The first step to be fully prepared for an outstanding sports season doesn’t happen in a gym, in a pool, or on a field of play. Before the first sports workout, young athletes will need a sports exam to assess ability to compete safely.
What Is a Sports Exam?
The medical purpose of sports exams is to give health care providers an opportunity to detect potentially life-threatening health problems that can be exacerbated by sports activity. Most schools require each student athlete to complete a sports exam prior to starting practice.
A sports exam, also referred to as a pre-participation examination, includes questions about the athlete’s medical history and the family’s medical history. The provider will ask about previous injuries, including concussions and illnesses, chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes, and possibly lifestyle questions about sleep, diet, use of supplements, use of illegal substances and activities in addition to sports.
During the Sports Exam
The provider will evaluate and record the following:
- Weight and height
- Blood pressure and pulse
- Check heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
- Posture, joints, strength and flexibility
The sports exam should be completed about six weeks before your sports season begins. Athletes should have a sports exam once a year.
Scheduling a Sports Exam
Genesis Health Group encourages parents to schedule sports screening examinations with their primary care provider. Genesis also offers these examinations at Genesis Sports Medicine Walk-In Clinic in Davenport for $40. To schedule a sports exam or to find a primary care provider, call (563) 421-DOCS (3627).