Sports Physicals – What You Need To Know

If you have ever wondered, “How many sports physicals are you getting?”? It’s not just you. A physical for a sport seems simple to the untrained eye – but for parents of future Maria Sharapova and David Beckham, they can seem intimidating, confusing, and unnecessary. Are we really supposed to get them every sports season?

Truth be told, sports physicals are essential for your little one’s health and well-being, both on and off the field. In order to help you safely and conveniently kick off your next sports season, whatever it may be, and whatever it may entail, we are here to help you learn all about sports physicals.

What is a Sports Physical?

Pre-participation physical examinations (PPE), also called sports physicals, provide insight into whether a child (or adult) can safely participate in sports activities. It’s always a good idea for you to consult a healthcare professional before starting an exercise program or sport, and sports physicals make this easy.

Sports physicals should not replace regular annual checkups or physicals, since a sports physical will focus on health history that can affect a child’s ability to play sports. In addition to any physicals that may be required for participation in sports, it is still important for your child to receive a separate annual examination in addition to a sports physical.

Sports Physicals: Why Are They Important?

Sports physicals can help you identify health issues that could affect your ability to participate in a sport, and then address them. You could, for instance, ask a doctor about prescribing you a different type of inhaler or adjusting the dosage if you are prone to asthma attacks but play soccer as a beginning forward.

In addition to training tips, your doctor might also be able to provide you with some tips on how to avoid getting injured. He or she might suggest specific stretching and strengthening activities to help prevent injuries. As well as identifying risk factors that are related to certain sports, doctors can identify specific risk factors as well. This type of advice will make you a stronger, better athlete.

What Is the Best Time and Place for a Sports Physical?

Sports physicals are usually administered by the school or by the individual’s physician. There are roughly half a dozen or so “stations” set up in the gym for school physicals, each with a health professional performing a particular part of the physical.

Getting your exam at the school is convenient if they offer it. Nevertheless, you should also visit your regular doctor for an exam even if you have a school sports physical. Unlike anyone you briefly speak to in the gym, your doctor knows your health history better.

As soon as you reach seventh grade, you will probably start getting sports physicals if your state requires them. Participating in school sports is okay even if you are not required to get a sports physical by the school or the state. Before your ninth-grade year, you may want to start taking these tests earlier if you play a sport that is regular.

Sports physicals are usually adequate once per year. Get checked out after your major injury has healed before you practice or play again. This includes a broken wrist or ankle although you might be able to practice or play after the injury has healed.

A six-week period prior to your sports season is the optimal time to get a physical so that if something needs to be addressed, you get the opportunity. If you get your sports physical the day before you begin baseball practice and something needs to be done before you can suit up, neither you nor your doctor will be very happy.

What If There’s a Problem?

If your doctor doesn’t approve and you have to see a specialist, what will you do? What does this mean for you playing softball and hockey? Your doctor may ask for additional tests or a follow-up visit – this could be anything from rechecking your blood pressure to checking it again after a week.

An athlete’s performance may be improved by the referral of a specialist by their doctor. An orthopedist or sports medicine specialist can help you figure out what’s wrong if, for instance, you wish to try out for your school’s track team but get a slight pain in your knee every time you run. Maybe you overtrained or ran with poor form previously. There could be a long-standing injury on the knee that never completely healed. Maybe the problem is as simple as running shoes that aren’t supportive enough. It is possible that your doctor will give you treatment or suggestions before the sports season begins to minimize the risk of further injury to your knee.

The chances of you being disqualified are very slim. Having a sports physical is ultimately about ensuring your safety when participating in sports, not preventing you from doing so. You won’t be prevented from playing your sport by a specialist most of the time.

Is it still necessary to get a regular physical?

To put it simply, yes. Sports physicals are different from regular physicals, even though it may seem overkill.

Sports physicals assess your health in relation to your sports participation. Compared to a standard physical, it’s less extensive, but it’s much more specific to athletic problems. Your doctor will, however, consider many things other than your athletic ability during a regular physical. If you want, you can have both types of exams conducted at the same time, but be aware that it will take more time.

You should always monitor yourself when you play sports, regardless of the results of your sports physical. If you notice a change in your physical condition – even a small change like muscle pain or shortness of breath – be sure to speak with your coach or parent. If your health needs or your medication have changed, please let your phys-ed teacher or coach know.

Teenage athletes will need medical care if they are to play their best just like professional athletes. A sports physical can help you have the same advantage as the pros.

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