Sports physicals: Don't let it go undetected

Latest News, Topics
student athlete and therapistJeannine Hurst, coordinator of the McLaren Macomb Athletic Medicine Institute, having spent several years around youth athletics, has seen firsthand the importance a thorough sports physical can have on student-athletes' health.

"The state requires a comprehensive sports physical that checks many important health aspects," she said. "Opting for an advanced physical, our physicians look beyond the mandated requirements and check issues that might otherwise go undetected, providing a parent with additional information and peace of mind."

A basic sports physical measures a student-athlete's height and weight, checks pulse rate and blood pressure and tests reflexes, coordination, strength and vision.

While including all required health checks, advanced physicals add a full lung function test and an EKG to check the heart.

These additional tests have the capability to detect abnormalities in the heart and lungs-which might easily go unnoticed-and determine the next steps in the care process.

"If one of these tests could be the difference between life and death, they should be highly encouraged," Hurst said.

Annual statistics published by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research report cardiac- and asthma-related fatalities in youth sports as the most common, which could be detected by advanced sports physicals.

To make an appointment for a sports physical, call the Athletic Medicine Institute at (586) 992-9031.