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Is Your Lower Back Pain a Sign of Something More Serious?

Are you experiencing lower back pain, stiffness, or discomfort that’s interfering with your daily activities?

If so, you’re not alone. More than 31 million Americans experience lower back pain in their lifetime.  

Lower back pain can develop for a plethora of reasons such as your lifestyle, whether it’s sedentary or active, from a chronic health condition, or injuries as a result of a car accident, work, or a slip and fall.

We underestimate our lifestyle and the amount of stress it can put on our lower back, often leading to severe conditions, posture problems, and in more serious cases, a trip to the ER. Although lower back pain is a very common problem that plagues the majority of adults, it’s important to know when your lower back pain warrants a visit to the emergency room. 

Keep reading to learn the 5 most common signs when you should go to the ER for lower back pain.  

5 Signs Your Lower Back Pain Is an Emergency 

You should immediately seek emergency care if your lower back pain is so severe that you cannot wait for a visit with your primary care physician. However, if you are not certain, medical experts advise you to use the following guidelines to determine if your lower back pain requires an ER visit. 

You should go to the ER immediately if your lower back pain is a result of or accompanied by any of the following conditions:  

  • Any recent injury or trauma

Were you in a recent car accident? Did you slip and fall at work? And are you suffering from lower back pain as a result? Sometimes your back pain just can’t wait and it’s important to seek emergency care if your lower back pain is persistent and continues to get worse over time. Unrelenting lower back pain can be the sign of an underlying spinal injury. Spinal injuries are severe and generally do not go away on their own. If your lower back pain has significantly increased over time, go to the ER to prevent it from increasing any further or becoming permanent.

  • Bladder or bowel incontinence

Many people aren’t aware that lower back pain can cause a loss of bladder or bowel control. If you find yourself unable to control your bowels or bladder, it might be a sign of serious nerve compression, spine infection, or even a tumor. Back pain accompanied by bladder or bowel incontinence typically means that there is an infection or tumor that has developed on the nerve sac of the lower spine, which causes severe weakness in the pelvic area. At the ER, healthcare providers can examine your lower back and run tests to identify any problems or clinical conditions.

  • Fever, nausea, or vomiting

Back pain that is accompanied by a fever, nausea, or vomiting is also a sign that you should immediately seek emergency care. Fevers are a sign of infection and are defined as your body temperature reaching 100.4 or higher. If you’re experiencing lower back pain with a fever, it’s often a warning sign that the two could be linked to a spinal or neurological infection.

  • Numbness

Have you recently lost sensation in your arms, legs, or groin, or are you experiencing muscle weakness? Back pain associated with numbness is also another emergency indicator. Seek immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing neurological dysfunctions like leg weakness or any numbness. Numbness in your lower body is generally an indication of an injury to one or more of your critical nerves or something even worse. If your numbness is not treated, it could lead to further damage of the nerves and even total paralysis.

  • Night pain

Do you have lower back pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night? Are you fine during the day, but as soon as you lay down to go to sleep, your lower back pain starts, making it almost impossible to get a good night’s rest? Any back pain that continues to prevent you from sleeping and consistently wakes you up in the middle of the night can be a sign of a disc generation or a sprain. If you’re experiencing night-time back pain, then seek emergency care right away. 

How Can Trusted ER Help You?

It’s critical to know these signs as your lower back pain may be the sign of a serious underlying condition.

If your lower back pain is more severe than a primary care physician can handle, then be sure to seek emergency care at one of our Trusted ER locations near you. We, at Trusted Medical, are here for you and ready to treat any illness or injury. 

We have 8 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. Our ER offers limited wait times, as each of our patients is roomed and seen by our clinical team within a few minutes, and we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Trusted ER is “Doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.” 

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Health Medical Advice Wellness Wound Care Woundcare

How to Avoid Firearm Injuries with Texas Gun Experience

For many, a trip to the gun range is a fun recreational activity and exhilarating experience but that does not mean it’s not risky and comes without injuries. More than 67,000 persons are injured by firearms each year with gun injuries accounting for more than $48 billion in medical and work loss costs annually according to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health.

