Sports Physical: Athletes across all age groups should get a sports physical before participating in any sport. Getting a sports physical is part of the foundation for a healthy and successful sports season. This article explains why physicals are necessary for athletes of all ages.
What is a Sports Physical?
A sports physical, sometimes referred to as a pre-participation physical exam (PPE), is an exam conducted by a physician or other healthcare provider designed to identify any existing health conditions that could pose a risk or may prevent a person from participating safely in a sport. The sports physical generally includes a medical history questionnaire and a physical examination.
Why a Sports Physical are Important
Sports physicals can help identify and diagnose existing medical problems that may not be noticeable during everyday activities. These screenings can alert athletes and their parents to any medical conditions that could be serious or life-threatening if not identified early and managed appropriately.
1. Prevent Injury
Sports physicals can help identify any underlying health conditions that could increase a person’s risk of injury while participating in sports. These screenings can alert a coach, parent, or healthcare provider to medical conditions requiring special considerations while engaging in physical activities. A sports physical also serves as a baseline data point of an athlete’s health so that if they become injured during an athletic activity, their baseline data can be compared to their current health assessment.
2. Detect Cardiovascular Abnormalities
Sports physicals can help to detect any cardiovascular abnormalities that may be present in an athlete. The physical exam can detect an irregular heartbeat or high blood pressure, which can have serious health implications if left untreated.
3. Improve Performance
Sports Physicals can also help to determine an athlete’s fitness level and identify any potential diet or exercise deficiencies that may be limiting their performance. During the physical, the physician may recommend diet or exercise modifications based on the athlete’s individual needs and goals.
4. Identify any Potential Health Issues
Sports physicals can also help identify any potential health issues an athlete may have, such as poor nutrition or dehydration. If any of these issues are found, the doctor can work with the athlete to develop a plan to address them. This can include providing information on proper nutrition and hydration and guidance on appropriate exercise and activity levels.
5. Ensure That They’re Protected from Infectious Illnesses
In addition, physicals can also help to ensure that athletes are protected from infectious illnesses that could be spread through contact sports. During the physical, the doctor will evaluate any potential signs of infectious diseases, such as skin rashes or sores, and may also check for certain infectious diseases, such as influenza or strep throat.
6. Identify Any Potential Mental Health Issues
Finally, physicals are also important in helping identify any potential mental health issues an athlete may face. During the physical, the doctor may ask questions about the athlete’s mental state, such as whether they are feeling anxious or depressed or having difficulty sleeping. The doctor may also recommend further mental health screenings if needed.
It is important to get a sport physical before participating in any sport. Physicals are important to ensure that athletes are safe and healthy while participating in physical activities. They help identify any existing medical conditions that could be a risk for playing sports and provide athletes with the necessary advice and treatment to ensure they can safely participate in their sport. In addition, they help ensure that athletes are physically and mentally prepared for their sport and make healthy choices.
Are you looking to get sports physicals in Santa Fe, NM? Aspen Medical Center is here to help. We are a locally owned outpatient medical facility in Santa Fe and Espanola, NM, offering state-of-the-art primary care and urgent care services. Get in touch with us today!