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How to Check If You Have a Sprain

A sprain is a type of injury in which one or more ligaments of a joint are stretched or torn. Sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the ligament tear.

Studies have shown that sprains are more common in certain types of activities, such as sports or physical activities. Research has also found that certain factors can increase the risk of sprains, such as age, gender, and body type. Additionally, another study has suggested that certain types of stretching and strengthening exercises can help to reduce the risk of sprains.

Sprain vs strain: What is the difference?

Sprains and strains are both common injuries that affect the muscles and ligaments. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two.

  • Sprain 

A sprain occurs when a ligament—the tissue that connects two bones—is stretched or torn. This can occur when the joint is twisted or turned too far, resulting in a tear or stretch in the ligament. Sprains are most common in the ankles and wrists, but they can also affect other joints in the body.

  • Strain

A strain, on the other hand, is an injury to a muscle or a tendon, which is the tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. Strains occur when a muscle is stretched or torn due to overuse or sudden force. Strains are most common in the back, neck, and legs.

In both cases, the injured area will be tender, swollen, and painful. However, the treatment for a sprain and a strain is different. Sprains typically require rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to reduce swelling and pain while the ligament heals. Strains, on the other hand, may require physical therapy to strengthen the affected muscles and tendons.

In summary, sprains and strains are both injuries that occur to the muscles and ligaments, but they are caused by different movements and require different treatments.

How to check if you have a sprain

Here are some tips on how to tell if you have a sprain:

  1. Check for pain: Sprains can cause sharp, intense pain. If you experience pain when you move your joint or press on the affected area, you may have a sprain.
  2. Check for swelling: Swelling is a common symptom of a sprain. If the area around your joint is swollen or feels tight, it may be a sign of a sprain.
  3. Check for bruising: Bruising is a sign of internal bleeding, which can occur when a ligament is torn or stretched. If you see any bruising around the affected area, it may be a sign of a sprain.
  4. Check for limited range of motion: If you have trouble moving your joint, such as bending or extending it, it may be a sign of a sprain.

Symptoms of sprain

The most common symptoms of a sprain include:

  • Pain: The area around the sprain will be tender to the touch, and moving the affected joint may cause sharp pain.
  • Swelling: The area around the sprain may swell up, making it difficult to put weight on the affected joint.
  • Bruising: The area may appear bruised or discolored due to the accumulation of blood in the area.
  • Limited range of motion: The affected joint may be difficult or impossible to move.
  • Instability: The joint may feel weak or unstable, as if it could give way at any moment.
  • Popping sound: In some cases, a popping or tearing sound may be heard when the injury occurs. The area may also feel weak or unstable, and the injured joint may appear deformed or misshapen. People may also experience numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the affected area. 
  • Dislocation: In severe cases, a sprain can cause the joint to become dislocated. If a bone is fractured in addition to the sprain, a person may experience numbness or tingling in the affected area, as well as an inability to move the joint.

Treatment for sprain

Treatment for a sprain typically involves the RICE method, which should be applied for the first 48 hours after the injury. The RICE acronym stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Learn about this first aid treatment for sprain:

  • Rest - Resting the sprain is important as this helps it to heal properly.
  • Ice - Ice should be applied on the injured area for 15 minutes every two hours.
  • Compression - Compression with an elastic bandage should be applied to the sprain to help reduce swelling.
  • Elevation - Elevation of the affected area should also be performed to help reduce swelling.

If the sprain is severe, a doctor may recommend medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce pain and swelling. In some cases, a doctor may also prescribe a stronger medication such as a muscle relaxant or a narcotic. 

Other treatment options include: 

  • Physical therapy - it can also be beneficial for sprains as it helps to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the affected area. This can help to prevent future sprains and improve flexibility.
  • Surgery - surgery may be necessary in some cases where the ligaments have been severely damaged. This will usually involve the ligaments being surgically repaired or replaced.
  • Brace - In some cases, a doctor may also recommend bracing the sprain to help support the area while it heals. This can help to reduce pain and swelling and can also help to prevent future sprains.

Recovery time for a sprain can vary, depending on the severity of the injury. Mild sprains may only require a few weeks of rest, while moderate to severe sprains may require several months of rest and rehabilitation. No matter what treatment is used, it is important to follow the doctor's instructions carefully to ensure that the sprain heals properly. 

I have a sprain—should I see a doctor?

Most sprains can be treated at home with the RICE method. However, if you are experiencing any intolerable pain or symptoms, it is highly recommended to seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure proper treatment and to avoid any further complications. It is never a good idea to self diagnose yourself. With proper treatment, most sprains should heal within a few weeks.

Untitled-design-2023-04-01T002731.915 How to Check If You Have a Sprain

Looking for an urgernt care in South Florida?

If you are looking online for the “best clinic for urgent care near me”, Urgent Care of the Palm Beach is one of the top options. We offer treatment for sprain, flu A&B testing and tests for various pathogens, including COVID-19 testing, rapid testing, PCR testing, and more!

