When to Seek Care

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By: Kristen Vaughan, DPT

It’s summertime in the Northwest and we at Union PT hope that you are getting out to enjoy the bounty that the PNW has to offer. Longer days and nicer weather allow us to do more of the activities we love, but can also open up more opportunities for injuries, whether it be over-use injuries as muscles and tendons adapt to more load or longer endurance than they are used to, or traumatic injuries due to falls, sprains, strains, etc.

Fortunately, our bodies are amazing healing machines and they often recover on their own with a little rest, ice, and time. Sometimes, though, we all need a little help to address more serious or lingering issues. Knowing when to seek care can help to speed recovery and minimize time out of your sport and prevent future repercussions.

Any of the reasons below are indicators that you should seek advice from a healthcare professional:
• If you have tried RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and swelling is not going down within 3-4 days
• If swelling goes down and you return to your activity but continue to have pain >2 weeks later.
• If there is a noticeable loss of strength or mobility
• If you can’t weight-bear > seek care immediately
• If you can’t move a joint > seek care immediately

-In acute cases: seek care at an urgent care or emergency department, or call 911 if you require immediate assistance.
-In many non-urgent cases, an appointment with a physical therapists or sports medicine physician is a good place to start. Check with your insurance company to see if you can access PT directly or if you need a referral in order to ensure coverage.

We wish you a safe, active, and fun summer!