If you’re an athlete, you know that getting a sports physical is a necessary part of being cleared to play. But what exactly do sports physicals entail? In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about sports physicals, from what they are to what they check for.
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The Importance of Sports Physicals
Sports physicals are an important way to make sure that your child is healthy and ready to participate in their chosen sport. They can also help identify any potential health concerns that could impact your child’s ability to safely participate in their sport.
During a sports physical, the doctor will review your child’s medical history and current health status. They will also perform a physical examination, which may include checking your child’s heart rate, blood pressure, and height and weight.
The doctor may also order some tests, such as a vision test or blood work, to make sure that your child is healthy enough to participate in their sport.
It is important to remember that even if your child has had a physical in the past year, they may still need a sports physical before participating in their chosen sport. This is because the doctor will be looking for any changes or concerns that could impact your child’s ability to safely participate in their sport.
What Happens During a Sports Physical?
A sports physical is a type of examination used to evaluate your readiness to participate in athletics. It’s important to have one before you start any new sport or exercise program, especially if you have any chronic medical conditions.
The exam will generally include a review of your medical history, a physical examination, and some basic tests of your muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. The specific components will vary depending on your age and the guidelines of the organization overseeing your athletic activities.
Here’s a look at some of the most common things that will happen during a sports physical:
-You’ll be asked about your medical history. The doctor or other healthcare provider will want to know about any chronic illnesses or conditions that could impact your ability to safely participate in athletics. This may include conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart problems, and more.
-You’ll have a physical examination. This will likely include checking your height and weight, taking your blood pressure and pulse, listening to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope, and examining your joints and muscles.
-You may need to provide a urine sample. This can help the healthcare provider check for things like dehydration, kidney problems, or hidden blood in the urine (which can be a sign of disease).
-You may need some basic tests. These may include tests of your muscle strength and flexibility as well as cardiovascular fitness tests like running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.
Why are Sports Physicals Important?
Sports physicals are an important part of keeping athletes safe and healthy. They help to identify any medical conditions that could potentially cause problems during strenuous activity. In addition, sports physicals can also provide valuable information about an athlete’s fitness level and help to detect potential injuries.
What do Doctors Look for During a Sports Physical?
In order to help athletes participate in sports safely, doctors perform sports physicals. These physicals are designed to screen for potential medical problems that could increase the risk of injury during physical activity.
During a sports physical, the doctor will ask about your medical history and any previous injuries you have had. They will also perform a physical examination, which may include checking your height and weight, testing your vision and hearing, and listening to your heart and lungs. The doctor may also ask you to do some simple physical tests, such as running or jumping.
The purpose of a sports physical is to make sure that you are healthy enough to participate in a particular sport safely. If the doctor finds any medical problems, they may recommend ways to manage or treat them so that you can still participate in the sport. For example, if you have asthma, the doctor may recommend that you carry an inhaler with you while playing.
How often should I get a Sports Physical?
There is no one answer to how often an athlete should have a sports physical. Depending on the athlete’s age, the type of sport they are participating in, and other factors, the frequency with which an athlete should receive a sports physical may vary. Generally speaking, however, it is recommended that athletes have a sports physical at least once per year.
What if I have a Pre-existing Condition?
There is no need to worry if you have a pre-existing condition. Your doctor will still be able to give you a sports physical.
What if I’m Injured?
If you are injured, you should see your doctor. You may need a medical release to return to play.
What if I have a Chronic Illness?
If you have a chronic illness, you may still be able to participate in sports if you can get clearance from your doctor. Some common chronic illnesses that may affect your ability to participate in sports include:
-Hepatitis B or C
What if I’m Pregnant?
If you’re pregnant, you can receive a sport physical at any facility that offers them. You’ll likely be asked to complete a health questionnaire and have your blood pressure and height/weight checked. Your doctor will also listen to your heart and lungs and check your joints and muscles.
What if I have Special Needs?
Some students have special needs that must be considered when planning for their sports physical. These students may need to see a pediatrician, family doctor, or other medical specialist for their sports physical. The school nurse will work with the student’s parent or guardian to make sure that the student gets the care they need.