How to Get the Most Out of Sports Physicals
A sports physical is the first step to make sure your athlete is ready to get in the game! More than 46 million children participate in organized sports each year in the U.S., and the evaluation that occurs during sports physicals goes a long way toward ensuring it’s safe for them to participate in a given sport.
What a Clinician Will Check
RediClinic specializes in convenient, high-quality sports physicals for athletes of any age. Your clinician will begin with a medical history to discuss any past illnesses, conditions or previous surgeries that could impact participation in sports. Telling your clinician about these health issues is extremely important and could help prevent future injuries and complications. Next, the clinician will conduct a head-to-toe physical assessment. Some of the evaluations during the physical include:
- Height and weight
- Eyes, ears, nose and throat
- Neck and chest
- Blood pressure
- Heart and abdomen
- Skin and muscles
- Lymph nodes
- Joints and spine
Remember to bring any required forms that will need to be completed during your child’s sports physical to the appointment.
Tips to Prevent Sports-Related Injury
The most common sports-related injuries in children include muscle strains, sprains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related illness. To help prevent these injuries, RediClinic clinicians recommend the following precautions.
- Stretch before and after athletic activity to avoid sprains and strains. Wear shoes that fit properly and use the proper gear for your sport.
- Consume a well-balanced diet and participate in regular exercise to prevent growth plate injuries (damage to areas of developing bone).
- Be sure to properly warm up and cool down before and after playing any sport.
- Use proper technique when playing a sport. For example, a football player should know the right way to tackle an opponent to avoid a concussion. Change up the exercise routine regularly so that the same muscles are not used continuously.
- Drink lots of water before, during and after exercise, and limit the amount of time spent in direct sunlight. Take breaks during practice and games to rest.
- If an injury occurs or an athlete experiences consistent pain in connection with sports activity, seek medical attention immediately to avoid a more serious injury.