The Need for a Sports Medical Examination

A sports medical examination isn't only recommended and used for professional athletes. Anyone who wants to start being physically active can benefit from it.
The Need for a Sports Medical Examination

Last update: 14 April, 2020

Fortunately, people no longer believe that professional athletes or those who want to join a gym for the first time are the only ones who need a sports medical examination. Learn what this procedure is all about in the following paragraphs.

Beyond certifying the aptitude of a person to practice a physical activity, this procedure allows us to have control and monitor the status of our bodies over time. Therefore, it’s an essential step for those who practice any kind of physical activity, whether they do it professionally or as amateurs, regularly or eventually.

In this article, we’ll cover the objectives and advantages of having a sports medical examination. But first, let’s analyze what this check-up is all about.

What is a sports medical examination?

Simply put, medical examinations consist of a survey, examination and analysis process to evaluate the health status of an individual. There are many types of medical examinations that cater to different groups and targets. Besides sports examinations, there are also examinations for work, for the use of firearms and to drive, among others.

Sports medical examinations are all about collecting information on the health status, habits, and training routines of athletes, players and people who perform physical activities as amateurs.

It’s not limited to diagnosing if a person is in good health or if they have an injury; it also generates a history to offer medical support and verify the possible impacts of physical effort on their health.

A doctor and patient during the inteview stage of a sports medical examination

This type of examination can also help to recommend practices, precautions, and habits to prevent future injuries and health problems. As we can see, the medical examination has an important preventive function.

Objectives and benefits of a sports medical examination

To reinforce the reasons that lead us to believe everyone who plays sports or does physical exercises should have a medical examination, let’s summarize the main objectives of this procedure:

  • Collect important medical information about the body. It not only evaluates the current state of our health, but can also help to monitor its evolution over time.
  • Check if there are contraindications or limitations to practice a sport or physical activity. This will prevent us from damaging our bodies with overexertion or other means. It’ll also ensure that we’re practicing each exercise safely, according to our needs.
  • Knowing the physical condition of each person. It helps to improve our training by focusing on possible weaknesses that impair our performance and can cause injuries. It’s also helpful to set a nutritional plan for each athlete, depending on the activity they perform and the physical preparation they need to have.
  • Identify predisposition to injuries, disorders or illnesses. It’s essential to take precautions with the integrity of the athlete. A good way of doing this is to optimize their training according to the characteristics of their body.
  • Diagnosing health problems and controllable disorders. This is essential to establish an effective treatment for chronic conditions that impact our health and reduce our sports performance. For instance, it can help to control hormonal disorders.
  • Reinforce basic health care and health education. This includes nutrition, personal and oral hygiene, quantity and quality of sleep hours, mental health aspects, etc.

What’s the procedure?

When thinking about a medical examination, we usually imagine a pile of medical studies and clinical analysis. As a matter of fact, a sports medical examination can’t be performed without measuring our vital signs and anthropometric measurements. Doctors must also perform auxiliary examinations such as X-rays, electrocardiograms, spirometry, etc.

A doctor measuring the bloog pressure of a patient

However, even though these procedures are essential in order to know the health status of a body, a sports medical examination includes much more than that. One of the most important steps is, precisely, the medical interview, which allows the professional to know the history of each individual first hand. In other words, the doctor learns about the patient’s health in their own account.

Therefore, when performing a sports medical examination, the doctor will want to know about your habits and lifestyle, the health problems you’ve already had, possible allergies and predispositions previously diagnosed, your goals when practicing physical activity, the type of training, and the eating plan that you’re following.

Besides allowing the doctor to know the reality and routine of the athlete, the interview also favors building a bond between doctor and patient that’s based on listening and trust.

This relationship will definitely help to perform comprehensive monitoring of the person’s health state, analyzing the physical, emotional and cognitive impacts of training and sports practice.

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