You will also need to see a sports medicine doctor to have a medical screening completed. This involves an athlete questionnaire about your general health, family history, and injury and illness history. It also includes a comprehensive medical examination evaluating general health and covers ear, nose and throat, skin, cardiovascular, chest, spirometry (lung capacity), abdomen, marfanoid feature, excessive joint mobility or hypermobility, neurological examination, and the tanner stages of development and pathology.
I would also strongly recommend you have a CRA – Cardiac Risk Assessment. Undiagnosed cardiac conditions are a genuine risk to sports people. The little known fact is that every single week, 12 apparently fit and healthy young people die in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions. This is a preventable tragedy. A 12 year old tennis player I have met was one of the lucky ones. He suffered a cardiac arrest on court and fortunately a doctor was nearby and able to help immediately until the ambulance arrived and the young boy did recover.
I have also seen examples of professional athletes becoming ill with diseases like chickenpox which is 99% preventable with an injection, which most people have as a young child. Imagine training all your life and making the Olympic team and not being about to compete because you came down with chicken pox. You would be totally shattered. And yet it happens. Don’t let it be you! Get a medical review.
Functional Movement Screening
In order to isolate the physical or functional limitation of an athlete, the body’s fundamental movement pattens should also be considered. If weak links are not identified, the body will compensate, causing inefficient movements and this could eventually lead to a decrease in performance and an increase in injuries.
The functional movement screen is thus another comprehensive screening tool that is also recommended. Functional Movement Screen Tests include Deep Squat, Hurdle Step, In-Line Lunge, Shoulder Mobility, Active Straight Leg Raise, Trunk Stability Push-Up, and Rotary Stability.
Another assessment I strongly recommend is a musculoskeletal screening which helps with the detection of sites or areas at injury risk and so provides an important means by which to prevent injury. A sports physiotherapist is the best person to do this screening. By identifying factors that may inhibit optimal athletic performance, preventative measures can be taken to minimise potential injuries. The musculoskeletal examination usually includes posture, flexibility, strength and stability of the following areas: trunk/spine, shoulder girdle, elbow and forearm, wrist and hand, pelvic girdle, hip and thigh, knee, ankle and foot.
Upon the completion of the screening process, feedback is given to players, coaches and fitness trainers and preventative and corrective strategies are implemented to reduce injury occurrence and maximise the physical performance potential of the player. In this way, screening best allows a fitness trainer to prepare a training program that specifically caters for the individual’s needs.
I should stress here to make sure you understand your report, what you have to do and the importance to your sport. Many physiotherapists will prepare an excellent report and summary but in language you do not understand much less know what to do to correct it. Be sure you ask questions and understand exactly what it all means, why it is necessary, and most importantly, how to improve your weaknesses and perform the prescribed exercises correctly.
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