Sports Physicals: More Than Just Another Hoop To Jump Through

Bon Secours Hampton Roads Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic Institute, athletic injury, sports performance, fall sports, concussionIt’s back to school time, and for many, that means that the beginning fall athletic season is also upon us. Though the temperatures remain high, many school-age athletes are already getting started on their training. And if they’re attending team training through their school, they’ve probably received a sports physical form.

In order to participate in high school sports, school systems require a sports physical. And while many student athletes may see a sports physical as just another hoop to jump through before they can get back on the field, the track, or the court, it’s truly an opportunity to make sure that he or she is able to participate safely. Sports physicals achieve multiple goals.

Find and assess previous musculoskeletal injuries: If a small fracture has gone undetected and untreated, a sports physical can identify it and prevent further injury. If a break didn’t heal properly, it may require further intervention before an athlete can participate safely.

Identify barriers that can interfere with top performance: Exercise-induced asthma can be a challenge for athletes. If it’s not identified prior to participation in sports, it can be dangerous. Identifying asthma and other barriers can help athletes be more prepared and better educated about what to do in case of an emergency.

Maximize safe participation: Some student athletes may need additional equipment or special techniques to accommodate prior injuries or other special considerations. When going through a growth spurt, high school athletes may need to temporarily adopt specific techniques to participate safely.

Detect medical problems that can cause life-threatening problems during sports participation: for some athletes, a sports physical is the first time that serious conditions like congenital heart abnormalities or Marfan syndrome are detected.

Develop treatment plans if necessary: For some issues identified in a sports physical, the healthcare provider may simply recommend additional stretching or strengthening exercises. But some problems may require medication, further diagnostic screenings, or more involved treatment.

It’s important to have a primary care physician so that there is someone who is familiar with both your medical history and your family’s medical history. You can also make an appointment at Maryview Medical Center to get those sports forms filled out, get a back-to-school physical, or catch up on immunizations.

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