Posts Tagged ‘sports physicals’

The Importance of High School Sports Physicals

sports-physical250x250After months of being dormant during the winter, most children who participate in sports are anxious to get back in the game as soon as warm weather arrives. While increased exercise and participation in sports outweigh the risk of injury or illness, it is crucial that every child undergo pre – participation sports physicals before beginning practice with their chosen sport. The same goes for professional athletes around the world. In the United States, pre – participation exams (PPE) are required for professional and student-athletes of all ages who want to participate in sports and/or sports camps.

But whether you’re a student athlete or a professional athlete, pre-participation sports physicals are identical.

In the winter or “off-season”, the players are usually coaching, working or playing overseas. When they re-join the Atlanta Dream, they have to undergo sports physicals, each and every year. It is important to get physicals because your health status is capable of changing during the year/off-season. For student athletes and professional athletes, it is important for medical staff to re-assess if there are any health and or orthopedic issues that have occurred in the interim.

But are sports physicals really necessary for both junior level and pro? Absolutely! A PPE provides the following prior to participation:

  • Identifies any potential life-threatening conditions, such as risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Evaluates existing conditions that may need treatment prior to participation, or monitoring to avoid future injury.
  • Identifies any orthopedic conditions that may require physical therapy or other treatment.
  • Identifies athletes who may be at higher risk for violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, eating disorders, anemia, asthma, hypertension, etc.
  • Reviews concussion history (if previously concussed, the PPE determines if the student-athlete is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms).

There are two portions of the physical:

  • Review of medical history: Professional athletes or student athletes and their parents need to come prepared to openly and honestly discuss all medical history. Knowing the complete history helps doctors identify conditions that might affect the student’s ability to participate and/or perform in their sport or activity. This is not a time to try and hide past injuries or medical conditions.
  • Physical exam: many schools perform partial physical exams, but if you would like a more complete physical exam, visit your family’s personal physician or pediatrician. He or she may refer your child to a Sports Medicine specialist if he thinks the child needs further evaluation for orthopedic concerns or if the student has had a history of concussions.

In addition to the two portions of a physical for student athletes, professional athletes have an additional step in the process. Professional athletes are evaluated by the team athletic trainer first. A baseline neuropsych test is done, in order to know where they should report to should one have a concussion during the season while on the court. Cardiac testing and a physical exam is done by the team physician who will go over orthopedic and medical concerns as needed. Additional testing like lab work is also required to check for any abnormalities in each player.

Sports physicals usually occur six weeks prior to the start of sports or training camp. Most student-athletes and professionals are cleared for full participation following a sports physical exam, but those who require follow-up care are generally cleared from all potential complications within the six week timeframe. Parents of student athletes are encouraged to check with their child’s school about sports physicals and if it is being provided to the athletes.

About Emory Sports Medicine Center

At the Emory Sports Medicine Center, our experts specialize in advanced procedures to treat and repair a wide range of sports related injuries. Recently recognized as one of the nation’s TOP 50 orthopaedics programs, Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine has 6 convenient locations across metro Atlanta, as well as 6 physical therapy locations. To make an appointment to see one of our Emory sports medicine specialists, please call 404-778-3350 or complete our online appointment request form.

About Dr. Mines

mines-brandonDr. Brandon Mines is board certified in both family practice and sports medicine. He has focused his clinical interest on sports injuries and conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist/hand, knee, foot and ankle. He is head team physician for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Atlanta Dream, Decatur High School and a team physician for NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. He is also a rotational physician for United States soccer teams.

Dr. Mines enjoys giving talks and lectures regarding the prevention of sports injuries. In fact, as an active member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Society for Sports Medicine, Dr. Mines has attended and presented at various national conferences. Through the years, he has helped all levels of athletes return to the top of their game.

Why are Sports Physicals Important?

Sports PhysicalsAfter months of being dormant during the winter, most children who participate in sports are anxious to get back in the game as soon as warm weather arrives. While increased exercise and participation in sports outweigh the risk of injury or illness, it is crucial that every child undergo a pre – participation sports physical before beginning practice with their chosen sport. In the United States, pre – participation exams (PPE) are required for student-athletes of all ages who want to participate in sports and/or sports camps.

But are sports physicals really necessary? Absolutely! A PPE provides the following prior to participation:

  • Identifies any potential life-threatening conditions, such as risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Evaluates existing conditions that may need treatment prior to participation, or monitoring to avoid future injury.
  • Identifies any orthopedic conditions that may require physical therapy or other treatment.
  • Identifies athletes who may be at higher risk for violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, eating disorders, anemia, asthma, hypertension, etc.
  • Reviews concussion history (if previously concussed, the PPE determines if the student-athlete is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms).