We have offices in difference locations, always available to assist you:

Alternatively, you can contact us for any inquiries or call us at (561) 328-8433 to schedule an appointment with our medical practitioners. 


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

High blood pressure has become an epidemic in the USA. Uncontrolled, it may lead to heart disease and stroke, two of the top causes of death in the country. According to the Center of Disease Control, approximately 1 in every 3 American adults struggles with hypertension.

The good news

When it comes to your blood pressure, we have good news for you. You can lower it significantly by yourself, and we are here to help.

By making these 10 lifestyle changes, you can reduce your blood pressure by as much as 30-40 mmHg and, together with that drop, lower your risk of heart disease. If you aren’t sure whether these tips would work for you, visit one of our walk-in clinics in Palm Beach County and we’ll answer any questions you might have.

Untitled-design-2023-03-28T233105.589 How do I control my high blood pressure without medication? (10 healthy tips)

1. Lose extra weight

Weight loss is one of the most effective changes you can make in order to control your blood pressure. Losing even a couple of pounds if you're overweight can help you lower these numbers. According to the American Heart Association, losing weight may help you reduce your blood pressure by about 5 mm Hg.

2. Make exercise a habit

Regular physical activity, for about 30 minutes most days of the week, can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg. It's important to do it consistently because if you stop, your blood pressure can rise again. Remember to choose exercises you feel good about, as a positive attitude is key to sticking with it.

3. Create a healthy eating plan

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg. This eating plan involves:

  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets.

4. Reduce sodium in your diet

The reduction of sodium intake, to about 1,500 mg a day or less, can improve your heart condition and reduce blood pressure by up to 5-6 mm Hg. Implementing this low-sodium plan doesn’t mean counting every mg of salt - simply check food labels, eat fewer processed foods (and fewer restaurant meals!), and don’t add salt to your food - use herbs and spices to flavor your food, instead.

5. Limit alcohol consumption

If you drink alcohol in moderation only (like one drink a day), you may be able to lower your blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. However, this effect is reversed when you drink more than that; in fact, anything more can raise blood pressure by several points.

6. Quit smoking

Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for some time after you finish. Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to physiological norms. Even if you’ve smoked for many years, the health benefits can be innumerable from quitting.

7. Cut back on coffee

Caffeine can raise blood pressure up to even 10 mm Hg. Nevertheless, if you drink coffee regularly and cannot imagine your day without this first cup -don’t sweat it. Not everyone experiences caffeine intake the same way. 

8. Reduce stress

This one is big. Even the healthiest person has observed the negative effects of stress on their body, especially when it comes to blood pressure. 

The first thing you need to do is examine your reactions: What is causing you stress? Is it family? Work? Finances? Whatever it is, try to find a way to calm down about those problems, avoid triggers, and find your own way to relax. For some it is gardening, while others find solace in reading, fishing, or even meditating. Whatever it is, make it your priority. Your heart will thank you.

9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your physician regularly

If you monitor your blood pressure at home, it can help your doctor to understand your condition better. It is important to check it on a daily basis, in the comfort of your own home, as being the doctor’s office has the tendency to affect the reading. To help you, download this blood pressure log prepared by the American Heart Association and fill it out every day, so that you can show it to your doctor and get individualized help. 

Check out our blog post about Tips for Self Monitoring Your Blood Pressure.

Also, plan to visit with your doctor on a regular basis. 

10. Get support

A strong support system is essential when you suffer from a heart condition. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help; your friends and family will be more than happy to assist you. 

They can drive you to your doctors’ appointments, exercise with you, prepare healthy meals, or even be a part of your relaxation plan, if that’s what you wish.

You can also find support beyond your family and friends. Support groups can connect you with people who share your problem and can motivate you, offer practical tips or simply be there for you when you need it.

Visit us. Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches can help!

If you have further questions about blood pressure monitoring, our doctors at Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches/ Walk-in Clinic are always happy to help. 

Feel free to contact one of our urgent care clinics. We have three convenient locations so you can get the treatment you need as soon as possible:

Our team is here for you seven days a week, and we offer extended hours so that you can get the care you need as soon as possible. You may also contact us, schedule an appointment or walk-in!

For common conditions that can easily be treated from home, we offer telemedicine urgent care in Florida.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

The cold weather is not just an ideal time to curl under the blanket and read a good book. It is also the perfect time for viruses to spread since they thrive better in cold, dry air. That’s why the cold season is also referred to as the ‘flu season’.

Unfortunately, current studies have shown that the flu or influenza is not the only respiratory virus you should be worried about. 

Reports have shown that there’s a rising case of individuals getting infected with RSV or respiratory syncytial virus during the flu season. Moreover, health authorities have been gearing up for the expected rise, yet again, in COVID-19 cases as new strains start to develop in other countries.

This possible “tripledemic” can be worrisome since most respiratory illnesses exhibit the same signs and symptoms. Read on below to learn more about this trifecta of viruses, their differences, and how to prevent them. 

What are the common respiratory illnesses during the cold season?

