• Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

    One of the most common reasons for visits to an immediate care clinic in Atlanta is back pain. Typically, an urgent care doctor will see patients with lower back pain. However, upper back pain is not uncommon. At an urgent care clinic , patients with upper back pain may discover that the pain is caused by muscle strains. Other patients may have wear and tear damage of the tissues, which may lead to problems such as a herniated disc.

    Watch this video or consult a family physician at an urgent care clinic to learn more about the causes of upper back pain. This physical therapist explains that the underlying cause is typically prolonged sitting or standing with poor posture.

  • Steps To Take if Your HIV Test is Positive

    HIV Positive Diagnosis Testing positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a life-changing event. It’s not uncommon to have trouble coming to terms with the diagnosis. Although you may feel as though you’re on a rollercoaster of difficult emotions after you leave the STD testing clinic near Atlanta, it’s important to take action quickly. You’ll need to make an appointment with a primary care physician for an HIV baseline evaluation and you’ll need to disclose your diagnosis to your sexual partners.

    Have an HIV Baseline Evaluation

    At the healthcare clinic, the primary care physician will perform an HIV baseline evaluation. This includes a comprehensive review of your medical history, in addition to a physical exam and various lab tests. The purpose of this visit is to determine whether HIV has progressed to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is the end stage of HIV. The family physician will help you understand what HIV treatment involves , what benefits and risks it has, and how you can prevent the spread of the HIV infection.

    Ask Any Questions You May Have

    After receiving a diagnosis of HIV, you probably have a lot of questions about the virus, how it will affect you, and how you can manage it. Write a list of your questions and bring it to your appointment, along with some blank paper for taking notes. You may wish to ask questions such as how you can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of acquiring other infections. You could also ask how HIV treatment may change your lifestyle and whether you need to tell anyone about your diagnosis.

    Inform Your Sexual Partners

    During the HIV baseline evaluation, your family doctor may ask you about your sexual activity. He or she will tell you that it is imperative to inform your sexual partners that you’ve been diagnosed with HIV. These individuals will need to go to an STD testing clinic to determine if they might also have the virus.

    Find Resources for Support

    Your primary care physician can refer you to local resources that can offer support during this difficult time in your life. You may wish to join a support group, speak with a clinical social worker, or talk to a mental health counselor. If you decide to tell your family members about your diagnosis, you can ask them for their support.

  • Where to Seek Care for a Sprain

    A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament, which is a tough band of tissue that connects the ends of bones together. Sprains can be quite severe, often causing rapid swelling and pain. If you suspect you may have suffered a sprain, such as a sprained ankle, it’s best to seek care sooner, rather than later. Since a sprain isn’t a life-threatening medical emergency, you can go to an urgent care center near Atlanta for diagnosis and treatment instead of an ER. Have someone else drive you to the urgent care clinic . While you’re on your way there, apply an ice pack to your injury to help ease your pain and alleviate the swelling.

    Once you’ve arrived at the urgent care clinic, inform the family doctor of your symptoms and how you sustained the injury. In addition to undergoing a physical exam, you may need an x-ray to make sure you haven’t sustained a fracture. Then, the doctor can provide treatment recommendations, which will typically include keeping weight off the injured body part and keeping it elevated, along with applying cold packs. The physician may also need to splint the injured body part to keep it immobilized while it heals.

    Sprains

  • The Role of Your Primary Care Physician

    When you go to a healthcare clinic near Atlanta, one of the first questions you may be asked is, “Who is your primary?” This question refers to your primary care physician , also known as a family doctor. Your primary care physician plays several important roles in your healthcare. Primary care physicians are often the first doctors that patients go to when they experience a medical problem. They can diagnose and treat medical conditions, coordinate healthcare services and treatment recommendations, and perform many other vital functions.

    What Is Primary Care?

    Primary care is broadly defined as the healthcare provided by doctors who are trained to evaluate a comprehensive range of medical conditions and who provide continuing care for patients . Family doctors work with patients of all ages, from infants to senior citizens. They provide patient education regarding diseases, conditions, risk factors, and lifestyle issues. They promote overall well-being and work to prevent diseases. Primary care physicians can diagnose and treat both acute and chronic conditions, such as acute injuries like lacerations and chronic illnesses such as asthma and allergies.

    Why Is It Important to Have a Primary Care Physician?

    Everyone should have a primary care physician, whether or not they think they need to. A family doctor is someone whom a patient will see on a fairly regular basis, often for years. The patient-doctor relationship is a crucial component of preventive healthcare. It is essentially a partnership that allows the doctor to become familiar with the patient’s medical history, needs, and concerns, and it allows the patient to feel comfortable discussing personal health information.

