Whether you’re playing in a community soccer league this summer or your child is gearing up to try out for the football team when school starts back up, you’re going to want to be prepared. For many children, adolescents, and adult athletes alike, the start of a new sports season is one of the most thrilling times of the year. But when you're swept up in that enthusiasm and forget to do some fundamental things, you may be putting yourself at risk for injury. Getting a sports physical is an essential part of preparing for your season, and we’re here to tell you why.
What Is A Sports Physical?
A is a type of exam that is performed to assess an individual's fitness for participation in athletic activities. The exam is conducted by a and typically includes a review of the individual's medical history, as well as a physical examination. The purpose of the sports physical is to identify any potential health concerns that could impact an individual's ability to safely participate in a particular sport. For example, if an individual has a heart condition that puts them at risk for sudden cardiac complications, this would be identified during the sports physical and they would likely be restricted from participating in contact sports.
During a sports physical, a will review an athlete's medical history and may inquire about family members' illnesses, prior injuries, allergies, and medicines taken. They will then perform a physical examination, during which the physician measures height, weight, blood pressure, and visual acuity, checks vital organs, and performs tests to assess overall flexibility and strength. They will evaluate the findings of the exam, and they may give clearance for sports participation or offer recommendations for further evaluation and/or therapy if issues are detected.
Why Do I Need a Sports Physical?
Sports physicals are important because they help to ensure the safety of athletes. By identifying any potential health concerns that could impact an individual's ability to safely participate in a particular sport, sports physicals help to prevent injuries and potentially save lives. There are many reasons why a sports physical is an essential part of any sport. Some of them are:
- You get treatment tailored to your sport - These physicals provide a layer of protection by ensuring that your body is in good enough condition to play the sport you're intending to participate in. For instance, a sports physical for a football player may check for things different than that of a runner. Depending on the sport, the provider may pay attention to particular parts of an athlete's body – like the ankles or feet of a runner, which are likely to be problematic.
- You can avoid injuries in the future - In addition to the safety benefits, sports physicals also provide an opportunity for athletes to receive educational counseling about how to reduce their risk of injury. For example, your physician may discuss the importance of warm-up and cool-down exercises, proper nutrition, and staying hydrated.
- You and your loved ones have peace of mind - It’s not uncommon to hear about a talented athlete that experienced a career-ending injury. When you have assurance from your doctor that you are healthy and prepared for your sport, you and your loved ones can worry less as you continue to participate in your sport safely.
- You have an accurate assessment of your overall health - Sports physicals offer you a comprehensive understanding of your overall health. During this appointment, your physician can detect any underlying health conditions that may have otherwise been left untreated. Even if there are no major diseases or heart problems found, common conditions that are often forgotten could have an impact on your safety in sports; like asthma, allergies, and elevated blood pressure.
Whether you're a parent getting your child ready for their first season of soccer, or a seasoned athlete preparing for your tenth marathon, don't forget to schedule a . Getting comprehensive care from your trusted physician and ensuring your safety could be the most important thing you do all season. If you are ready to start your season off right, is proud to offer accessible sports medicine physical exams. your today, or check out our other .
in Wexford, Pennsylvania is a concierge primary medicine practice that believes strongly in putting the focus back on the patient. We connect our patients not just with physicians, but also with pharmacists, personal trainers, and registered nutritionists. If you’d like to about our concierge care services or want to explore your , give us a call at (724) 933-4300. You can also online!