What is an Athlete Physical?
An athlete physical is an examination to determine if you are healthy enough to participate in sports and other strenuous activities. During an athlete physical, Dr. Beshai will discuss cardiac symptoms and take an ECG to measure the activity of the heart. The athlete physical will determine if the athlete’s heart is healthy enough to participate in sports, or if they need to take time off to receive treatment.
Why is an Athlete Physical Done?
An athlete physical with Dr. Beshai involves screening the heart for any abnormalities. This can help to determine an athlete’s risk for certain cardiac conditions that can be triggered with strenuous exercise. Sudden cardiac death (SCD), a condition where the heart suddenly stops beating, is one serious condition that prescreening can help to predict with an athlete physical. The athlete physical is essential for teens participating in school sports, and even professionals. Often, cardiac conditions can come up without warning from symptoms, making regular screening very important for many.
When is an Athlete Physical Needed?
An athlete physical is often required for teens to participate in school sports. An athlete physical is especially important and recommended if you or your teen has a personal or family history of cardiac conditions or symptoms. The tests done during an athlete physical can help to detect signs of a cardiac condition and determine if the athlete’s heart is healthy enough for engaging in sports.
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How is an Athlete Physical Performed?
During an athlete physical, Dr. Beshai will discuss any cardiac concerns and symptoms, as well as the patient’s personal and family history of heart conditions. An ECG (electrocardiogram) will be used to measure the heart’s activity. An ECG senses the electrical wave that signals for the heart to beat, and measures its strength and the way it moves through the different areas of the heart.
To do this, several electrode sensors will be placed on various areas of the chest. The heart’s electrical waves will then be displayed as a graph that can tell Dr. Beshai if the heart rate is too fast, too slow, or irregular. It can also show if one area of the heart is working too hard. Dr. Beshai may also suggest an exercise stress test to measure how the heart adapts to physical activity, or he may suggest a Holter monitor to measure the heart’s activity over a long period of time, between 24 and 48 hours.
What are the Next Steps After an Athlete Physical?
At the end of an athlete physical, Dr. Beshai will go over his findings. If everything is normal, you may not need further testing. If there are signs of a possible heart condition, Dr. Beshai may suggest further testing to determine a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If further treatment is needed, this may prevent you or your teen’s ability to participate in sports. In the case of more serious heart conditions, an athlete may have to take an extended break from their sport for their safety.
Schedule Your Athlete Physical Appointment
Dr. Beshai offers athlete physicals to ensure that the heart is strong and healthy enough for strenuous activities like playing sports. When it comes to the heart, early screening and monitoring is essential, even if symptoms have not occurred yet. If you or your teen could benefit from an athlete physical, contact our office and schedule your appointment at the Heart Rhythm Institute of Arizona.
The Heart Institute of Arizona has a wide array of services that come with our premium care. From in-office dianostics and treatable conditions, to hospital based procedures, we’ve got your heart covered.