If you’re injured, it’s important to get treatment, especially if it’s serious. If you don’t treat the injury, it can get worse, and you can end up with a long-term problem.
Some injuries can be treated at home, but other ones will need urgent medical treatment. It’s important to know the difference. You’ll need to find out if you can treat your injury at home or if you’ll need to go see a doctor.
This article will give advice on how to do both and what the difference is between the two.
The Difference Between At-home Treatments and Going to the Doctor
The main difference between at-home treatments and going to the doctor is that at-home treatments can be done without leaving your house while going to the doctor usually involves a visit to the hospital or doctor’s office. At-home treatments include things like resting, icing, and taking over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen (Advil). Going to a doctor requires stitches, splinting, casting, bandaging wounds with gauze pads soaked in antibiotic ointment, or giving shots. There are many different types of treatments, but you need to know what kind you’ll need before deciding whether to go to a doctor’s office or use at-home treatment.
When to Go to a Doctor
If your injury is severe, you should go to a doctor. This includes injuries that:
- Need stitches
- Have a cut that’s more than half an inch long
- Require a splint
- Require a cast
- Have broken bones
- Need shots or vaccinations like flu shots or tetanus shots, for example
If you’re not sure whether or not your injury needs to be treated by a doctor, it’s probably best to go. Even if you don’t need stitches or other treatments, going will allow the doctor to evaluate the injury and tell you how long you should stay off of it and what exercises and stretches you can do. You’ll also get a plan of action that you can follow when you get home.
When to Use At-home Treatment
If your injury isn’t severe, it may be okay to go to at-home treatment. This includes things like:
- Cuts that are less than half an inch long that don’t need stitches
- Minor bruises that aren’t swollen or bleeding
- Sprains like twisted ankles, wrists, and knees
How to Tell If You Need Urgent Treatment
If you’re not sure if your injury needs urgent care, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get it anyway. If it turns out you don’t need it, then all you’ll end up with is a bill to pay. You’ll be able to find urgent care facilities on the internet.
If you are injured, don’t wait until you feel the pain to treat it. If you can, get treated right away, even if your injury doesn’t seem too bad. There are some injuries that usually happen around one specific area of your body that isn’t readily noticeable but end up being very serious. Don’t wait to get treatment for injuries like this because it can lead to a much worse injury that could have been prevented.
Tips on Preventing Injuries
Injuries can happen to anyone at any time. However, there are ways that you can prevent them from happening in the first place.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Watch where you’re walking, and be careful when climbing or working with heavy objects.
- Wear the right gear. Make sure that your shoes fit well and that you’re wearing protective gear when necessary.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of physical activity.
- Take breaks often. If you’re feeling tired, stop and take a break. You don’t want to push yourself too hard and get injured in the process.
- Don’t do anything that could cause you harm. You don’t want to climb a tall building or an overpass if it’s not safe, and you shouldn’t ride a bike without a helmet.
- If someone else is doing the activity with you, make sure they understand how to do it safely as well. If one of you is not safe, neither of you are.
- Finally, keep an eye on what you’re doing at all times. If something doesn’t look right or feels like it’s dangerous, don’t do it!
When you’re injured, it’s important to know whether or not the injury is urgent enough to warrant a visit to a doctor. If your injuries are severe, then medical attention should be sought out right away for stitches and other types of treatment that only your doctor can provide. However, if you have less severe injuries like bruises or sprains, at-home remedies may suffice in these cases. It’s always best to err on the side of caution when dealing with an injury, so if there is any doubt about how bad an injury might be, get urgent medical attention just in case.