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The Utility of X-Rays for Injury Evaluation and Bone Fractures

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X-rays are a solid diagnostic tool that is both cost-effective and relevant when it comes to addressing emergency medical complaints, especially injuries and fractures. Certainly, MRI and Computed Tomography machines offer a “picture” of a higher quality, but they are usually unnecessary for in diagnosis of theX-rays most common injuries. Moreover, CT machines operate with higher doses of radiation compared to X-ray machines, while MRI scans are expensive and ordering them takes time, which may delay the needed injury treatment. In fact, for emergency situations that require immediate medical attention, an X-ray evaluation is ideal in terms of affordability, quality of the offered information and relevance to the formulated diagnosis. Particularly, in rural areas, an X-ray machine is extremely valuable, and referring a patient with a complicated injury for a more detailed MRI or CT scan is rarely necessary. The team of highly skilled medical professionals working at the AfterOurs walk in clinics that welcome the patients residing in Thornton, Highlands Ranch and Denver, Colorado, and Robbinsville, NJ, use X-rays to evaluate the condition of any individual who suffered from a traumatic injury. 

What Type of Details can Revealed Through an X-ray? 

The typical purpose of an X-ray investigation is evaluating bone fractures. The diagnosis is made quickly and the provided image is of very high quality because the bone tissue is highly visible on an X-ray film compared to the surrounding soft tissues. An X-ray machine can help our medical staff formulate a clear diagnosis by providing information such as the number of bone fragments, their position, displacement and angulation. If a head injury is evaluated, then our doctors are able to find out whether the patient has an internal bleeding inside the skull, identify cranial bone fragments or detect signs of increased intracranial pressure caused by a hematoma or a tumor. An X-ray can also offer valuable images when evaluating the joints. Swelling of the joints caused by trauma or arthritis, the narrowing of the space between the bones united in a joint, which may be a sign of joint degeneration, and chronic inflammation caused by a rheumatic process, are just some of the abnormalities that are potentially detectable through a standard X-ray scan. This type of investigation is not suited for the assessment of ligament sprains or muscular strains because structures such as ligaments, muscles and tendons are not directly visible on X-ray films. However, an experienced doctor can identify indirect signs of sprains if they are associated with complications, such as small bone pieces that are attached to a pulled ligament. 

At the AfterOurs Urgent Care medical facilities in Colorado and New Jersey, X-rays are also used when patients complain about chronic, disabling back pain, joint pain, persistent headaches, neck pain caused by vertebral misalignment's or carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. The results offered by an X-ray machine are always correlated and integrated with the clinical findings after performing a carefully physical inspection of the problematic body area. Don’t hesitate to contact our talented medical team and schedule an X-ray-based evaluation of a traumatic injury or joint pain combined with a detailed physical inspection of the affected body region.  

Head Injuries among Children are Common in High-Impact Sports

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 I knew gymnastics was not going to be easy when I decided to start training at my school when I was seven, but, as it turned out, gymnastics can also be painful. Falling is a part of our training every day, but, fortunately, we fall on soft mats when a routine goes wrong, and I rarely feel any pain. Falling on the head is a different story, and I experienced it a few days ago when I fell off the high bar onto the mat, which resulted in a head injury. I did not lose consciousness, but everything seemed very blurry around me, and I couldn't even hear what my coach was saying. My mom started to panic as soon as she arrived at the gym, and she decided that I need to be checked by a doctor specialized in urgent care at the AfterOurs walk in clinic in Denver, Colorado. They also have walk in clinics in Highlands Ranch and Thornton, CO, and Robbinsville, NJ. I don’t even remember the fall clearly, and everything that happened afterwards seems like in a fog. When I finally regained my senses and had full control over my body, I was at the urgent care clinic, and I was being examined by a doctor who was asking my mom and my coach about the incident. Soon, he realized that I was alert and active enough to be able to answer his questions properly, so he gently asked me about how I felt and what was bothering me. 

The Doctors Decided That the Head Injury was Mild Based on X-rays

The doctor tried to guide me through my symptoms, because I wasn't able to talk about them clearly. I felt confusion, a headache that was not very intense but still unpleasant and bothersome, and weakness in my body. The immediate concern of my doctor was to perform X-rays to make sure that I had no bleeding inside the skull, and the major brain and neck structures are normal. X-rays revealed no signs of bleeding in my brain, and based on the examination of my movement abilities, eye coordination, skin reflexes and a few other medical physical tests, the doctor concluded that I had a mild traumatic brain injury, which is also known as a concussion. There were no signs of brain damage or bone abnormalities. Also, based on my responses, he concluded that I was alert and my mental skills were not damaged. Mom was relieved when she heard the diagnosis because she already imagined the worst in her anxious mind. During the conversation between the doctor and my mother, I found out that head injuries are common traumas in children who practice high-impact sports, such as football, gymnastics, hockey or basketball. I should have chosen swimming, and perhaps I would have been completely safe now. 

