Can I keep playing? Talk to a doctor from the sideline. It's like having proper form or technique when you workout or play a sport. Speak to a doctor online right when you get hurt to optimize your health and well-being. A doctor on call, just for you!
Your doctor is at the ready, wherever and whenever you need them.
Minor sports injuries such as sprains and strains are amongst the conditions that are suitable for a medical consultation over telemedicine. Such injuries from physical activity, or a simple misstep, are very common. Unfortunately, people are often unsure about when to see a doctor. The key is to make sure that it's not a broken bone. Fortunately, this is very easy for a doctor to determine through a virtual consultation. Most of the time doctors are able to distinguish between a broken bone and a sprain through basic questioning of the patient. Such questions pertain to concerns over pain and mobility (the range of motion and ease of movement).
For example, if it's an issue with the foot or ankle: can they walk properly? If it's a concern over the wrist, can they do basic movements with their hands, such as squeezing and moving fingers? They may also want to know the circumstances of the injury and whether the body sustained damage other than the sprain or strain that initially causes the patient to seek care.
If a doctor suspects a broken bone, an X-ray is necessary to confirm the suspicion and act appropriately. A set of probing guidelines have been developed for determining the need to get an X-ray– the Ottawa ankle rules. These rules are:
"a set of guidelines for clinicians to help decide if a patient with foot or ankle pain should be offered X-rays to diagnose a possible bone fracture. Before the introduction of the rules most patients with ankle injuries would have been imaged. However the vast majority of patients with unclear ankle injuries do not have bony fractures. As a result, many unnecessary X-rays were taken, which was costly, time consuming and a slight health risk due to radiation exposure."
Doctors on RingMD are thoroughly trained and know how to apply these guidelines and other principles to their patients. It's pretty likely that if there’s been trauma & pain, you will need X-ray. GPs almost always refer patients to another facility to get an X-ray. So why spend time and energy traveling to two different medical offices? See a doctor from wherever you are to determine the extent of your injury. They'll help you come up with a personalized game plan, whether that's helping you get an X-ray or another course of action.
The doctor doesn't think it's serious. How can I take care of myself?
As soon as possible after an injury, such as a wrist or ankle sprain, you can relieve pain and swelling and promote healing and flexibility with the classic first-aid acronym "RICE"-Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Rest the injured limb. Your doctor may recommend not putting any weight on the injured area for 48 hours, so you may need to use crutches. A splint or brace may also be helpful initially. But don't avoid all activity. Even with an ankle sprain, you can usually still exercise other muscles to minimize deconditioning.
Ice the area. Use a cold pack, a slush bath or a compression sleeve filled with cold water to help limit swelling after an injury. Try to ice the area as soon as possible and continue to ice it for 15 to 20 minutes, four to eight times a day, for the first 48 hours or until swelling improves.
Compress the area with an elastic wrap or bandage. Compression wraps or sleeves made of elastic or neoprene are best. Don't wrap it too tightly, because this can cause more swelling below the affected area.
Elevate. Elevate the injured or sore area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Make sure to keep the injured limb above your heart whenever possible to help limit swelling.
Over the counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, may help to ease pain and swelling. Do not take more than the amount recommended on the bottle or more than your doctor advises you to take. Carefully read the warnings on the label before taking any medicine.
However, you shouldn't use these drugs for the first 24 hours after your injury. They may increase the risk of bleeding. During the first 24 hours, you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) if your provider tells you it is safe to do so. People with liver disease should not take this medicine.
Aside from minor sports injuries, when can I use telemedicine?
Most Singaporeans are used to having a doctor perform physical checks on them when they are sick or in pain. As a result of that, we feel uneasy with the concept of an online doctor giving us a diagnosis without performing these checks. While physical examinations are important for the diagnosis of certain diseases, common reasons for a GP visit such as cold or flu, sore throat, cough, etc. can be diagnosed accurately without performing physical tests.
Virtual care is not meant to replace primary care. As mentioned above, there are conditions where a patient should be visiting a doctor in order to get the appropriate tests done. But it can address a large majority of the conditions that people visit a GP for.
In 2014, Ministry of Health (MOH) conducted a survey and found that 65% of all GP visits are for acute, likely self-limiting (i.e. can recover on its own), conditions. The vast majority of the time, when we visit a doctor, it is because we either want a prescription drug for symptomatic relief, or we want a medical certificate to rest at home. These conditions can be handled much more efficiently over telemedicine.
With that being said, it is important for patients to understand the situations that are suitable to speak with a doctor online and situations where they should visit a doctor in person. Virtual care service providers can help patients to identify these situations by clearly listing the conditions that are suitable for their services (The most common conditions suitable for RingMD’s Instant Call service can be found here).
The bottom line is that online consultations are always an option you can turn to for convenient medical advice. Furthermore, most common acute conditions can be determined and taken care of through an online consultation and online prescription.
An experienced licensed doctor is typically quickly able to determine the severity of your condition just from speaking with you: whether that be in person or through a video consultation.
If your condition is serious, or further physical examination is required, the doctor will tell you what to do to get appropriate care. Consulting a doctor online is a convenient first line of defense that will likely help your acute condition, and if it can’t, it’ll point you in the right direction to deal with it effectively.
You have a lot of things going on in your life, don’t spend time traveling to the clinic or hospital and waiting if you don’t have to.
RingMD is open to answering any questions from patients who want to know more about how telemedicine services work, and we can be contacted easily via our website. Don’t hesitate to contact us.
Speak with a doctor online. Why leave home to find a doctor if you don't have to? Can you have a doctor appointment online? Yes, consult a doctor online, right now! When appropriate, the doctor is able to provide you with a signed Medical Certificate (MC) if they believe you need one for work or school reasons.
We're also focusing on increasing access to mental health care. If you're thinking "I need a therapist near me" but dont know where to start, try the RingMD therapist directory. We will help you find the right therapist for YOU!
If you're a doctor or wellness expert considering offering virtual care services, here are some arguments to consider.