Did you know that nearly 8 million teens in the US play some sort of high school sport? High school athletics are incredibly popular and that popularity continues to grow. Many schools require student-athletes to have a sports physical exam before they can play.
Even if your school does not require a physical, it’s still recommended that you take your child for one for a variety of reasons. To learn more about the importance of sports physicals, keep reading.
1. They Assess Current Health and Physical Condition
Sports physicals are different than your normal physical. While they check things like vital signs, height, weight, vision, hearing, and blood pressure, they are also designed to check for things like joint or muscle problems. Providers will conduct tests to make sure there are no problems with your lungs, heart, neck, shoulders, knees, and back.
2. They Reduce Risk of Injury or Other Medical Issue
Because sports physicals are specifically checking whether you are healthy enough to play sports, healthcare providers may catch something that would have otherwise been missed, such as an undiagnosed heart condition, neurological issue, or joint or muscle injury.
When medical providers are aware of these issues, they can make recommendations on what level of physical activity you should engage in, recommend specialists if necessary, or simply note the issue and make sure it is monitored.
3. They Can Track Health Progression
There are a variety of places where you can get a sports physical, including your primary care physician or even a local urgent care. Regardless of where you go for the exam, it can track your health progression and flag things like unexplained weight gain or loss, among others.
Sports physicals also can keep track of any injuries and whether they are healing or getting worse.
4. They Can Identify Undetected Injuries or Medical Issues
For many teens, the sports physical may be the only regular contact they have with a medical provider. If that is the case, these physicals can pick up on things like hernias, eating disorders, obesity, or hypertension in kids. While these are all treatable conditions, if there is no regular contact with a medical provider, they may go untreated and worsen.
5. The Promote Safe Sports
If the healthcare provider notes that the student-athlete has a history of sprained ankles or other minor injuries, they can promote the benefits of stretching, safe strengthening exercises, or provide an ankle brace that the student can wear during games.
They can also recommend nutrition plans for athletes, focus on proper sleep and self-care, and emphasize the need to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
Walk-In or Schedule A Sports Physical Exam Today
If your child hasn’t had their sports physical exam yet and they plan to play a sport this school year, don’t delay in getting their exam. Not only will they be cleared for sports, but it is also a good overall assessment of their general health.
You don’t even need an appointment at Getwell Urgent Care. You can walk right in for a physical! Bring your teen by today!