Shooting at a gun range can be dangerous therefore it’s important to know about gun safety and how to protect yourself and others while shooting a firearm. Trusted ER has teamed up with the Texas Gun Experience in Grapevine to share important tips about gun safety and some common injuries that can occur while shooting and how to avoid them.

The most common injuries that occur when shooting a firearm at a gun range include:

1.)  Hand Injuries

One of the first things to watch out for in gun safety is avoiding hand injuries. Two of the most common hand injuries are the slide bite and the barrel burn. A slide bite is a laceration on the web of the hand between the thumb and the pointer finger that occurs when the slide moves back and lacerates the thumb. This is often the most common hand injury and a sign that the gun was not gripped properly. Lacerations from firearms can be painful and in severe cases, if the wound is deep enough, may require stitches. A barrel burn is a type of burn on the hands that occurs when touching the barrel of the gun when it’s extremely hot after firing. Barrel burns can be severe and may require bandages and other antibiotics to treat the burn.

2.)  Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are another common type of injury that can happen while at the gun range. To prevent any ocular injury, it is imperative that you wear safety and protection gear, such as eye goggles, to prevent any damage from occurring. According to the “Elsevier Review’s Survey of Ophthalmology: Gun-related eye injuries: A primer” gun-related eye injuries are, “present in nearly 30% of all facial and cranial gunshot wound victims, and over half result in permanent visual dysfunction.” An eye injury can also occur as a result of shooting a firearm when there is an extended brass that comes back and hits you in the eye. Be sure to get checked out if you experience any injury to your eye to ensure there is no further damage to your vision nor rifts in your eye.  

3.)  Ear Injuries

It is important to wear ear protection when shooting a firearm to prevent any damage to the ear such as hearing loss. Exposure to extremely loud noises from firearms such as rifles can permanently damage your hearing. Keep in mind that recreational shooting can put your ears at risk and that “peak sound pressure levels from firearms range from 140 to 175dB” according to the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.

Trusted ER Colleyville
Trusted ER Colleyville

If you have any emergency needs or treatment after a gun-related injury, Trusted ER is here to help. Visit any of our nine locations to receive the highest quality of care and the best healthcare experience after you’ve been injured. Setting the new standard for first-class medical care, Trusted Medical is where patients will find hotel-style amenities and exceptional care. Our mission is to provide best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment where providers can build trust, personal relationships, and prioritize more time with patients during visits. 

Here at Trusted Medical, we do the right thing. Every patient. Every time. To learn more about Texas Gun Experience, visit their website.

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Health Medical Advice

How To Treat a New Year’s Eve Hangover

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, meaning it’s time to celebrate. With 2020 being such a challenging and tough year, many are ready to kiss this year goodbye. New Year’s Eve, is a time of merriment and celebration but if you’re not careful, it can also lead to a series of headaches, nausea, and dizziness the day after due to excessive drinking. However, while there is ultimately no “cure” for a hangover, here are some useful tips to help prevent and treat hangover symptoms:

1.    Eat Before You Drink

Although it’s generally known that you should eat a meal before you start drinking, many people make the mistake of drinking on an empty stomach. This affects how alcohol interacts with your body. According to healthline.com, “when alcohol reaches the stomach, up to 20 percent will be absorbed into the blood and when alcohol passes into the small intestine, the remaining 75 to 85 percent is absorbed into the bloodstream.” Eating before drinking is helpful because food slows down the absorption of alcohol.

2.    Drink Clear Alcohol

When it comes to choosing alcohol to drink for New Year’s Eve, clear alcohol such as vodka and tequila is the right decision. Drinking clear alcohol decreases your chances of being hungover the next day. Darker alcohol such as whiskey or red wine contains substances called congeners which increases the chances of being hungover the following day.

3.    Drink Lots of Water

It is important to drink plenty of water if you plan to drink alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes you to pass water. This can lead to dehydration and increases your hangover symptoms. In addition to regular water, you may also want to consider coconut water, Pedialyte, and Gatorade as all three of these contain electrolytes that can help keep you hydrated. Also, drinking lots of water will allow your body to get the proper fluids that it needs to stay hydrated.

