Appointment Icon

Jones Regional Medical Center Urgent Care - Anamosa

1795 Highway 64 East
Anamosa, IA 52205

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Ankeny)

1055 Southwest Oralabor Road
Ankeny, IA 50023

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Bett Plex)

5185 Competition Drive
Bettendorf, IA 52722

01 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266

02 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Lindale)

153 Collins Road Northeast
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Marshalltown)

55 Central Iowa Drive
Marshalltown, IA 50158

06 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (North Crossing)

2134 Logan Avenue
Waterloo, IA 50703

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Peck's Landing)

1940 Blairs Ferry Rd.
Hiawatha, IA 52233

01 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Peoria)

8914 North Knoxville Avenue
Peoria, IL 61615

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Prairie Parkway)

5100 Prairie Parkway
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (San Marnan)

1655 East San Marnan Drive
Waterloo, IA 50702

01 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Washington)

209 North Cummings Lane
Washington, IL 61571

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E Hickman Rd
Waukee, IA 50263

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waverly)

101 Cedar River Pkwy 101
Waverly, IA 50677

02 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express at Duck Creek

1417 Kimberly Road
Bettendorf, IA 52722

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Behavioral Health Urgent Care - Des Moines

1250 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50316

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Express - United Medical Park

1731 West Ridgeway Avenue
Waterloo, IA 50701

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Express (Fort Dodge)

2728 2nd Avenue South
Fort Dodge, IA 50501

07 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - Bettendorf

3415 53rd Avenue
Bettendorf, IA 52722

06 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - Moline

106 19th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265

02 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - North Port

3426 North Port Drive
Muscatine, IA 52761

01 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Express Care - SouthPark Pointe

3904 16th Street
Moline, IL 61265

05 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine and Walk-In Care - Cascade

610 2nd Avenue Northeast
Cascade, IA 52033

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine and Walk-In Care - Peosta

8456 Commercial Ct
PO Box 80
Peosta, IA 52068

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic First Care - East Peoria

2535 East Washington Street
East Peoria, IL 61611

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic First Care - Peoria Heights

1120 East War Memorial Drive
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th Street Southwest
Altoona, IA 50009

02 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ankeny Medical Park

3625 North Ankeny Boulevard
Ankeny, IA 50023

01 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

03 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Marion

2992 7th Avenue
Marion, IA 52302

02 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

07 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 Southeast 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50320

13 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Sunnybrook

5885 Sunnybrook Drive
Sioux City, IA 51106

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Urbandale

5200 NW 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322

05 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - West

2255 John F Kennedy Road
Dubuque, IA 52002

02 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Westside

2375 Edgewood Road Southwest
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

06 Patients
Waiting Now

When to Go to a Doctor or Urgent Care for Muscle Strains

by -

woman holding her neck; When to Go to a Doctor or Urgent Care for Muscle Strains

Your muscles contain bundles of thread-like fibers. An injury or repetitive motions, like bending and twisting, can cause strain, leading to a pulled muscle (or muscle strain). When you pull a muscle, the fibers stretch abnormally or tear. Loras Even, DO, UnityPoint Health, explains when to consider going to urgent care for muscle strains.

How Would I Know if I’ve Pulled a Muscle?

“It’s common to think of muscle strains as sports injuries. But everyday activities, such as sitting at a desk or sleeping in an awkward position, cause strains, too,” says Dr. Even. “Sometimes they’re due to sudden jerking movements, like trying to regain your footing after tripping on something.”

Strains often affect muscles in the:

  • Back
  • Calf
  • Groin
  • Hamstring (back of your leg)
  • Neck
  • Wrist

If you’ve pulled a muscle, you are likely to experience:

  • Bruising
  • Change in the skin’s appearance, such as a gap or dent (rare)
  • Cramping that comes and goes (muscle spasms)
  • Difficulty moving the affected area
  • Pain even when sitting
  • Swelling

When to Go to Urgent Care for a Muscle Strain

“Muscle strains can be uncomfortable and complicate your daily life. But they often heal on their own. It just takes time,” Dr. Even explains.

However, some strains require medical attention.

“It’s worth your peace of mind to come in for strain symptoms you find worrisome.”

You may want to consider going to urgent care if:

  • Pain isn’t going away after a few days, or it’s getting worse
  • Symptoms include numbness or tingling
  • You heard a “pop” when the injury occurred
  • It’s challenging to perform basic tasks, like walking or getting out of bed
  • You experience numbness or tingling
  • You cannot move the area
  • Pain radiates down the arms or legs
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers aren’t helping

Wondering what pain reliever to try? Learn more about acetaminophen vs. ibuprofen: what to take when.

How Can an Urgent Care Provider Help Me?

Coming to urgent care can take some of the uncertainty out of muscle strain recovery.

“It’s natural to be somewhat anxious. With a slow-healing injury like this, you may wonder whether you’re on the right track. We are happy to discuss your diagnosis, treatment plan and prognosis.”

Other ways urgent care providers can help include:

  • Prescribing medications or giving injections for pain that won’t quit
  • Providing home-care guidance, including specific stretches or strengthening exercises
  • Referring you to physical therapy for additional assistance during your recovery
  • Giving you self-care recommendations to lower your risk of re-injury
  • Developing plans for a safe return to work, sports or other physical activities
  • Providing a doctor’s note if you need to reduce or avoid certain work activities

For a prompt evaluation and diagnosis, visit a UnityPoint Health Urgent Care. Urgent care providers treat patients of all ages, including adolescents and older adults. They get to the source of the pain and recommend therapies that bring relief. No appointment is necessary.

Preparing for Your Urgent Care Visit

When you come to urgent care, your provider will ask questions about your symptoms and what may have caused the strain. You also receive a thorough physical exam to help determine the strain’s location and severity. This information helps plan the next steps of your care.

We may ask you to explain:

  • The circumstances that may have caused you to pull a muscle
  • What symptoms feel like
  • How symptoms affect your ability to move and complete daily tasks
  • Whether you have previously strained the area
  • If specific postures, movements or activities make the pain worse
  • Which at-home therapies you may have tried.

At-Home Care for Minor Strains

It might not be necessary to go to urgent care for strains causing mild symptoms. In many cases, over-the-counter pain medications are enough to relieve discomfort.

You can also use the P.R.I.C.E. method:

  • P = Protection. Avoid activities that make symptoms worse.
  • R = Rest. Try using the affected muscle as little as possible.
  • I = Ice. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel to minimize swelling. Find out more about when to use ice or heat.
  • C = Compression. Lightly wrap the muscle with an elastic bandage.
  • E = Elevation. Raise the affected limb to ease pressure and prevent blood from pooling.

Read more information about strain relief and recovery: 11 tips for lower back pain.

Easy Access to Muscle Strain Care at UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health makes it easy to get help for severe or stubborn muscle strain symptoms. You can find urgent care clinics with helpful, friendly staff in locations close to home.

For non-emergency situations, our clinics accept walk-in patients seven days a week. Experienced healthcare providers are available during the day, in the evenings and on holidays.

Our offerings also include UnityPoint Health Virtual Care and reserve your spot online for in-person urgent care visits.