Respiratory illnesses are at an all-time high during the cold months due to a lot of factors: cold and dry air, reduced immune system, and lifestyle. These contributing factors allow the viruses to spread quickly and go from one person to another. 

So if you have been nursing a cough, runny nose, or both, there’s a huge chance that you contracted a respiratory viral infection. But which one? Here are some of their distinct differences from one another.

Flu or influenza

What is it: The flu is a contagious illness that causes inflammation to the membrane of the respiratory tract or the nose, throat, and lungs. It is a common respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus, which has various strains. 

How does it spread: The virus spreads from person to person through air droplet inhalation; when exposed to an infected person’s cough or sneeze. You can also get infected through direct contact with contaminated objects. 

Symptoms: Generally, the flu only causes mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue. However, immunocompromised patients may experience a more severe bout of symptoms.

How long does it last: Patients usually feel better after five days. However, general fatigue and tiredness may take up to two weeks before it clears out.

What to do: Most bouts of flu get better with ample rest, fluids, and OTC medications. It would also be better to isolate yourself to prevent its spread. For severe and persistent symptoms, doctors may prescribe antiviral medications.

Common cold

What is it: The common cold is a respiratory illness caused by several viruses with various strains, such as rhinovirus. It mainly affects the upper respiratory tract, which is the nose and throat. Generally, common colds are harmless and milder than the flu; it usually goes away on their own with proper rest and hydration. 

How does it spread: Like the flu, common colds can spread and infect individuals through air droplets and direct contact with contaminated objects. 

Symptoms: Two to three days after exposure, you may experience nasal congestion, stuffy nose, sneezing, headaches, coughing, and sore throat.

What to do: There’s no definite cure for a cold since the immune system can quickly clear it out after a few days. Most symptoms can be managed by drinking plenty of water and using nasal decongestants, cough drops, and pain relievers.

Respiratory syncytial virus

What is it: RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common virus that affects the lungs and respiratory tract. It can affect people of all ages, but it primarily causes repercussions to infants and children.  

How does it spread: It spreads through air inhalation or close contact with infected secretions from coughing or sneezing. You can also get it through direct contact with contaminated objects.

Symptoms: Generally, RSV causes cold-like symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, and fatigue. However, some individuals may experience severe symptoms, such as:

  • Breathing difficulties or “caving-in” in infants.
  • Wheezing or barking cough
  • Infants may also exhibit bluish tinging on their lips, mouth, and fingernails.

Additionally, RSV can cause pneumonia and bronchiolitis in adults and infants with severe forms of the disease.

What to do: Mild forms of RSV only last for about a week or two. But for severe cases, especially in infants, hospitalization may be needed. 


What is it: COVID-19 is a novel respiratory illness caused by a specific coronavirus strain, the SARS-CoV2. It is a significantly contagious disease that affects the cells along the airways of the respiratory tract. As a result, it can cause chronic lung conditions, such as pneumonia, COPD, cystic fibrosis, and sepsis.

How does it spread: The coronavirus 19 spreads when an infected person releases viral particles into the air by coughing, sneezing, breathing, or talking. 

Symptoms: An individual who got exposed to an infected person can develop symptoms after 2 to 14 days. An individual with COVID-19 can experience the following:

  • Mild to severe cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Breathing problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of taste and sense of smell

However, there are instances where an infected person won’t be able to experience any symptoms of the disease, making them asymptomatic but still infectious.

What to do: Individuals suspected of having the disease should get themselves tested. But regardless, anyone who exhibits the above-mentioned symptoms should immediately isolate, quarantine, and perform contact tracing. 

Healthy individuals can clear out the virus with ample amount of rest, fluid intake, cough medications, and paracetamol. But for severe cases, hospitalization may be needed.

How can you prevent them?

Most respiratory illnesses have the same modes of transmission, which are through inhalation of infected air droplets or direct contact with contaminated objects. So, here are some easy yet effective tips on preventing these diseases, especially during the flu season.

  • Prevention is better than cure or hospitalization. So, make sure to get yourselves vaccinated against these viral conditions. At the very least, you and your family should get a flu shot in Palm Beach County every year.
  • Practice hand hygiene by doing proper handwashing as soon as you get home. You should also bring alcohol or hand sanitizer as you go out and about to stop the spread of microorganisms. 
  • Avoid close contact with sick people. Stay at home and isolate yourself if you experience flu or flu-like symptoms.
  • Wear a mask when you go outside or enter crowded establishments.
  • Practice other healthy habits, such as taking multivitamins, eating healthy, and practicing social distancing.
Untitled-design-2023-04-27T225548.105 Respiratory Viruses to Watch Out for During the Flu Season in Florida

Where to find the best urgent care near me?

Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches provides superior medical care and comprehensive treatment services for various conditions. We also offer several diagnostic procedures and testing, such as influenza a&b test and rapid covid testing in Palm Beach

Contact us now or visit one of our convenient locations near you for easily accessible urgent car needs:

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


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North Palm Beach, FL 33408
(561) 429-6109

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West Palm Beach, FL 33405
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West Palm Beach, FL 33406
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