8 Commonly Asked Questions About Sports Physicals

8 Commonly Asked Questions About Sports PhysicalsIn Fort Lauderdale sports physicals are required for adults, teens and children joining a league, sports team, or partaking in a new exercise regimen. Even if you think you are 100% healthy, it is still important to undergo a full physical to help prevent any avoidable injuries or complications.

Commonly Asked Questions About Sports Physicals

1. What is a sport physical?

There are two importance components to sports physicals: An overview of your medical history and a thorough physical examination. A physical ensures you are healthy enough to play sports or partake in physically demanding activities. It is a safety precaution enforced by many teams and institutions in order to protect players.

2. Who needs sports physicals?

Sports physicals are often required and always recommended for adults, teens and children that plan to join:

-An interleague sports program

-A school sports program

-A club sports team

-Or, are picking up a new sports/exercise regimen of any kind.

3. Why do I need a sports physical?

The point of a sports physical is to determine your health, fitness level, risk of injury, and overall physical wellbeing. This gives your physician the information necessary to pinpoint any underlying conditions that might impact your ability to perform properly and safely.

Sports physicals serve the following purposes:

-Ensure an athlete is healthy enough to participate in sports.

-Analyze the athlete’s current physical level.

-Identify any conditions that will predispose an athlete to injury or other complications.

-Assess size and overall development of athlete.

-Identify any conditions that may place athletes at risk.

-Evaluate any existing conditions.

4. When should I get a sports physical?

Athletes should undergo a sports physical around 6 weeks prior to the start of the sporting season. Of course, there is some flexibility to this, but this time frame allows you adequate time to address any issues. For instance, if you need to improve conditioning you have time to do so and still take part in the sport.

5. What type of information is on the medical health form?

A medical health form is completed during your physical examination. This form includes a variety of questions including family medical history, your medical history, previous injuries or hospitalizations and information about your current health and physical wellbeing.

There are several parts to a physical health form, starting with general information about the patient, to be filled out by you, the patient. Questions currently on the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Preparation Physical Evaluation:

-Have any family members died of heart problems or a sudden heart attack before the age of 50?

-Has a physician ever denied or restricted your participation in sports for any heart problems?

-Do you have asthma?

-Have you ever broken or fractured any bones or dislocated any joints? 

-Have you ever had any head injuries or concussions?

-Have you ever had a stinger, burner or pinched nerve?

-Have you ever taken any supplements or vitamins to help you gain or lose weight or improve your performance?

In total there are 41 questions for all athletes to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and an additional 5 questions for female athletes.

A doctor must fill out the second portion of the health form. This includes your height, weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, pulse, hearing and vision test results. This portion of the form also goes through all parts of your body and a doctor marks normal or indicates abnormal findings. Key areas that physicians focus on include overall appearance, eyes/ears/nose/throat, lymph nodes, heart, pulse, lungs, abdomen, genitalia (males only), skin, neck, back, shoulder/arm, elbow/forearm, wrist/hand, hip/thigh, knee, leg/ankle and feet.

6. Can you “fail” a sports physical?

Unless you have an underlying condition, you should be approved following your sports physical. You are either cleared without any limitation, or cleared with limitation inclusive of a disability, diagnosis or certain precautions, which is explained in detail on your medical exam form. You may also be cleared after completing evaluation or rehabilitation. 

If you are not cleared, your doctor must provide a detailed reason to be outlined on the form.

7. What about heart examinations?

According to the Heart Rhythm Society, the number one cause of death amongst high school athletes is sudden cardiac arrest. Unfortunately, no state in the nation requires a heart examination as part of sports physicals. The reason lawmakers have not passed the addition of heart exams to routine sports physicals is because they result in 2.8-5% false positives. As a result, this would keep as many as 5% of completely healthy athletes from competing in sports.

Some people take it upon themselves to get a heart examination for peace of mind. Urgent Medical Center offers ECG (EKG), which detects abnormalities known to cause cardiac arrest.

8. Where do I get a Fort Lauderdale sports physical?

No matter if you need a physical today or 2-weeks from now, Urgent Medical Center is your go-to for fast, friendly and affordable service. Simply drop by at your convenience, or schedule an appointment online to decrease wait time.

The Best Urgent Care in South Florida is Waiting for You

Don’t wait. Experience the availability and affordability that you need. Walk-ins welcome.
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