Health Watch - Athletics: Physicals

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the start of the school sports season and what student athletes need to keep in mind as they participate in sports. Most school sports programs require some kind of medical review for participation, but some athletes may need a more comprehensive exam.

Advanced athletes or those who have had an injury in the past should get a thorough physical exam, even if the sports program doesn’t require it. Dr. Robert Dimeff, director of primary care sports medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says this exam can help detect problems early, help avoid inflaming old injuries and establish a baseline in case of concussion or other injury. The physical should include a complete musculoskeletal exam to evaluate any injuries from previous seasons or that may have happened since the last season. Athletes should discuss their weight, nutrition, any supplements and off-season training with their doctors, as well as any illnesses, medications or surgeries. 

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September 2010


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