Time to schedule sports physicals for the upcoming school year
No matter which sport your teen plays—soccer, football, or gymnastics — there’s always a chance of getting hurt. That’s why school and teams often require a physical
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Most states require that kids and teens have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season to make sure it’s safe for them to participate.
The two main parts to an athletics physical are the medical history and the physical exam.
Christopher J. Wenger, MD with Black Hills Urgent Care, says, “We run through a quick history form and that’s probably the most important part. We ask for things like cardiac history, pulmonary history, muscular skeletal injuries, or neurologic issues and then a quick physical exam follows that — lungs musculoskeletal, quick neuro, check vision, blood pressure, height, weight – all those parts.”
A sports physical can help a student find out about and deal with health problems that might interfere with participation in a sport. For example, if a child has frequent asthma attacks but are a starting forward in soccer, a doctor might be able to prescribe a different type of inhaler or adjust the dosage so they can breathe more easily when running.
The physical should take place about 6 weeks before the sports season begins so there’s enough time to follow up on something, if necessary.
But the ultimate goal is to make sure the student is safe while playing sports. Most of the time a physician won’t find any reason to prevent an athlete from playing their desired sport.
Dr. Wenger says it is still important to get a yearly regular physical as well, when your doctor will address your overall well being, which may include things that are unrelated to sports.
“It’s a good time to intervene on things beyond sports too. I always ask if they are wearing seatbelts, if they were wearing bike helmets, sometimes I check if their immunizations are up-to-date, just a little bit more they can stem off of a visit,” says Wenger.
Urgent Care offers walk-in sports exams for $25.00.