Although a sports physical is a standard examination required by every high school athletic program in the country, you are certainly advised to get one even if you participate in post-high school intramural competitive activities. This pre-participation exam is meant to significantly reduce any unfortunate accidents that are tied to preexisting conditions in the athlete. It is not unheard of for a basketball player, for example, to suffer a serious cardiovascular issue in the middle of the game – something that the sports physical might have averted with the diagnosis of a preexisting heart condition.
Why Do I Need a Sports Physical?
The importance of the sports physical is underscored by the sheer scope of the exam, which can identify any underlying conditions that could hinder your ability to perform in competitive play. To start, your doctor will take a look at your entire medical history before he or she makes a physical examination. The purpose of this dual process is to ascertain the level of physical demands for which your body is prepared in terms of athletic play.
As you are well aware, the standard physical is intended to gauge your general level of wellness; the sports physical, on the other hand, is specifically designed to ascertain your athletic ability—in particular, what level of physical activity would probably be too much for you. This is very important for student athletes since competition can get fierce. Every single state in America requires that student athletes submit to a physical exam by a qualified health professional before they are allowed on the field.
What to Expect During a Sports Physical
The following will give you an idea of the types of questions that your doctor will ask you about your medical history. In fact, writing up answers to these beforehand will expedite your trip to the office:
- Are you currently taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs?
- Have you ever had or do you have an eating disorder?
- How often do you normally exercise?
- Do you—or have you ever—used drugs, tobacco, or alcohol?
- What, if any, illnesses run in your family? For example, did a grandparent or parent have a heart attack before the age of 50? How about a stroke or diabetes?
There is usually a follow-up session to your initial sports physical; this is the actual physical examination. In this part, your physician will ascertain the health of your joints, muscles, tendons, bones, heart, and lungs—among other vital organs. Some of the measurements that will be taken include:
- Your pulse and blood pressure
- Your height and weight
- Your hearing and vision
- Your muscle tension/strength as well as the pliability of the joints
- Your posture and walking gait
At the conclusion of your physical examination, your physician will make a list of recommendations that depend on the results. Having a history of heart disease, diabetes, asthma, etc. does not automatically result in a recommendation that you should not participate in competitive athletic events. Usually, it is recommended that you submit to such an examination at least six weeks before you intend to participate so that pre-training adjustments can be made if you have a preexisting condition that doesn’t bar you from activity.
Schedule a Sports Physical in Silver Spring or Kensington, MD
If you need a sports physical in Silver Spring, Kensington, or a surrounding area in Maryland, get in touch with Fast Track Urgent Care today. We have two convenient walk-in clinics that offer the urgent care services you need.
To schedule a sports physical in Silver Spring or Kensington, MD, contact us online or call 800-417-1164 today!