Athletic Training column

Free sports physicals at MedWest

By Jenn Mroz | May 15, 2014
Photo by: File Jenn Mroz

The school year is winding down, so that means it’s time for our annual free sports physicals at MedWest Haywood.  These physicals are being held on Thursday, May 29, at the MedWest Haywood Health and Fitness Center, and are open to all middle and high school aged athletes of all sports (and also ROTC) in Haywood County.
The assigned times for each school:  5:45 p.m. for Canton Middle and Bethel Middle, 6:30 p.m. for Pisgah High, 7:15 p.m. for Waynesville Middle School and Haywood Christian Academy and 8 p.m. for Tuscola High School.  And along with physicals, we will have a fitness assessment competition in the racquetball courts all evening, with a prize being given to the top male and female athletes.
Pre-participation physicals are a part of sports.  Every athlete needs to have a valid physical on-file with their school.  The convenient aspect of our physicals (besides the fact that they’re free) is that when an athlete gets one at the end of May, they’re covered for the entire next school year.  There is no stress of trying to get an appointment before the first practice; or having their current physical lapse during the middle of the season.
Some insurance companies require their members to get an annual physical exam with their primary care doctor, in order to receive a discount on their premiums.  Parents can choose to bring their child to our free sports physicals as well.  This sports physical will be the one that is filed at their school.  There is also less hassle for the parents because we deliver the physicals to each school.
Over the years, many parents have commented on how comprehensive our physicals are.  We follow the state mandated exam forms, but we have a wide variety of specialists on hand for any red flags that need following up.  We have doctors specializing in cardiology, general surgery, ear/nose/throat, and orthopedics, to name a few.  We have female physicians for the female athletes who feel more comfortable being examined by a woman.
In addition to looking for any current conditions, these sports physicals offer an opportunity to catch any potential risks before they become problems.  Muscle imbalances, joint laxity, and previous orthopedic injuries can be assessed, and preventative programs can be advised and implemented by our physical therapists and athletic trainers.
Physical form packets have been distributed to the schools and can be found in the main office.  It is helpful to have these forms completed prior to showing up at the Health and Fitness Center.  Not only will it save time, but we must have a permission form signed by a parent before we can start.
And speaking of parents, we’ve added some activities for them this year.  To help pass the time, from 6:00-8:30, there will be a Parent Lounge with refreshments and a chance to meet our CEO, Janie Jaberg, in the second floor office area.  In the cardio rehab room we are offering a free Healthy Cooking Demo with Smoothies.   And on the second floor landing, parents can let their cares melt away with the help of free mini-massages by licensed massage therapists.
We hope to see all of Haywood County’s athletes and parents on Thursday, May 29, for sports physicals.  
Until then, stay healthy.