Print High school athletes undergo extensive sports physical
Written by Staci Gasser   
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00

Students of the Verde Valley and Sedona had an opportunity that most high school athletes don’t.

Mingus Union High School sports medicine student and volunteer Ryan Talbot, left, checks Heather Calandra’s cardio level.More than 350 athletes, incoming freshmen through seniors, from Camp Verde High School, Mingus Union High School and Sedona Red Rock High School were provided free comprehensive physicals at Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood on Friday, May 17.

Physical therapist Will Drexler, left, checks his watch while Mingus Union High School sophomores Melissa Myers, right, and Darby Hartnett, center, perform an anterior cruciate ligament test.Through EntireCare’s HELPS [Healthy Sports Enhancement through Learning, Prevention and Scholarships] program, high school athletes were not only given a general physical that is required, but also extensive screenings by specialists on parts of the body that are used most in an athletic environment.

Clarkdale-Jerome school student Quin Thompson performs the pulmonary test during the free sports physical event put on by EntireCare in Cottonwood on Friday, May 17 at Verde Valley Medical Center.Included were vision screenings by a local optometrist office, cardiac screenings by cardiologists, tests on knee, ACL and shoulders by physical therapists, respiratory and pulmonary screenings by a respiratory team who looked for exercise-induced asthma and sleep apnea and neurological impact relating to baseline concussions screenings and musculoskeletal screenings by orthopedic surgeons. All screenings were for the purpose of identifying potential health risks and to provide information to prevent future injuries.

“Most [athletes] go to their normal primary doctor and get a general screening; there’s nothing wrong with that,” said David Castillo, a physical therapist and Camp Verde High School’s part-time athletic trainer. “But here we have specialists. If you are going to get your heart checked out, who better to go to than a cardiologist?”

“An event like this is unusual. Usually kids have to go to their doctor and pay money to get a physical,” said Dr. Bradley Williams, an orthopedic surgeon at VVMC. “But this is much better. They get specialized and more thorough exams which helps with preventing injuries down the road.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, May 22, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra or Camp Verde Journal.