Could It Be A Broken Bone?

A broken bone is a serious concern, but sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether a bone is actually broken. Knowing how to determine whether a bone is broken, and knowing whether a person is more at risk for a break, can help patients quickly receive the medical attention they need.

People at Risk for Breaks

  • Fractures are common in people under 20. Children often break their falls with their arms, which can lead to arm fractures.
  • Adults over the age of 65 are also more susceptible. This is especially true of women , who often experience a decrease in calcium and thus a decrease in bone density after they reach middle age.
  • People who routinely engage in sports, or conversely, don’t exercise enough and haven’t built up bone strength, are also at a greater risk for a break. Diseases that deteriorate bone also put some people at risk.

Types of Breaks

  • Bone breaks range from mild to severe. Stress fractures, for example, are hairline cracks. Compression fractures are when a bone collapses or crumbles. Greenstick fractures are breaks that travel only part of the way through the bone.
  • More severe breaks include complete fractures, where the bone is broken all the way through, and open or compound fractures, where the bone punctures the skin. Comminuted fractures are when the bone is broken in more than one place.

Symptoms

The most obvious symptom of a break occurs with open fractures, where the broken bone punctures the skin. Less obvious symptoms can include pain, tingling or numbness, swelling, bruising or a bump or deformity. Limited movement is another way to determine if a bone is broken.

First Aid and Medical Attention

  • In the case of a suspected bone break, remain calm and stay as still as possible. People with fractures to the hip, spine, neck or head should be moved as little as possible.
  • For open fractures, rinse the wound of debris and apply gentle pressure to slow bleeding. Ice can be applied to fractures to reduce swelling. Keep the person warm in order to stave off shock. It’s best to keep people as flat as possible, but the legs can be slightly elevated in another effort to reduce shock.

What Is Pinkeye?

Also known as conjunctivitis, pinkeye is a relatively common condition which affects the mucous membrane around the surface of the eye and eyelid. Common indicators that you are infected include redness, swelling and difficulty opening the eye when you wake up. If you think you may have pinkeye, the good news is that medical attention can typically be avoided, and the condition diminishes within around seven to 10 days.

How Do You Get Pinkeye?

There are numerous ways in which pinkeye can become introduced, the most common being viral or bacterial infection. Chemical conjunctivitis is another possible cause, and this could be a likely origin if you were recently exposed to chemicals, fumes, or smoke. Other possibilities include allergies or having dry eyes.

How to Avoid Spreading Pinkeye

If you have determined you do indeed have pinkeye, it is likely a viral strain, and this condition is highly contagious. For starters, do not go to your place of work or school until the condition begins to clear up. Typically, infected individuals are able to return to their regular schedules within about one week. Furthermore, although it may itch, avoid touching the area, and make sure you wash your hands frequently to protect others living in the home.

Seek Medical Attention

Although some people are able to fight pinkeye without medical intervention, a doctor’s help is the best option. If you have an existing condition which impairs your immune system, your body will not be able to fight the condition effectively. Furthermore, if you only have vision in one eye, using medication to encourage accelerated healing can help you regain your visual capability more quickly. Finally, although it’s very rare, if your pinkeye is caused by the herpes virus, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help you recover.

Getting Through the Week

In most cases, pinkeye is just one of those situations you have to deal with while it works its way out of your system. While the symptoms such as itching and watering can become uncomfortable, there are a few things you can do to help ease them during those first few days. If you suspect your condition is allergy-related, a cold compress can offer relief while warm compresses are often effective in alleviating issues stemming from infection.

Cold, Flu, Or Allergy?

Have there been days when you feel so congested that you can’t breathe and seem to cough all day? You might have a fever associated with the sneezing and coughing or not. You are likely suffering from the flu, allergies or a cold, but how do you know which one? The kind of condition will determine what kind of medication you should take.

All three of the conditions will affect your respiratory system in one way or another, but when you know what you have, you won’t take the medications you don’t need.