The most common symptoms of a hangover include:

1)   Diarrhea

2)   Headache

3)   Nausea

4)   Vomiting

5)   Fatigue

6)   Sweats

7)   Tremors

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms during your hangover, try getting some rest. Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin or Aspirin will help reduce the headache associated with hangovers. Consider eating lighter meals like toast or bland rice as eating heavier fatty meals can lead to nausea and vomiting.

In more severe cases of hangovers, like vomiting and cannot drink any fluids by the mouth, you should immediately visit the emergency room. You should also call 911 if you witness anyone who becomes unconscious and slips into an alcohol-induced coma due to excess drinking. Alcohol-induced comas are life-threatening and a cause for immediate concern.

At the ER, to help aid in your recovery, intravenous fluids can be administered. More commonly known as an IV, it can also provide anti nausea medications such as Zofran to relieve nausea and vomiting. If you’re experiencing a severe case of a hangover and need to visit the emergency room, contact us and visit the nearest location to you. At Trusted ER, our freestanding emergency rooms provide an easier and more convenient way for you to get the quality care that you need.

Although long wait times are a typical concern of most patients when they visit the ER, foot-traffic is generally lower at Trusted ER, thus offering patients reduced wait times. Our state-of-the-art facility offers a room with a comfortable environment where our patients are seen by our clinical team within a few minutes upon arrival. Our board-certified physicians have the broad clinical expertise to ensure that you receive the highest quality of care, regardless of your needs.

It’s important to remember these helpful tips and tricks as they can help prevent and treat a New Year’s Eve hangover and avoid even the most serious cases. When drinking on New Year’s Eve, apply these helpful tips and tricks and you can make the first day of the New Year much more pleasant and memorable. 

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Health Medical Advice

Skip Urgent Care and go straight to the ER. You’ll be happy you did.

Picture this scenario: You slice your hand with a knife while cutting a piece of cake. You’re bleeding pretty badly, and the cut looks deep. Should you head over to your local urgent care or the emergency room?

When it comes to medical emergencies, deciding between an urgent care visit or the ER can be tricky. If you don’t know the difference between an urgent care and the ER, how can you determine which one is right for you?

We know deciding between an urgent care visit or the ER can be confusing. Keep reading to learn more about how you can now get a higher level of care at the ER, with the same convenience as going to your local urgent care.

When to Visit an Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are known for offering patients easy access to quality care to treat non-life-threatening emergencies. Urgent care centers offer a convenient option for treating most non-emergency illnesses and injuries when your primary physician’s office is closed. They do not require appointments and a patient can receive fast treatment. Here’s something you may not have known: Freestanding Emergency Departments (FSED) offer all of the same benefits as urgent care while providing a higher level of healthcare should your non-life-threatening emergency turn into something more serious. Conditions that can be treated at the FSED include:

  • Rashes
  • Allergies
  • Minor burns
  • Minor fractures
  • Back pain
  • Asthma
  • Animal bites
  • Minor headaches
  • Ear or sinus pain
  • Cold or flu symptoms
  • Bumps, cuts, and scrapes
  • Cough, sore throat, or fever
  • Eye irritation, swelling, or pain
  • Mild asthma
  • Animal bites

When to Visit the Emergency Room    

You can visit Trusted ER for any of the above conditions, as well as, any life-threatening conditions that require immediate action and attention. Life-threatening conditions that typically require an ER visit include:

  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks  
  • Head trauma
  • Chest pains
  • Abdominal pains
  • Severe bleeding
  • Cuts and contusions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of vision
  • Toothaches
  • Severe headaches
  • Skin infections
  • Foreign objects in the body
  • Upper respiratory infections

Unlike urgent care centers, emergency rooms never close. According to the CDC, there are 139 million emergency department visits per year in the U.S.. They are open and available to anyone who needs emergency care and service 24/7, 365 days a year. Emergency rooms are filled with RNs and highly trained doctors who can treat any life-threatening condition and can offer better diagnostics, treatment, and a higher level of care than many physician and nursing assistant at an urgent care center.

Emergency rooms are ready to respond to any medical emergency and they have the necessary equipment to do so. For example, if you need a CT scan or MRI machine, emergency rooms are guaranteed to have this equipment to properly diagnose any health issues that the patient may have whereas an urgent care may not. Emergency rooms can perform CT scans, X-rays, and have ultrasound technology, all equipment that many urgent care centers lack.