Treatment of Mild Head Injuries Consists in Enough Rest, a Healthy Nutrition and Careful Medical Supervision

Even though the doctor said that complications were unlikely because there were no signs of brain damage or mental impairment, he recommended another evaluation in about two weeks to make sure that my recovery is not associated with any unexpected complications. He also recommended enough rest, a week off from school, and a healthier diet rich in vitamins to help with my healing. I was surprised to find out that no medications were needed because my brain has the natural ability to heal itself if the head injury is mild. Still, a doctor’s appointment was required to make sure that no severe brain damage occurred after my head injury. 





Influenza Vaccine Provides Seasonal Immune Protection Against Common Influenza Strains

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The flu, known in medical terms as influenza, affects millions of people around the world every year, and it is one of the most common causes of missed workFlu Shots and school days. In the United States, about 40,000 people die each year after suffering the consequences of a severe flu, but the numbers are highly variable and depend on the seasonal circumstances. Statistic data associated with the last 30 years of flu season observations reveals that the number of deaths from the flu may range between 3,000 and 50,000 per year. Still, the prevalence of lethal cases of influenza is small because the flu affects millions of individuals every year. At the AfterOurs Urgent Care medical facilities located in Robbinsville, New Jersey and in the Colorado communities Highlands Ranch, Denver and Thornton, our medical staff is experienced in treating various infectious diseases, including the flu. However, prevention through vaccination is substantially less costly, and missed school or work days can be avoided if seasonal flu shots are administered on time. A flu shot is completely harmless, and involves the administration of an injection that contains the inactivated influenza virus. Recent studies have revealed that influenza vaccines administered as injections are relatively more effective in reducing the number of flu affected individuals when compared to the nasal spray flu vaccine. 

Flu Shots Work by “Training” the Immune System to Recognize Specific Influenza Strain

The influenza virus is highly variable and includes many strains, depending on the particular protein molecules that exist on the surface of the virus, which are recognized by the immune cells. One can obtain an effective immune protection only against a specific influenza strain, and evidence-based protection usually lasts between one and three years. Some studies revealed that protection against some influenza strains may last a lifetime, but regular flu vaccinations are recommended, especially for individuals who are at risk for developing severe forms of the infection. A seasonal flu shot typically contains three to five inactivated influenza strains, which are recognized by the immune system, but do not cause the infection. The immune system is able to develop protection strategies, such as “trained” white blood cells and antibodies, which will be effectively employed when the body encounters the active virus. 

Who is at Risk for Severe Influenza Episodes? 

Flu shots are beneficial for virtually anyone, but they are highly recommended for individuals who may have a weakened immune system, such as the elderly, individuals with chronic disease or HIV, individuals who take high doses of cortisol-based steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and several other categories of people. The influenza vaccine is “renewed” every season to include the most common influenza strains that are present in the environment in a particular year, which is needed to counteract the high variability of the virus. A flu shot is a safe, clinically tested vaccine that is stored and applied according to strict regulations, which are followed rigorously by our experienced doctors at the AfterOurs Urgent Care walk in clinics. Side effects are rare and mild, and the symptoms may include nasal congestion or a sore throat, which disappear quickly when the body adapts to the vaccine. 


Urgent Care Facilities are More Affordable and Time-Efficient Than Emergency Rooms

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The urgent care vs ER cost debate is an ongoing discussion among medical professionals and patients who want to save money without sacrificing health care quality. Emergency rooms employ qualified,Urgent Care vs. ER experienced doctors and nurses, who possess excellent medical skills when it comes to treating any emergency medical problem. They are part of a hospital unit, and the equipment they have is usually quite impressive. However, when it comes to cost and time-effectiveness, they are certainly not the “champions”for a number of reasons. A visit to an ER for a health problem as simple as a sprained ankle, back pain or an infection, can cost you twice or three times as much as a visit to a walk in clinic, most of which also work after hours. Moreover, a 24-hours admission to the hospital may be needed, which is frequently an unjustified procedure. Although the quality of medical care offered by ER specialists is undeniable, the amount of required paperwork, strict hospital procedures and the treatment cost may surprise you in a negative way. At the Denver, Highlands Ranch and Thornton AfterOurs Urgent Care walk in clinics located in Colorado, and at our Robbinsville facility in New Jersey, our medical teams are ready to provide the same quality of medical care you can benefit from at an emergency room at substantially lower costs. Moreover, our experienced doctors take great care not to sacrifice treatment quality as they ensure that every medical procedure is implemented accordingly without cutting corners. 