A different strain of viruses causes the cold and flu. The flu is often more severe. You will notice a sore throat, congestion and a stuffy nose with both illnesses, but a fever is often present with the flu. You will also likely notice muscle aches and fatigue with the flu. A cold or the flu will usually only last about two weeks.

If you suspect that you have allergies, then the symptoms will be different. There is no virus that causes allergies. Instead, it is the environment that you are in that can trigger allergies. Many people experience seasonal allergies, especially in the spring when pollen levels increase. Seasonal allergies can last for about six to eight weeks, or until the pollen from the trees and other plants has subsided. Pet dander is another common allergen. You will usually experience watery eyes that are itchy and red, sneezing and pressure in the sinuses.

Pain relievers and plenty of rest can help in treating the flu and a cold. You also want to stay as hydrated as possible. An antihistamine can be taken to treat allergies. Avoid taking two medications that have the same ingredient as you might get too much of the ingredient in your body.

Flu Season In Phoenix

It’s flu season in Arizona again. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, 108 cases of the flu were recorded last week alone.

According to the Center for Disease Control, this year’s flu “bug” is going to be a little tougher to fight.

Not all flu strains are the same. While some can cause mild symptoms, others can make you extremely ill. For this reason, it’s important to take the flu seriously.

What Is the Flu?

Influenza is a contagious infection of the respiratory system caused by a variety of viruses. The typical symptom of the flu are the following:

  • A runny or stuffy nose.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (most common in children)
  • Headaches and body aches.
  • A 100 F or higher fever or feeling feverish, but not everyone who contracts the flu gets a fever.
  • A cough and sore throat.
  • Chills.
  • Fatigue.

How Does a Flu Virus Make You Sick?

The flu virus can enter the body through any of the membranes in your face, including the eyes, mouth and nose. Because of this, frequent hand washing is crucial to staying free of the flu.

5 Varieties Of Summer Allergies

Phoenix is known as an allergy capital of America. Although not everyone is affected, those who are can really suffer! The Phoenix metro area has a number of allergens that can cause symptoms, including sniffles and clogged nasal passages.

At Valle Del Sol, we treat allergy sufferers all the time. Here are 5 of the most common causes of summer allergies in Phoenix:

  1. Molds – While common year round, certain kinds of molds can be very troublesome in the summer.
  2. Poisonous Plants – While not as prevalent in the Valley, kids can still get into poison ivy. Be careful!
  3. Stinging Insects – Bees and wasp stings are painful, and, in a small percentage of the population, quite serious.
  4. Pollen – Pollen from ragweed is very common in Phoenix and Arizona.
  5. Dust – Though not limited to the summer months, dust, when mixed with the four allergens above, is even more of a problem for some.

5 Things To Do To Stay Healthy And Active

With so much health and wellness information available today, it can be a challenge to know what to pay attention to. Fad diets, popular workouts and trendy supplements come and go every year. Staying healthy should be this complicated, and it doesn’t have to be! In fact, getting back to basics might be all you need for general wellness. Here are 5 tips to help you:

1. Workout first in the morning

People who workout in the morning feel more energized all day. Plus, making time first things in the morning tends to help people from missing workouts.

2. Add variety

Don’t do the same workout month after month. It can really help to mix it up. Try yoga, running, cycling, the gym, or swimming.

3. Plan a proper diet plan

A good diet is one that steers clear of the trends. A good healthy diet will consist of a blend of proteins, vegetables and fruits, also including unrefined carbohydrates.

4. Get good sleep

Good sleep is key to feeling good. Practicing good sleep habits can help you sleep faster and more soundly, so don’t watch TV in bed and remember to keep the room as dark and quiet as possible.

5. Vitamins

Vitamin supplements can help people to feel their best. Talk to your doctor about the right choice for you.

Top 5 Sports Injuries

Athletes can be injured in literally hundreds of ways, but at our Phoenix urgent care clinic, we see some injuries more than others.

Common sports injuries can be prevented, but if you or a family member has an injury, its important to get it checked out.

