MARQUETTE — Back to school also means back to sports, but before student athletes hit the court or field they should play it safe and schedule a screening or physical.

After a long summer the last thing student athletes probably want is to sit on the bench.

Certified Athletic Trainer Mark Stonerock says, “Well a lot of athletes they take off during the summer, they do a lot of fun things, but they really don’t do what they need to do to stay in shape, so we’ll see a lot of injuries from people who have just deconditioned.”

In preparation for the upcoming sports seasons, UP Health System Marquette is offering free injury screenings for athletes. The screening only take 15 to 20 minutes, but covers most injuries, aches and pains.

“We serve as that middle-man to kind of let you know, oh maybe this is something I need to follow up on,” Stonerock added, “and the nice thing there is we have some great connections with the rest of the medical community, such as sports medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and the like, and we can really shuttle the athlete into those professionals very quickly.”

Seasoned athlete and Special Strength Coach Courtney Finkbeiner came in for her own screening after she got a forearm injury this summer. She says it’s better to get it checked out right away than wait it out, that way students could have a more successful season.

“You want to go into your season feeling 100%, and as a coach I want to make sure my kids are feeling 100%, and get them to their full potential,” Finkbeiner added, “and if they’re not feeling well right off the bat it’s hard to get to their full potential.”

Stonerock says, “A lot of injuries that go unchecked get worse. It’s always easier to deal with them early, and you don’t want an injury to become worse just because you’re trying to wait it out.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment click here.

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