Athletes need to take care of their bodies to ensure they’re healthy enough to participate in sports. However, various factors and health conditions could interfere with their participation in competitive sports, which is why athletes need physical exams before competitions. By making this part of the pre-competition routine and providing regular physical exams, college athletes can lessen the risk of serious injury.
What Are Pre-Participation Physical Exams?
Pre-participation physical exams (PPPE) look for several potential complications to ensure that all participants are in sufficient condition. It confirms that their bodies are healthy enough to participate in their sport of choice. During these exams, medical professionals review the patient’s medical history to help identify:
- If the athlete is at risk of sudden death during participation
- Medical conditions that could hinder their athletic ability
- Whether any orthopedic conditions require treatment
After a physical exam, if doctors have any concerns, they’ll provide treatment options. Depending on the condition, this could include working with a sports medicine doctor on campus. This is because specialists can decide which therapies and treatments would best treat an athlete’s condition to prevent it from being a problem in the future.
Physical Exams Are Preventative
An athlete’s body may undergo quite a bit of stress, especially during the peak of the training season. The last thing any athlete wants to do is overexert, as this may lead to injury or trigger health conditions that put them out of competition.
This is a significant reason why athletes need physical exams before competitions. Doctors can confirm that the individual is fit enough to perform with minimal risk for injury by checking for physical problems before an exam. This preventative measure can make a major difference for athletes.
They Identify Health Conditions
During a PPPE exam, the doctor will have various questions for the athlete to better understand their overall health. For example, they’ll ask about medical history and whether the athlete has a history of fainting, vomiting, or other related concerns during workouts. While this may signify overexertion, it can also signify an underlying condition.
Athletes experiencing chest pain, breathing difficulties, or a family history of heart problems may have to wear a heart monitor or undergo testing to ensure they don’t have a heart murmur or other complications. Physical exams keep athletes safe both on and off the field to focus on the sport they love.