summer activities:

  • Stretch before you play – Warming up and stretching before engaging in physical activity can help prevent common strains and sprains
  • Wear a helmet – If your activities for the day include biking, plan to wear a helmet. Wearing one can reduce the chance of a head injury by up to 88 percent
  • Drink water – While dehydration can occur in many settings, it’s especially common when exercising. Be sure to replenish lost fluids as they are sweat out.
  • Jump into lakes, rivers, or the sea feet-first – Head injuries are all too commonly induced by not knowing what’s beneath the surface.
  • Know your limits – If you’re not sure whether your body is physically prepared for the activity, it might be best to save it for another day.

Get Help from UrgentMED

If you or a loved one has been injured from a barbeque mishap, the medical professionals at UrgentMED stand ready to assist you. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast professional service without a long wait. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend hours to serve you on your terms, for your convenience. Let us assist you with all your healthcare needs. Find the location nearest to you today.

stay safe at your summer barbecue

How to Stay Safe at Your Summer Barbecue

With the return of summer, we can once again indulge in our favorite summertime activities. For some people, summer means long days at the beach to swim or surf. For others, it means days spent boating in the Pacific, perhaps with some deep-sea fishing thrown in. Regardless, summer brings with it warmer temperatures and a chance to once again enjoy your favorite activities. For some of us, it’s time to get out the barbecue and grill, grill, grill. With that in mind, it’s a good time to review how to stay safe at your summer barbeque.

Grilling Safety Tips

Every year, thousands of Americans are injured as a result of mishaps related to barbecue grills and grilling activities. Not surprisingly, the majority of these injuries occur during the warmer, summer months. Most of these injuries can be avoided if some basic BBQ safety tips are followed by the grill master. 

Always Grill Outdoors

For starters, never use the grill indoors. Even if you are lucky enough to avoid starting a fire, using the grill will produce carbon monoxide, which when released in a closed area, like a house or garage, can be fatal. Grilling is an outdoor activity.

Grill Away from Your House

Grilling safety tips also require that you do not grill close to your house. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends you keep the grill at least 10 feet away from your house. Farther is better if possible. Before starting the grill, be sure it is clean. Old grease buildup makes a grease fire more likely. Even with a clean grill, keep a spray bottle full of water nearby to put down small flame flare-ups that frequently occur. Furthermore, be sure a fire extinguisher is not too far away. Of course, know how to use the extinguisher. Learning how to use a fire extinguisher isn’t something you want to be doing when your house is about to catch fire. 

Make Sure the Grill is Stable

BBQ safety continues with ensuring that the grill is on a stable surface before you begin grilling. Having a lit grill topple over in the middle of grilling can result in problems beyond just losing the food. If you are using a gas grill, check for gas leaks before firing up. Also, be sure the grill lid is open when you turn the gas on in preparation for lighting it. A closed lid could cause an excessive buildup of gas while you are fiddling around trying to light a match or lighter. Even a mini explosion from such a gas build up could cause significant harm to your hands or face.

Grilling Safety TipsFinally, if a fire does break out, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately. Fires spread quickly and your garden hose is not the answer. Any delay will endanger more than your house; the lives of your family and friends will be at stake. 

Get Help from UrgentMED

If you or a loved one has been injured from a barbeque mishap, the medical professionals at UrgentMED stand ready to assist you. With 17 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast professional service without a long wait. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend hours to serve you on your terms, for your convenience. Let us assist you with all your healthcare needs. Find the location nearest to you today.