Everyone knows the physical benefits of playing sports, particularly for children and teenagers. You’re also aware that sports are a great way to meet new friends and socialize. Before you go out and try out a new sport, you must first ensure that a doctor gives you the “go” signal by undergoing a sports physical first.
A Look at Sports Physicals
Known as a preparticipation physical examination in the sports medicine field, a sports physical helps a medical expert determine if a particular person, regardless of age, can participate in a particular sport safely. Most states even require kids and teens to undergo a sports physical before playing a game. Whether your state requires a physical or not, doctors highly recommend getting one.
The Goals of a Sports Physical
Other than determining if a person can safely play a sport or not, sports physicals can do more. For one, these examinations help determine an athlete’s good health and assess their present fitness level. Furthermore, doctors can evaluate preexisting injuries and detect any conditions that may cause new injuries to an athlete. Finally, sports physicals can detect any poor preparticipation conditioning that may put an athlete at an increased risk for injuries.
Generally, sports physicals involve two parts: the medical history and the actual physical exam.
Examining your Medical History
At this particular part of the exam, your doctor will ask you questions about any medications you’re currently taking, or of any injuries or illnesses that you’ve had in the past. Other than these, your doctor will ask you of any allergies or of any illnesses among your family members. Doctors regard this as the most important part of a sports physical, as it helps them determine possible conditions that may hamper your performance.
The Actual Physical Exam
As the name suggest, your doctor will record measurements and conduct tests in this part of the sports physical. Among the things that your doctor will test is your eyesight, posture, strength, and flexibility. Your doctor might also ask you about your use of alcohol or dietary supplements, as these may affect your health.
What if You Aren’t OK?
On the other hand, not getting the “go” signal from your doctor doesn’t mean that you’re banned from playing sports altogether. Most of the time, it’s only a matter of further testing, which can be as simple as rechecking your blood pressure after a week or two.
Even if you get a doctor’s OK to play sports, you should still monitor yourself while playing. Should you get in trouble, remember that you can go to clinics offering sports physical and urgent care services, like U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group.
Sports Physical, KidsHealth.org
Sports Physical, Medscape