There are two portions of the physical:

  • Review of medical history: Student athletes and their parents need to come prepared to openly and honestly discuss all medical history. Knowing the complete history helps doctors identify conditions that might affect the student’s ability to participate and/or perform in their sport or activity. This is not a time to try and hide past injuries or medical conditions.
  • Physical exam: many schools perform partial physical exams, but if you would like a more complete physical exam, visit your family’s personal physician or pediatrician. He or she may refer your child to a Sports Medicine specialist if he thinks the child needs further evaluation for orthopedic concerns or if the student has had a history of concussions.

PPEs usually occur six weeks prior to the start of sports or camp. Most student-athletes are cleared for full participation following a sports physical exam, but those who require follow-up care are generally cleared from all potential complications within the six week timeframe.

For a more thorough physical exam, our team of sports medicine specialists would appreciate the opportunity to evaluate you or your loved one at one of our three clinic locations. To make an appointment, call 404-778-3350 or make an appointment.

Emory Sports Medicine Center is conducting several upcoming sports physicals in partnership with schools across metro Atlanta. Check the dates below to see if your student-athlete is eligible to participate.

  • Berkmar High School – Thursday, April 2 from 3:30 to 6p.m.
  • Johns Creek High School – Saturday, April 18 from 9a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Northview High School – Saturday, April 18 from 9a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Decatur High School – Wednesday, April 29 from 5 to 7:00 p.m.
  • West Forsyth High School –Thursday, April 30 from 4:30 to 6:30p.m.
  • Blessed TrinityHigh School – Wednesday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Atlanta Girls’ School – Wednesday, May 6 at 2 p.m.
  • Pace Academy – Tuesday, May 19 from 12 to 3 p.m.

About Dr. Jeff Webb
Jeffrey Webb, MDJeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team. He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, and many other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.

Related Resources

Emory Sports Medicine Center
Preventing & Recognizing Symptoms of Dehydration Among Student Athletes
Understanding Exercise Induced Asthma
Injuries in the Young Athlete – How much is too much?

Importance of Pre-Participation Sports Physicals for Student-Athletes

Children of all ages will benefit from participating in sports. Children can learn many life skills such as team work, time management, competition, conflict resolution as well help to improve social skills. While the benefits of exercising and participating in sports heavily outweigh the risks, it is very important to have every child undergo a pre – participation sports physical before beginning practice with that sport. Pre – participation exams are required for student-athletes who want to participate in middle school, high school or summer sports camps.

The pre-participation exam checks for the following:
• Identify any potential life-threatening conditions such as risk of sudden cardiac death.
• Evaluate athlete for conditions that may need treatment prior to participation.
• Identify any orthopedic conditions/concerns that may need physical therapy or other treatment prior to participation.
• Identify athletes who may be at higher risk for violence, substance abuse, STDs, depression, eating disorders, anemia, asthma, hypertension, etc.
• Evaluate history of concussion and determine if the student-athlete is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms if previously concussed.

Student athletes and their parents need to come to the physical prepared to open and honestly discuss all medical history. The doctors need all the information on the athlete’s medical history to be able to properly examine the athlete and clear him or her for participation in their sport or activity. This is not a time to try and hide past injuries or medical conditions.

Many schools perform pre- participation exams but if you would like a more thorough physical exam, visit your family’s personal physician or pediatrician. He or she may refer your child to a Sports Medicine specialists if he thinks the child needs further evaluation for orthopedic concerns or if the student has had a history of concussions.

Most student athletes are cleared for full participation in sports. Those who need more follow-up often times resume normal activities after ensuring they are cleared from all potential complications from participating in sports.

About Jeff Webb, MD

Jeff Webb, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopaedics at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. Dr. Webb started practicing at Emory in 2008 after completing a Fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. He is a team physician for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and serves as the primary care sports medicine and concussion specialist for the team. He is also a consulting team physician for several Atlanta area high schools, the Atlanta Dekalb International Olympic Training Center, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College, and many other club sports.

Dr. Webb sees patients of all ages and abilities with musculoskeletal problems, but specializes in the care of pediatric and adolescent patients. He works hard to get players “back in the game” safely and as quickly as possible. He is currently active in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics professional societies and has given multiple lectures at national conferences as well as contributed to sports medicine text books.

About Emory Sports Medicine

The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapy and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine physicians and specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for athletic injuries in Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of sports injuries.

Our sports medicine patients range from professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles and want the best possible outcomes and recovery from sports injuries. Our doctors are the sports medicine team physicians for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Tech and provide services for many additional professional, collegiate and recreational teams. Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours. Call 404-778-7777 for an appointment

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