Urgent care centers have become a popular option for people seeking medical attention for non-life-threatening conditions. These facilities provide prompt and efficient care without the hassle of long emergency room waits.
Urgent care centers can handle a variety of health issues. In this blog, we’ll go over the top five most common urgent care conditions.
#1. The Common Cold
Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs), commonly known as the common cold, top the list as one of the most frequent reasons people visit urgent care centers. URIs are viral infections that affect the nose, throat, and sinuses, leading to symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and occasionally fever.
While most URIs are self-limiting and resolve on their own within a week, treatment of symptoms can be administered in urgent care facilities.
#2. Sprains, Strains, and Minor Fractures
Sprains and strains, often caused by sudden twisting or overuse of muscles and ligaments, are injuries seen frequently at urgent care centers. They commonly affect joints such as ankles, wrists, and knees.
Fractures can be caused by a fall, sports injury, or accident. These fractures are sometimes referred to as “hairline fractures” or “stress fractures.” While they are not as severe as major fractures, they can still cause significant pain and discomfort.
Pain, swelling, bruising, and limited mobility can be alleviated with many treatment modalities in urgent care centers. Initial treatment for sprains and strains involves the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
Treatment for minor fractures primarily involves immobilization and support to aid the healing process. This may include putting a splint or a cast on the affected area to prevent further movement and promote proper alignment of the bone.
#3. Upset Stomach
Gastrointestinal (GI) issues like gastroenteritis, commonly known as the stomach flu, are common reasons for urgent care visits. GI disturbances result from viral or bacterial infections and lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes fever.
Managing gastrointestinal disturbances primarily involves maintaining hydration and electrolyte balance. Over-the-counter medications may help alleviate symptoms, but it’s crucial to avoid dehydration by drinking clear fluids.
#4. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are another common condition seen at urgent care centers, particularly among women. UTIs occur when bacteria enters the urinary tract and causes symptoms such as frequent and painful urination, cloudy or bloody urine, and lower-abdominal discomfort.
UTIs require antibiotic treatment to clear the bacterial infection. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria from the urinary tract.
#5. Minor Cuts and Burns
Minor cuts and burns are everyday injuries that prompt many individuals to visit urgent care centers. Cuts can occur from sharp objects, while burns often result from contact with hot surfaces or liquids.
For minor cuts, cleaning the wound thoroughly and applying a sterile dressing is usually sufficient. For minor burns, cooling the affected area under running water and applying a burn ointment can help promote healing. Deep or jagged cuts that won’t stop bleeding, burns that cover a large area, or show signs of infection (such as redness, swelling, or pus) require immediate medical attention.