The Urgent Care vs ER Cost “Battle” is Won by Walk-In Clinics 

When it comes to sophisticated equipment, treatment or rare, lethal diseases, emergency rooms are certainly the best recommendation. They have state-of-the-art equipment that is rarely used in diagnosing and treating common health problems, but that might be necessary in life-threatening medical situations. For non-lethal medical complaints that need urgent medical attention, such as injuries, low back pain, bone fractures, common infections, the flu, vaccinations or regular medical check-ups for sports or employment, the cost-effectiveness of urgent care, after-hours medical units is almost impossible to match. The roots of the high costs generated by emergency rooms lie in the impressive amount of bureaucracy, paperwork and hospital regulations that need to be followed even for the mildest health condition or injury. Moreover, patients pay a price consisting of the physician’s fee and the hospital fee combined, which results in exaggerated costs that can be efficiently lowered by addressing the same problem quickly and time-efficiently at a walk-in clinic such as the AfterOurs Urgent Care

The lack of extensive paperwork, no necessity for schedule appointments, a simple, straightforward and transparent diagnosis of the most common medical problems are just some of the factors that result in a cost-effective and time-effective treatment provided at our clinics. X-rays, annual examinations, vaccinations and a quick assessment of injuries are among the affordable medical procedures that can be performed at any of our walk in facilities in Colorado or New Jersey. Children benefit from accurate health evaluations performed by experienced pediatricians. Sports physicals, infection treatment and flu shots are some of the medical services provided by our pediatricians to ensure the health of your kids at decent costs. No appointment is necessary for the majority of the offered medical services, so don’t hesitate to visit us for any health problem or complaint. 



Vaccinations are the Best Shield Against Infections

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Yesterday, I went to the AfterOurs walk in clinic in Denver with my mother to get my flu shot. They also have clinics in Highlands Ranch and Thornton, CO, and one in Robbinsville, NJ, but the Denver clinic isVaccinations the closest to our home. We get our yearly flu shots at this clinic since I was five years old, and we really like the relaxed, friendly environment created by the medical staff there. I even caught myself once thinking that I would rather be sick, receive gentle care from the doctors and hear interesting stories from nurses than go to school. Well, that’s just me daydreaming because my mother won’t let me skip school no matter how hard I would try to look sick. She would take me to the AfterOurs Urgent Care Clinic immediately, and my “pretending to be sick” strategy would be rapidly unravelled and neutralized. I always have a great time at the clinic because talking to my doctor is so much fun. He always explains what he does in a way that is clearly more easy to understand than the “scientific” talk our teachers use at school. This time, I did not miss the opportunity to find out more about vaccines, including the flu shot that I was there for. 

Vaccinations Train My Body to Find and Neutralize Specific Bacteria and Viruses 

As the doctor explained to me, when my body is exposed to a disease-causing bacteria or a virus that it never “met” before, I get very sick because I am not adapted to fighting with that particular “intruder”. Next time I am exposed to that bacteria or virus, the disease is unlikely to happen because my defensive immune system already has the suitable “weapons” to fight that enemy. However, becoming sick just to acquire the needed defensive immune tools is a bad strategy, because some diseases may severely damage my health. Over the years, talented doctors discovered a new way to become adapted to an infection without being sick and suffering from infection symptoms. They discovered that exposing the body to a bacteria or virus that is damaged or inactivated through some special lab procedures allows the body to scan it, analyze it and develop protection against it without developing an infection. This is how vaccines have been invented, and they have saved millions of lives over the years. 

Children are Vaccinated According to a Schedule

My doctor explained that vaccinations are effective in preventing diseases when they are administered to everyone, or at least the people that are at a high risk. Individuals who refuse to receive the vaccine and are not properly treated for an infection may be a source of contamination for children who have not been vaccinated yet. This is why a nationwide vaccination schedule has been elaborated in the United States, and the required vaccines and the age at which they should be given are clearly indicated. For example, I was vaccinated for Hepatitis B when I was about 9 months old, for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus at 16 months, and for measles, mumps and rubella when I was four years old. Some vaccines must be administered several times during my life, while the flu shot, which is protecting me from the influenza virus, is given yearly. You don’t need to remember the vaccination schedule because the doctors at the AfterOurs Urgent Care walkin clinics will take care of that. 


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