Importance of sports physicals

Sports physicals

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - With summer right around the corner, many student athletes will be heading into doctor’s offices for sports physicals ahead of the upcoming season.

Sports Director Rob Clark explains why the routine checkup is so important.

“If there’s anything that hasn’t been addressed fully or is kind of lingering, this is a great time to tie up all those loose ends and readdress those injuries,” said Dr. Amy Jo Sorensen, Mankato Clinic.

Before all the practices, scores, celebrations, and success a sports physical takes place to help protect athletes from injuries.

“Well there’s three components to a sports physical. First of all, we’re looking at family history, medical history, any previous instances, injuries we may want to go back and evaluate. The other is making sure there isn’t any underlying issues. The third component is it is required by Minnesota law every three years, but we like to have it every year to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Student athletes tend to push themselves as hard as they possibly can. We want to make sure they’re at their healthiest, that previous injuries have been addressed. We want to make sure that previous injuries have been addressed. Say someone was running and had knee pain, maybe we could talk to an orthopedist, or change shoes to correct now so they’re healthy with their physical activity lifelong,” said Sorensen.

The exams can also bring attention to serious health issues that an athlete may be unaware of.

“I think the biggest one and the most concerning one is any type of underlying cardiac condition that we want to make sure is addressed and fully evaluated before we let these athletes stress themselves out on the field,” said Sorensen.

Another thing doctors will look at during physicals is an athlete’s immunization record.

“I think one of the best things to address at physicals is immunizations and keeping the immunizations up to date, pneumococcal, meningitis, to HPV is great to address,” said Sorensen.

All just part of the effort to keep student athletes out there making highlight reel plays.

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