In the state of Alabama, all middle school and high school athletes are required to complete a preseason physical exam once per calendar year before participating in any competition. The goal is two-fold: safe participation and injury prevention.
What happens during a sports physical exam?
To ensure that an athlete is healthy and physically able to participate, a preseason physical exam includes:
• Measuring height/weight
• Measuring blood pressure/pulse rate
• Brief orthopedic exam
• Gathering family medical history from the parent or guardian
For athletes younger than 12 years old, it is recommended that a pediatrician or family physician conduct the physical exam. For athletes age 12 and older, the screening may be administered by a certified athletic trainer (ATC).
What can a preseason physical exam reveal?
No matter the sport or ability level of the individual athlete, the preseason physical helps ensure safe participation and minimize the unfortunate aspect of athletics – injuries.
The orthopedic exam, which measures the individual’s normal strength and range of motion, can reveal lack of strength or lack of flexibility that may result in an injury. When discovered, the athlete can be evaluated by an orthopedic physician for further treatment.
When high blood pressure or other biological concerns are discovered, an orthopedic physician can check the athlete’s heart and lungs for abnormalities that may require further evaluation or testing.
Where can my student-athlete get a preseason physical exam?
Huntsville Hospital Sports Center is hosting a Citywide Physicals event for athletes age 12 and older. The exams will be administered by ATCs from Huntsville Hospital, sports medicine specialists from TOC Sports and staff members from D1 Sports Training.
The event is Saturday, August 3; 8 – 10 a.m. at Huntsville Hospital Medical Mall, 1963 S. Memorial Parkway. The cost is $10 per athlete. For more information, call (256) 265-5000. You can download this form to bring with you and lessen your wait.[box style=”lavender rounded” ]ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Stevenson, Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), is program manager for Huntsville Hospital Sports Center, the region’s most comprehensive sports medicine team. [/box]
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