Content Hub
Urgent Care
Sports Physicals: What Happens During a Cardiovascular Exam?

March 18, 2024

Sports Physicals: What Happens During a Cardiovascular Exam?

The heart is one of the most powerful muscles in the body and is connected to the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system is particularly important when it comes to sports as it allows for blood to move through the body easier.  But how is a cardiovascular exam run when getting a sports physical? Read below to find out!

What happens?

There are a few reasons why your primary care physician may decide to refer you to a cardiologist. One reason may be because you are preparing for a sport or another heavily physical activity. Some important items to bring to the office for your physical include:

Health History List: The physician will ask about your health and family history. Prepare in advance and have this information compiled into a list. This visit will move along more smoothly.

Testing and Medication List: Compile a list of the recent tests you have performed, along with the detailed results. You should also write down a list of the medications you are taking, including the dosage. The more information you can provide to your cardiologist, the better.

Additional Information/Questions: Do not be afraid to share information with your cardiologist. Feel free to compose a list of questions you have for the doctor.

Your cardiologist may decide you need further testing. Some of these diagnostic tests include:

Stress Testing: This test takes place on a treadmill and is likely administered if your doctor suspects the likelihood of blockages in the arteries. A stress test places an increased load on your heart while monitoring the function. It allows the doctor to see if the heart muscle is receiving enough blood and if valves are working correctly.

Echocardiogram: This test uses sound waves to generate a picture of the heart. The doctors can test the detailed view, looking thoroughly at the vessels and chambers. Through the evaluation, the cardiologist is given the ability to identify deformities of the valves, the heart’s pumping power, and the blood flow.

Computerized Tomography Angiography: Also known as CT angiography, this exam uses X-rays in combination with computers to generate images of the blood and its vessels. A CT angiography can assist with the assessment of the heart, brain, or blood vessels moving through the body’s arterial systems. This test involves the injection of a dye into a vein that flows through the bloodstream. At this time, X-ray images are taken to showcase the vessels and blockages, if they exist.

Magnetic Resonance Angiogram: Often called an MRA, this assists with the diagnosis of blood vessel problems. The test itself is administered in a specialized laboratory where the patient is asked to change into a gown and lie on a table. The table is slid into an empty chamber and the patient is exposed to painless testing of the blood vessels and arteries. The images provide a precise assessment of any blockages.

Learn more about Cardiovascular Exams

At BASS Primary Care, we know that getting out on the field is important, but your heart is important to us! Give us a call today at (925) 962-9120 to get in touch with one of our amazing doctors who can get you on the field.

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.