Participants in school sports teams must complete a pre-participation physical examination, also called a sports physical, to ensure the athlete is healthy to participate in sports or athletic activities.
Sports physicals consist of a full medical and family history and a complete physical examination. This allows a physician to identify any conditions that might affect an athlete’s performance or potentially injure the athlete in a game. The goal of a sports physical is to assess an athlete’s current health and overall well-being and evaluate for any possible risk of injury. If the patient’s medical history bears no risk of injury and demonstrates appropriate health conditions, the athlete will be cleared for full participation in sports.
Every year, millions of teenagers participate in high school sports. An injury to a high school athlete can be a significant disappointment for the teen, the family, and the coaches. The pressure to play can lead to decisions that place the athlete at risk of additional injury with long-term effects. High school sports injuries can cause problems that require surgery as an adult and may lead to arthritis later in life.
Many high school sports injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning, training, and equipment, and by getting enough sleep and having a healthy diet.
High school athletes require sport specific training to prevent injury. Many injuries can be prevented with regular conditioning that begins prior to the formal sports season. Injuries often occur when athletes suddenly increase the duration, intensity, or frequency of their activity. Young athletes who are out of shape at the start of the season should gradually increase activity levels and slowly build back up to a higher fitness level.
Using proper technique for the position being played is also key to preventing injury. Proper equipment—from the right shoes to safety gear—is essential. In addition, injuries can be prevented when athletes understand and follow the rules of the game, and display good sportsmanship.
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