Sports physicals valuable tool to keep young athletes in the game

Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is hosting a sports physical clinic from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 10:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - This school year isn’t even over yet, but your health care team wants you to already to thinking about the fall sports teams your kids might join.

Cotton O’Neil Sports Medicine Dr. Hailey Avila says now is the time to get those sports physicals for next school year out of the way.

“Most of these kids are young healthy athletes. We’re just wanting to make sure there’s nothing that comes up,” she said.

Dr. Avila says an annual sports physical is import in ensuring your student stays in the game. Doctors will check family history and medical history, check blood pressure and other physical health indicators, and give a good listen to their heart and lungs.

“We’re looking to see if there’s any kind of murmurs that would be concerning for something that would be dangerous to perform sports or to have exertion,” Dr. Avila said.

Musculoskeletal systems also get a look.

“(We look at) past injuries; if there’s any limbs that they’re favoring; something that doesn’t have full motion; something that seems weaker that’s going to potentially set them up for having a hard time with pain throughout the season or potentially set them up for a bigger injury throughout the season,” she said.

The goal is to prevent athletes from being sidelined.

“Usually if it is something that needs looked at, at this age, if we catch it early, we can get them the proper rehab, proper tests before their season starts,” Dr. Avila said. “That’s why we want to do it now, in May, versus waiting until July, August when school is starting again, and that would potentially lead to delays (in participation).”

Preventing an injury when young can mean fewer aches and pains to tackle in later years. Plus, this is a chance to set up healthy habits for life.

“In general, it’s good to be seen once a year, even at this young healthy age, just getting in the habit of seeing a doctor regularly,” Dr. Avila said.

Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is hosting a sports physical clinic from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13. It’s at their Kanza Park building, 2660 SW 3rd St., near I-70 and Macvicar.

The clinic is open to all middle school and high school student athletes. Cost is $20. You do not need an appointment, and you do not have to be a Cotton O’Neil or Stormont Vail patient.