LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- KentuckyOne Health is encouraging student athletes to get sports physicals before heading back to school.
"Students will soon be heading back to class, and in many cases, back to the field or court," a news release from the health care provider states. "If your children are involved in organized athletics, a sports physical is likely required to ensure that they're safely able to participate in physically demanding activities."
Students are encouraged to get a sports physical -- also called a pre-participation exam (PPE) -- at least six weeks prior to the start of the season, to allow the doctor time to address past or lingering injuries before the season starts. The sports physical is similar to the doctor's exam that most children experience before heading back to class, but it also addresses injuries, training, nutrition and exercise programs.
"While a sports physical will include some aspects of a regular exam, it is not the same, since it focuses on fitness as it relates to a sport," the news release states. "During the physical exam, the physician is specifically looking for diseases and injuries that would make it unsafe to participate in sports. The physician will also review the athlete's pulse and blood pressure, heart and lungs, neurological functions such as reflexes, vision and hearing, spinal alignment and joint flexibility, cholesterol, and a genital exam to screen for hernias in males. Additional tests may also be required, depending on the athlete's family medical history."
Facts provided by KentuckyOne Health:
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