Playing sports and exercising is a fun way to stay healthy and fit. However, the physical demands of playing a sport or beginning a new exercise program may have an opposite effect – it can put one’s health at risk. From young children starting little league to adults training to run a marathon, anyone starting a new training program should first undergo a sports physical to ensure they are in physical condition to start pushing their bodies to the limits.
Did you know…
40 percent of all sports-related injuries occur in children ages 5 to 14? An estimated 30 million children ages 14 and under play sports in the U.S. every year, of which more than 3.5 million are injured. The most common injuries are sprains and strains, which can put a player out for several games. It is always the children who are just starting a new sport or training schedule that are at the greatest risk of developing an injury.
Anyone starting a new physical routine should get a sports physical. Some schools and club teams require them before an athlete can participate in sports. Even adults starting a new class at the gym will benefit from getting a sports physical prior to starting a new fitness regimen.
Chiropractors are on the look-out for several factors that may affect a person’s ability to safely play a particular sport. The exam may include an analysis of family or personal health history, as well as a person’s resting and active vital signs. A chiropractor often treats sports injuries, so an exam will also include evaluation of current joint health, muscle strength and flexibility. The sports physical can help identify pre-existing conditions that may interfere with a person’s ability to safely train or compete, potentially preventing the development of severe injuries or health complications.
Often, patients can go on to participate in sports and other physical activity with some training modifications that can help reduce the risk of injury. For example, a person with a knee injury may need to wear a brace and utilize specific stretching exercises designed to increase flexibility and strength.