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Common Sports Injuries Urgent Care Can Treat


Reviewed by: Amy Surdam

Sports provide an excellent opportunity for children to exercise and make new friends. They also present various injury risks, ranging from mild to severe. When your child experiences a sports injury, finding swift and high-quality medical treatment is vital. Who treats sports injuries? Urgent care centers are one of the best places to receive the attention your family needs. Let’s look at the various conditions urgent care sports clinics can treat.

Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains can happen in nearly any sport. Some causes of ankle sprains include: 

  • Awkward falls
  • Frequent pivoting
  • Running on uneven surfaces
  • Getting your ankle stepped on

While ankle sprains can occur in various contact and non-contact sports, the intense physical activity of contact sports may put participants at a higher risk. In contact sports, someone might accidentally trip your child, throw them off balance or step on their ankle. 

If your son or daughter is showing sprained ankle symptoms, an urgent care clinic can provide an accurate diagnosis. Here are some things a health practitioner will look for. 

  • Ankle pain and instability
  • Bruising
  • Restricted mobility
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Though ankle sprains frequently occur in sports, you should rule out anything more serious, such as a fracture. An ankle sprain may also need more advanced treatment if it is severe. Health professionals measure ankle sprain severity in three grades, with grade III ankle sprains being the worst. Grade I ankle sprains typically need rest and minimal medical treatment. In contrast, grade II sprains usually require bracing or another form of immobilization, while grade III ankle sprains may need surgery. 

An urgent care medical professional can thoroughly analyze your child’s sprain to determine its severity and provide the necessary treatment

Tennis Elbow

Repetitive motion causes tennis elbow. Tennis elbow occurs when frequent movement causes tendon weakness around the elbow joint. 

Tennis players frequently use the tendons and muscles connected to their elbow joint when swinging their rackets back and forth to launch a ball. However, other sports can also cause tennis elbow, such as golf, hockey, baseball and football. 

The hallmark symptoms of tennis elbow are:

  • Difficulty moving your arm
  • Pain surrounding the elbow joint
  • Redness and swelling

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a sports injury involving the foot. With plantar fasciitis, the fibrous tissue that supports the foot from the ball to the heel tears or becomes inflamed. This fibrous tissue is the plantar fascia, a thick tendon that absorbs shock from walking, jogging or running. The plantar fascia can become injured by the repeated strain or tension that occurs with any sport that involves lots of running, such as soccer, football or track and field.

With plantar fascia tears or inflammation, your child may experience stabbing pains in your foot when getting out of bed or standing up from a sitting position. It’s also typical to feel discomfort during long walks or jogs. If your child has sharp pains in your foot, specifically around your plantar fascia, seek medical attention at an urgent care facility to see if it could be plantar fasciitis. 

Runner’s Knee

In general, runner’s knee is any knee pain that happens due to recurring strain on the tendons, ligaments and muscles in the knee area. Like tennis elbow, runner’s knee gets its name because it frequently affects runners. It can also occur due to any sport involving repetitive knee joint motion like running, jumping, cycling or kicking.

Runner’s knee causes pain around the knee joint when exercising. Your child may also experience swelling around the kneecap or a popping feeling in their knees. Runner’s knee is an injury sports medicine urgent care providers can accurately diagnose and effectively treat. 



Shin Splints

Shin splints are widespread among cross-country runners and track-and-field participants. When shin splints occur, they involve pain, tenderness and swelling along or behind the tibia — also known as the shin bone. Like many sports injuries, shin splints are also due to repetitive stress on the shin muscles. Your child may experience shin splints more frequently if:

  • They are new to long-distance running.
  • Their running routine suddenly increases in frequency and intensity. 
  • They usually run on uneven terrains or hard surfaces.   

Urgent care providers can treat sports injuries like shin splints. 

Groin Pulls

Groin pulls often leave athletes sidelined with painful symptoms. The most frequent cause of groin pulls is excess stress on the groin and thigh muscles. This strain can occur due to suddenly jumping or changing direction, as required in sports like soccer, football and basketball. 

Like ankle sprains, groin pull severity also comes in three grades. With a grade I groin pull, athletes have some pain but retain most of their mobility. Grade II groin pulls involve partial tears and moderate loss of strength. Grade III groin pulls are the most serious, involving completely torn groin or thigh muscles. Such tears cause significant pain, strength loss and reduced mobility in the groin. 

If your child experiences a groin pull, you should go to a sports med clinic where a doctor can evaluate the injury’s severity and provide the proper treatment. 

Hamstring Strains

Your hamstrings run down the back of the thigh from the hip to directly below the knee. A hamstring strain happens when these muscles stretch too far. Hamstring strains often occur in sports involving quick starts and stops, such as soccer, football, baseball or hockey. 

It is sometimes challenging to differentiate between muscle strains vs. muscle soreness. Some symptoms of hamstring muscle strains include bruising, pain, swelling and tenderness around the back of the thigh. You should see an urgent care doctor for this sports injury. The treatments they suggest will vary according to the severity of the stretched or torn hamstring. 


Concussions are traumatic brain injuries caused by jolts, blows or bumps to the head. With a concussion, the brain rapidly moves back and forth inside the skull. Concussions among football and hockey players have made headlines, but they can happen in almost any sport with intense physical activity, such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and many others. 

Though most concussions are mild, any brain injury can have lasting consequences. Going to an urgent care clinic is essential if your child is experiencing concussion symptoms, which include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Balance problems
  • Personality changes, such as irritability or moodiness
  • Sensitivity to light or sound


If your child is healthy and you hope to prevent an injury, you might wonder if urgent care does physicals for sports. With a sports physical, providers examine joints, tendons and muscles to test their strength, flexibility and range of motion. They can identify problem areas before they progress into full-blown injuries. You can also gain the confidence you need to allow your child to participate in their favorite activities if a physician clears them for activity with an urgent care sports physical. 

Who to See for a Sports Injury

Coastal Urgent Care providers diagnose and treat various sports injuries with skill and quality care, so your child can return to their activity of choice once they’ve fully recovered. Our clinics throughout Louisiana can provide high-quality sport injury urgent care. Find a clinic near you today if you’re dealing with a sports injury!

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