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Why Young Athletes Should Run to Get a Sports Physical

Young athletes put their hearts into the game, but few ever realize the health of their hearts can be a game-changer. Most states require children and teens participating in sports to pass a sports physical exam to assess their fitness levels, educate them about exercise, and ensure their health and safety while they train and play the game. A sports physical can also detect hidden problems that could put them at risk for injury or impair their performance. One of the biggest concerns in recent years is a heart problem called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which frequently strikes young athletes and ends their lives too soon. Yet a simple EKG test can detect any hidden heart problems and possibly save a young athlete’s life. The best advice for young athletes is to ask for an EKG test while getting their physical for sports. Then, they can fulfill all of the state requirements and check on the health of their heart. And now at MD Now Urgent Care centers, young athletes can get their sports physical exam and an EKG test in a heartbeat. But first, see why hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is beating a path to young athletes.

Don’t Play Around with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

While many assume that heart conditions occur later in life, research shows that sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes is much more prevalent than previously believed. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest in the United States each year. Some experts say it strikes one person every three days in the U.S. Its prevalence may be surprising because only the most sensational cases make the headlines. When it strikes young athletes, the most frequent cause is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In fact, almost 40% of these cases are attributed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

So what is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy? It is a thickening of the heart muscle that makes it more difficult for blood to leave the heart. This forces the heart to work much harder to both pump blood and fill with blood. The condition is usually inherited and is believed to be the result of structural defects that control the growth of the heart muscle. Doctors are unsure why heavy physical exertion incites the condition or why this problem is so prevalent among young athletes, but just know that the risk of sudden cardiac arrest is three times higher for competitive athletes than for sedentary individuals.

Be on the Ball for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

One of the biggest problems with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is that it’s so difficult to detect. Many people have no symptoms at all and don’t even know they have the heart condition until it’s discovered with a medical exam. And in the rare cases when there are warning signs, they are often ignored by young athletes who believe they’re just the result of a tough workout or overtraining. All too often, the first symptom is sudden collapse or even death. That’s why it’s vital to be on the lookout for these common hypertrophic cardiomyopathy symptoms:

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness during or after activity
  • Fainting, especially during exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Sensation of a rapid or fluttering heartbeat

Remember, the best protection is detection. An EKG test can detect many heart problems, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It is a simple test that records the heartbeat for a few seconds to test its rhythm, strength, and function. An EKG test enables a doctor to diagnose hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrange for the proper treatment.

Score a Convenient EKG Test and Sports Physical at MD Now

Young athletes are required to get a physical for sports in order to get in the game, but should also get an EKG test to see if their heart is healthy. But with everyone running in different directions, it’s hard to make a doctor’s appointment that suits everybody’s schedule or spend hours sitting in waiting rooms. Luckily, MD Now Urgent Care centers are ready to field your young athlete’s needs. MD Now offers fast and friendly sports physical exams, as well as EKG testing, to ensure that young athletes are fit to play. MD Now also offers echocardiogram referrals in case a child has an abnormal EKG that requires further analysis.

MD Now Urgent Care centers are open convenient hours, and operate on a walk-in, no-appointment basis to easily suit any schedule. With locations throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, quality care is always in reach. For the Florida locations nearest you, visit https://www.mymdnow.com/locations.

To learn more about our urgent care centers, visit www.MDNow.com.

MD Now® Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Centers is the leading provider of fast and affordable urgent care to adults and children in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Our state-of-the-art, walk-in medical centers are open seven days a week to deliver an affordable and convenient alternative to long emergency room wait times and the limited hours of family physicians. No appointment is necessary and major insurance plans are accepted. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of urgent care services to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, our multiple locations offer digital x-rays, EKG, lab testing, physicals, immunizations, vaccines, occupational medicine, travel medicine and selected primary care services. Find the medical care you need with the convenience you want at MD Now. Online: www.MDNow.com.