The Importance Of Sports Physicals

The Importance Of Sports Physicals

Pre-participation exams, or sports physicals, are required for students who want to participate in athletic competitions or sports camps. Even if it’s not mandatory, it is recommended that young athletes undergo one for the following reasons:

  • To ensure safe participation by young athletes.
  • To identify medical conditions that may impede participation and pose risk to health (such as heart disease, lung conditions, juvenile diabetes, etc.). If such conditions are found, they can be further evaluated and treated accordingly.
  • To identify conditions that may hamper participation like depression, eating disorders, high blood pressure, recent concussions, substance abuse, eating disorders, anemia, amenorrhea, pregnancy, etc.
  • To identify and fully rehabilitate previous injuries to prevent injuries in the near future.
  • To check for orthopedic conditions that may require further assessment and rehabilitation, including physical therapy prior to participation.
  • Allowing the doctor to talk to the young athletes regarding healthy eating, avoiding substance abuse, etc

Usually, a doctor will look for the following and address them so that athletic participation won’t be restricted:

  • Fever (a fever could be a symptom of underlying infection, making exercise dangerous; the patient may also be contagious).
  • Dislocations if any.
  • Fractures
  • Abdominal masses
  • Abnormalities in heart rate and sounds.
  • Stability of joints
  • Post-concussion symptoms in case of recent concussion

It is vital to identify these issues because treatment can be given and ‘second impact’ can be prevented. This is the syndrome whereby the same injury or illness may relapse, especially during high-intensity physical activity.

Components of the Sports Physical Exam

  • Medical history
  • Injury history
  • Cardiovascular history
  • ECG for athletes with history of heart abnormalities
  • Vital signs
  • General Exam to rule out presence of common illnesses and infections
  • Fitness test (for older athletes)

It is recommended that athletes, both children, and adults undergo a physical at least once a year; students, before their school year commences, & before starting a sports activity. These physicals should be completed around 4 to 6 weeks before the camp or season commences, to allow sufficient time for further evaluation and rehabilitation.

Are you looking for a clinic or doctor for undergoing sports physicals? At Medical Access Urgent Care, we have well qualified, expert physicians who can conduct the physicals for you at affordable fees; we make sure that you’re fit for sports! Just walk into any of our 3 clinics: Woodbridge, VA, Alexandria, VA, or Germantown, MD. Our clinics are open seven days a week for extended hours, so you are attended to without much waiting. Our healthcare professionals are well trained, thoroughly professional, and extremely pleasant, and will put you at ease immediately.