School Sports: Physicals

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau 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.


The new school year means a return to school sports. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about preparing for the fall sports season. Before student-athletes return to practice, they need a complete physical.

A medical review is usually mandatory for participation in sports, but more advanced athletes or those recovering from injuries may need a more complete exam. Dr. Robert Dimeff, a sports medicine expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says a physical helps doctors detect problems early, helps athletes avoid inflaming old injuries and provides a baseline for evaluating any future injuries. Doctors should evaluate the musculoskeletal system and talk to athletes about injuries, nutrition and any symptoms that could indicate heart or lung problems. Athletes who participate in contact sports should also get a neurological evaluation to serve as a baseline in case of concussion.

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August 2011

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