What to expect for a back-to-school sports physicals

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Back to school to-do lists often include a sports physical, with a goal of keeping you child from being sidelined.

Mercy Health is a place where you can go to make sure the kids are in good health to play the sports they love.

A sports physical focuses on the athlete, it's different than routine physical where we would do preventative care and immunizations. Things like the sports physical focuses on athletes ability to participate in sport and to make sure they are safe to participate and identify underlying problems they have and fix before sports season starts.

They are required by State of  Michigan and have to be done for any school sponsored sport and usually starts in 7th grade. It's usually 7th grade through senior year of high school.

There's been a lot of talk of cardiac disease and heart disease and athletes that have had significant events happen to them while playing sports. A sports physical can identify any problems underlying that might not be found. If we see or hear something on exam or history that makes us concerned, then we will have the athlete get a cardiac evaluation to rule out any problems.

When we do the exam we focus on heart and lungs, which is the cardio vascular system and the muscular skeletal system. We check their neck, shoulders, hips back, knee,s ankles, and elbows just to make sure all of their joints can move easily and haven't had recent injuries.

Athletics requires a lot of physical endurance and participation so we want to make sure the athlete doesn't have underlying joint problems that we can maybe optimize or rehab for them before they play their sport.

Make sure you call your physicians office and schedule the physical early. The problem is a lot of kids wait until the week before tryouts and forget they need one. Most schools won't let them participate if they haven't had their physical, so they have to have physical to even tryout for the sport. So it's important to get the physical four to six weeks before your sport is going to start.

Mercy Health Physician Partners in Rockford is located at 6050 Norhtland Drive, Suite 200. For more information or to schedule an appointment, you can call them at (616) 685-8350.

 

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