The Importance of An Annual Sports Physical Exam Explained

The back-to-school season is an incredibly hectic time for students and their parents alike. During the frenzied transition from summer vacation to fall academics, it's easy for routine tasks like a sports physical exam to slip through the cracks. Because these medical checkups come once a year, some student-athletes might question why they're necessary.

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It's vital to assess an athlete's health before they begin a rigorous training regimen, and these physicals provide doctors with valuable information. These 30-minute exams often contain familiar components such as checking for reflexes and the function of the student's eyes and ears. However, they might also reveal less obvious information. For example, a cardiac condition that isn't immediately visible could lead to serious issues if not treated. Another aspect of a student's health that the doctor will want to consider is their mental health. They will often administer a questionnaire that can help detect signs of anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. These matters need just as much attention as physical health, and there has been a recent rise in these concerns over the past several years. Adolescents might feel freer to communicate these matters to a doctor than to their family. .