Here are five of the most common sports injuries:

Knee Injuries

It’s estimated that over half of all sports injuries involve the knee joint. Especially in high-impact sports like soccer, football and basketball, torn ligaments and cartilage are common. Additionally, endurance athletes like runners and cyclists can develop overuse injuries to the kneecap. To help prevent knee injuries, replace your shoes regularly and consider sports insoles for more support. Also, be sure to warm up properly.

Shoulder Injuries

Injuries to the shoulder are very common in swimming, weightlifting, baseball and volleyball. These sports all involve overhead movement. Over time, the shoulder’s rotatory cuff can actually loosen. The symptoms of this condition can include stiffness, pain and weakness. One of the best ways to prevent shoulder issues is to strengthen the muscles themselves with special exercises. Anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful as a treatment for minor injuries.

Ankle Injuries

Ankle sprains and injuries are common in sports like basketball and soccer. Sports that involve a lot of running and jumping movements are especially likely to cause these kinds of injuries. Tendon and ligament problems are common. Fractures are possible and can be diagnosed with an X-ray. Home treatment of ankle injuries usually includes rest, ice, compression and elevation, as well as over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs.

Lower Back Injuries

Especially for “weekend warriors”, lower back problems can be a real problem. Since many of us sit for hours every day, our backs may already be weak, somewhat injured or imbalanced. Participating in sports like running, golf, tennis and baseball can cause different kinds of back problems, from bulging discs and back spasms. A proper warm up can go a long way toward preventing back strains and injuries.

Pulled Muscles

Especially from lack of a proper warm up, painful pulled muscles can occur. Hamstring pulls are common, since these muscles are often tight in the general population. You can pull a muscle anywhere in your body, especially if you are not flexible in that area. It is important to let pulled muscles heal before returning to activity.

Flu Shot: Help Avoid Influenza This Season

Did you know that getting a flu shot can significantly help you improve your chances of staying well this fall and winter around Phoenix? It’s not a guarantee, but it’s often worth getting.

Like every year, the shot is designed to protect against the varieties of flu that are expected to be a problem this season. Influenza can cause serious complications, especially in the elderly and young children. It is recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that everyone above 6 months old receives the shot.

Your body can require up to two weeks to build the immunity, so it is important to get the shot early to get the best results. You can still benefit if you’ve received that vaccine later in the flu season.

Flu vaccines aren’t completely effective as a guarantee. According to the CDC, a flu shot is about 65 percent effective in warding off influenza in all types of people combined.

Strep Throat: Symptoms And Treatment

Kids are headed back to school. Before you know it, it will be flu season, and one of the most common illnesses for children is strep throat.

A simple sore throat is caused by a virus alone, and a sore throat can turn into strep throat. The bacteria that causes strep throat (group A streptococcus) accumulates in the nose and throat, leading to more severe symptoms, which usually appear within 3 days.

Symptoms of strep throat can include:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • headache
  • fever
  • general discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • tender or swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
  • red and enlarged tonsils
  • lower stomach pain
  • loss of appetite and nausea
  • rash

It’s important to teach kids about the value of hand washing because good hygiene can reduce their chances of getting strep throat and other contagious diseases.

Luckily, strep throat can be treated with antibiotics. If you suspect that you or a family member may have come down with strep, it’s important that you visit with a doctor.

Medical Precautions For Travelers

If you’re thinking about traveling this summer, make sure you’re planning ahead for the unexpected. Even the best planned trip can be ruined by a surprise medical crisis.

Here are a few points to consider:

1. Remember Prescription Medications.

  • Bring your important prescriptions with you.
  • Bring enough for a few extra days.
  • Write down what you are taking or get a print out from your pharmacy.
  • Always carry some amount of your prescription in a carry-on bag.

2. Over-The-Counter Medications

  • If you’re traveling abroad, you may not find your favorites in other countries, so bring your own.
  • Make sure not to carry liquids in bottles larger than 3 ounces.

3. Medical Information

  • Bring the name of your doctor and their contact info with you.
  • Make sure you have a list of any drug allergies that you might have.

4. Travel Insurance

  • Be sure to check the details, as some travel health policies only cover what your primary health insurance will not pay.