Freestanding emergency rooms like Trusted ER provide an easier and more convenient way for you to get the quality care that you need.

Why You Should Choose Trusted ER

Trusted ER Hurst Midcities
Trusted ER Hurst in Mid-Cities, Dallas/Ft. Worth

Although long wait times are a typical concern of most patients when they visit the ER, foot-traffic is generally lower at Trusted ER, thus offering patients reduced wait times when you visit our ER.

Our state-of-the-art facility offers a room with a comfortable environment where our patients are seen by our clinical team within a few minutes after arrival. Our board-certified physicians have broad clinical expertise to ensure that you receive the highest quality of care, regardless of your needs.

“Trusted Medical was our idea of what healthcare should be,” says Dr. Harvey Castro. “Spending time with patients, being compassionate with our patients, being that trust, making sure that we understand why we’re here.”

Trusted Medical continues to lead the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in setting the new standard for concierge medical care. At Trusted Medical, our doctors, nurses, and staff are dedicated to “doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.”

Have a question or interested in learning more? Check out our services!

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Health Medical Advice

Why You May Need a CT Scan After a Head Injury

Why You May Need a CT Scan After a Head Injury

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Head injuries are no laughing matter. These injuries to the scalp, skull, and/or brain are caused by some form of trauma — like a car accident, a sports accident, or a fall — and can be quite serious. The most common type of sports-related brain injury is a concussion. An estimated 1.6-3.8 million concussions occur from playing sports each year.

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It occurs when the brain is shaken hard enough to bounce against the hard shell of the skull. It can happen when two people collide, as in football, when you’re hit with a piece of equipment such as a baseball bat, or in normal play such as when you “head” the ball in soccer.

Concussions, which account for about 75% of TBIs, alter a person’s mental status and can interrupt the brain’s normal functioning. While most resolve on their own, multiple concussions can have a cumulative effect, making each worse than the one before.

Trusted ER, a 24-hour concierge-style emergency room practice with locations in Dallas, Coppell, Hurst, Irving, and Sherman, Texas, is no stranger to head injuries. Each center is fully equipped with a radiology department that can perform X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds to aid in diagnosis and treatment of injuries, including TBIs.

What is a CT scan?

CT or CAT scan is more formally known as computed tomography. It’s a type of diagnostic medical imaging test. While traditional X-rays only show bone and some gross structures, a CT scan is more sensitive and can produce multiple, cross-sectional images of body structures. The images are taken as you lie on a table and the tech moves you in and out of a space in the center of the large device. Having a CT scan is completely painless.

One advantage of a CT’s images is that they’re reformatted in multiple planes and compiled into three-dimensional images. These images are easily viewed on a computer screen. They can be printed on film or by a 3D printer; and they can be transferred to a CD or DVD so you can show the images to your primary doctor or any specialist you need to see at a later time.

Why should you get a CT scan after a head injury?

If you’ve had a head injury, it’s important that the doctor can see if you have any internal injuries, skull fractures, or brain bleeds that might require immediate attention. CT images can show bones, internal organs, soft tissues, and blood vessels in much greater detail than regular X-rays, particularly for soft tissues and blood vessels.

While not as sensitive — or as costly — as a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI), a CT scan is usually the best test to have first if the doctor suspects you have a skull fracture or a brain bleed. It’s an extremely common test after a car accident, since you might not feel symptoms from the injury right away.

Possible symptoms of a skull fracture or brain bleed include:

  • Weakness on either side of your body
  • Trouble speaking, swallowing, or hearing
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • One pupil larger than the other
  • Fluid or blood coming from an ear or the nose

Not all head injuries require a CT scan. If your doctor thinks you have a mild concussion, for example, a CT scan probably won’t show anything out of the ordinary.

When should you see a doctor?

If you’ve had a car accident, a fall, or any other type of injury where you may have injured your head, you should definitely see a doctor, as your symptoms may not show up immediately. Only a medical professional can determine the extent of your injury and whether a CT scan is warranted.

Trusted ER is open 24 hours a day and welcomes anyone who needs help. Call any of our six locations, contact us via our online form, or if you’ve had an accident, just come in.