Sprain or Strain?

Let’s say that you have just come back down to the court after jumping for a rebound and you landed funny on your foot leaving you writhing in pain. Let’s say that you have just taken a turn through your daily running course and your foot twists causing you to collapse to the ground. Or lets say you twist, fall, or get hit in any sort of way and your foot, your wrist, or any part of your body that has ligaments suddenly feels like an unbelievable (or mild) pain. This pain could be because of a sprain or a strain.

However dramatic or mundane the reason this could necessitate a trip to your local Cleveland urgent care center because you do not know what is wrong for certain and the pain can be unbearable. The professionals at Ridge Park Urgent Care are here online to give you a little help as you try to determine just what is wrong with your ankle or wrist before you come into a center like ours.

To begin with lets differentiate between a sprain and a strain. According to the National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services a sprain is an injury to a ligament or ligaments in which the ligament is stretched or torn. The ligament is the tissue that connects bones in the body. A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous tissue that connects muscles within the body.

Sprains most often occur at the ankle, but are also commonly associated with the wrist when people use their hands to break a fall. Unfortunately a sprain’s symptoms are far from conclusive. Swelling, bruising, general pain, and immobility (or a lack of mobility) at the joint are all signs of a sprain.

A strain can be a little more troublesome to diagnose since it can be either a quick twist or turn that results in an acute strain or a strain developed by the repetition of a physical task that causes a chronic strain. Strains most often occur in the back or the hamstring muscle (the muscle in the back of the thigh).

The various signs of a strain are all associated with the muscle. A muscle experience a spasm or cramp or simply feel weak. There may be swelling in the area of the strain or you may have difficulties moving that muscle.

Sometimes the muscle or tendon can be torn completely. This results a searing pain and is the reason you see soccer crowds holding there breathe and hear a hush come over the stadium when a player goes down and clutches their leg. In fact some of the most gruesome strains even cause an audible pop (just ask an old lineman if they have ever hear that pop an watch his face flinch).

So the next time you injury yourself running, jumping, or lifting something and you fear you have done some serious damage, locate the source of the pain. If it is at a joint it is most likely a sprain. If it is in the back or in the back of the leg then it could be a strain.

Of course, sometimes the pain can simply be too much, and might want to visit a medical professional. In fact the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons recommends quick medical action in the event of an ankle sprain because an ignored ankle sprain can result in chronic ankle instability an the ankle sprain could one of may injuries to the ankle, like a bone fracture within the foot.

A facility like Ridge Park Urgent Care can handle those typical sprains and strains. Facilities like ours have an MRI that allows an urgent care center to diagnose the severity of the sprain or strain. If you fear that you have broke a bone, a Cleveland urgent care center might be able to handle it, but it is advisable to visit a hospital.

Who Should Not Get a Flu Shot?


Every year about this time the public service announcements begin. The Center for Disease Control releases press releases and media medical experts make the rounds warning parents about the dangers of the flu and recommend that they at the very least take their children in for an influenza vaccine, also known as the flu shot. Those looking for Cleveland flu shots should be aware that not everyone is able to take advantage of the vaccine.

There are three groups of people (over the six months old) that should avoid the flu shot. Those groups are people that have had an allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past, those that have an allergy to eggs, and those that developed the rare Guillian-Barre syndrome within six months after receiving the injection.

Anybody who has had an allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine certainly knows the signs, but for those that do not they can be life threatening (though rare). The symptoms of an allergic reaction can occur anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the injection. The person can exhibit any number of the symptoms, which include problems breathing exhibited as hoarseness and wheezing, palor (which is when the skin begins to loose its color an appear pale), a general weakness, a sense of disorientation or dizziness, and an increased rate of the heartbeat.

This allergic reaction is correlated with an allergy to eggs. This does not mean that the two reactions are necessarily related. Those people who are allergic to eggs may show an allergy to the flu shot because, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunity the influenza vaccine may have a small amount of egg protein. If a person has an allergic reaction to the flu shot this does not mean a person is allergic to eggs. There may be other causes, so do not fear a visit to a Cleveland Urgent Care facility for a flu shot only to discover a long dormant allergy to eggs.

The last group that should avoid the call to search out a Cleveland flu shot location are those that developed the Guilain-Barre Syndrome within six months of receiving the vaccination. The Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a condition where the body’s own immune system begins to attack the nervous system. GBS is exhibited by a fever, nerve damage, and muscle weakness according to the CDC.

GBS first occurred in 1976 in response to a flu vaccine, but only one study since the 1976 occurrence has suggested that the syndrome has an association with a vaccine released since 1976. Still, it is suggested that one of every million people who receive the flu shot will show signs of GBS.

Obviously, the flu shot has some rare risks associated with it, but overall medical practitioners would without any hesitancy advice anyone in the Cleveland area to pursue receiving the flu shot. Still, it is important to realize that any time a foreign substance is injected into the body there are possible risks. Be sure to ask your medical provider what those risks are for this flu vaccine or any other instance.

Cleveland Flu Shots? Why Should I Get One

The flu shot, otherwise known as the influenza vaccine, is an annual vaccine that health organizations like the National Institute of Health recommend for everyone who wants to be protected against the annual onslaught of the flu every winter, but especially for children between the ages of 6 and 18. Cleveland urgent care facilities like Ridge Park Urgent Care are able to supply the area families with these flu shots with no appointment necessary.

The recommendation that increased the age to 18 is not because of some sort of freak sudden loss of our nation’s teenagers immune systems to deal with infection. Rather the recommendation is one that is meant to help the parents. The less likely the teenager is to get sick, the less likely the parent is to lay sick in bed trying to recover. A Cleveland flu shot will ensure that both parents and children spend less time at home sick, missing school and work.

For those wondering specifically what is in a flu shot, the answer is threefold. A Cleveland flu shot will protect against the one A virus (H3N2), the regular virus (H1N1), and the one B virus. It is important to note in this day when fears of the deadly H1N1 virus that originated in Mexico this summer, that this flu shot is not going to protect against the new strain of influenza.

The reactions to these new types of influenza (the recent swine flu epidemic has seemingly erased the memory of the avian influenza strain) tend to polarize the public. Some will fear for their daily lives, interrupting everything they do and carrying around a packet of disinfectant wipes while others will dismiss the reaction to the new virus and downplay the danger of the influenza strain.

Both are overreactions. Visiting a local urgent care facility in Cleveland for a flu shot means that a person of any age can go on living life to the fullest (at least as fullest as possible in the Cleveland winter).

Influenza is a real danger. Strains have wiped out great fractions of the population as recently as the 20th century. The last great pandemic was the Hong Kong Flu in that struck from 1968 to 1969 that took the lives of 750,000 to a million people. Most people will recount the Spanish Flu though. That strain of influenza wiped out 20 to 40 million people from 1918 to 1920.

Even in these modern times the common influenza strains are responsible for 36,000 deaths in the United States due to the infection or complications relating to the infection. Worldwide that number balloons to numbers that vary from a quarter of a million to half a million people.

It is simple realities like those that make a Cleveland flu shot something to seriously consider. The vaccination will also help spare a person from becoming one of the 200,000 that are hospitalized every year because of the flu. Suddenly a trip to the local Ridge Park Urgent Care facility in a person’s spare time does not sound so ridiculous.

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