Pre-Participation Sports Physicals for College Students
College and university sports physicals are required by colleges and universities in many states across the USA. The idea is to reduce the incidents of serious sports-related injuries and health issues, as well as deaths resulting from an aggravation of an existing condition. Even in states where getting a pre-participation medical clearance for college students is not required, doctors and sports medicine specialists still recommend that all students who are interested in joining any extracurricular sports activity to undergo a sports physical to determine whether they are physically fit enough to engage in sports.
What Happens during College and University Sports Physicals?
The process for college and university sports physicals is the same for all school levels. The only difference is school sanctioned physicals in the college level is done through the athletics department and is performed by the school’s resident physician or a clinic accredited by the school. Students can also opt to have their own doctors perform the physical, provided that they fill out the necessary forms.
During the pre-participation sports physical exams, the students go through two stages. The first stage is where they need to fill out a form or answer questions regarding their medical history. This includes any injuries, illnesses, or emergency room visits and hospitalizations that have occurred prior to the physical. Once this stage is complete, the physician will then proceed to perform a thorough physical check up to determine whether the student is fit enough for strenuous activities. Based on the information gathered during the physical and the particular sport the student wants to engage in, the physician then makes a decision to clear a student for sports or not. Students of good overall health are usually cleared without restrictions; however, there are some cases where a student is restricted from particular sports but are cleared to join other sporting activities.
If it’s not required in my state, why should I undergo a sports physical?
Not all states require students to be cleared before joining any school-sanctioned sports team or sporting event. In states where this is not a requirement, it is still important to make sure that you are physically fit to perform strenuous activities. Many sports-related injuries happen because the athlete is not aware of an existing condition that may hamper his ability to perform intense physical activities. While a pre-participation sports physical is in no way a replacement for an annual physical with one’s primary healthcare provider, college and university sports physicals can shed light on conditions that can cause permanent harm if triggered or aggravated by strenuous physical activities and treatment can be given if necessary.
Sports are very popular activities for teenagers and adults alike. This is why more and more people engage in at least one sport in their lives. There are always risks attached to any type of physical activity, especially when one engages in contact sports. Undergoing yearly college and university sports physicals is one way of reducing the risk of getting seriously hurt during sports activities.
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