    What If I Need to See a Specialist?

    Primary Care Doctor Although a primary care physician can manage a wide array of health issues without needing to consult with a specialist, some patients do need to be referred to one. Primary care doctors can provide patients with referrals and answer any questions they have about why a specialist’s care may be needed. Another crucial function of family doctors is the coordination of healthcare services. When a patient needs to see one or more specialists, those healthcare providers may not necessarily receive test results and treatment recommendations from each other. For example, a patient may see a dermatologist about a rash and a cardiologist for heart problems. A healthcare provider receives all of this information, and he or she may realize that the two problems could be related.

  • Understanding Travel Medicine

    If you’re planning a trip abroad, consider scheduling an appointment at a healthcare clinic that offers travel medicine in Atlanta. Travel medicine, also known as emporiatrics, is a healthcare specialty for the prevention and treatment of medical problems that international travelers often acquire . You can see a primary care physician both before and after your international trip to help safeguard your health.

    As you’ll learn by watching this video, a primary care physician who offers travel medicine will typically know a great deal about the types of health problems common to various areas of the world. The family physician can help travelers understand these health issues and learn how to reduce their risk. Travelers can also learn about symptoms to watch out for so they’ll know if they need to seek a medical evaluation.

  • Have You Had Your Annual Physical Yet?

    Many people delay seeing a family doctor until they develop a major medical problem that requires care at an urgent care center. This is unfortunate because preventive healthcare, including an annual physical exam , can help doctors detect problems before they become serious. Meeting with an Atlanta primary care physician at least once per year also gives patients the opportunity to discuss any health concerns they may have.

    Baseline Health Statistics

    Annual Physical Exam By scheduling an annual appointment with a primary care physician, you’re establishing a record of your health. The doctor will evaluate your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, body mass index, and other important measurements of your health. By establishing your baseline health statistics at each annual physical, your doctor will be able to immediately identify when something is wrong.

    Disease Risk Factors

    When you become a new patient at a medical center, you’re asked to provide information about your personal and family medical history. However, it’s important to remember that your medical history is subject to change. At your annual physical exam, you can update your records, such as by informing the doctor that your parent was diagnosed with cancer or your sibling recently developed thyroid problems. This allows your doctor the chance to periodically review your disease risk factors , recommend screening tests as needed, and offer preventive advice.

    Lifestyle Information

    Your medical history isn’t the only indicator of potential risk factors of medical problems. Your annual physical exam is an opportunity to discuss your lifestyle habits with your doctor. Remember that your doctor is only interested in promoting your well-being; he or she won’t judge you for your lifestyle choices. It’s important to be honest when answering questions about your typical diet, exercise habits, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and sexual activity. Your family physician can provide guidance on whether your lifestyle habits may contribute to health problems later down the road. If you would like to lead a healthier lifestyle, you can ask the doctor for advice on quitting smoking, losing weight, or starting an exercise program.

  • Top Reasons to Get a Flu Shot

    The next time you schedule a physical exam at a primary care clinic in Atlanta, consider asking your family physician about getting a flu shot. Getting an annual influenza vaccine protects you , your family, and the community as a whole. And since nearly every private and public health insurance plan covers the vaccine, there’s no good reason not to get the shot. For those without insurance, a primary care clinic can administer the vaccine for a very low fee.

    Flu Shots Preventive Wellness for You

    Many people skip getting an annual flu shot because they mistakenly believe that the injection itself can cause them to develop influenza. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The flu shot is very safe and effective. The most common side effects are mild swelling, soreness, and redness at the injection site. Dealing with these mild and temporary side effects is much easier than coping with the flu. Another reason why some people avoid getting flu shots is because they assume that the flu is just like a cold. But in fact, influenza is a serious infection that can cause fever, chills, sweats, fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms. Some people develop complications of the flu, including pneumonia, bronchitis, and even heart problems. Getting the flu shot at a primary care clinic is the most effective way to protect your health.

    Protective Benefits for Others

    You probably already know that if you’re sick, you should stay home to avoid exposing others to your infection. But did you know that you could be contagious without developing symptoms? The individuals who have the flu and do not experience symptoms or only experience mild symptoms are primarily young adults in good overall health. These individuals may inadvertently spread influenza to coworkers, classmates, and others. Scheduling an appointment for a flu shot is an easy way to protect family members and others. It’s particularly important to get a flu shot if you’re around people with weakened immune systems, such as babies, young children, older adults, and people with chronic illnesses.