LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- For the past year, we have focused on men putting on the gown; the doctor's gown that is.

Now, we want to broaden that. We all need to take an active role in our health. Knowing what's behind that pain you have learned to live with can change your life.

Craig O'Neill showed us one example of why you should wear the gown.

There is no bigger football centric community in Arkansas than Cabot. Adam Flores is projected to be the starting fullback this season.

Flores won't make a play without making an appointment with Dr. Rachel White because of a nagging pain 18 months ago.

“I was noticing a little back issue and my physical was coming up and I mentioned it to my doctor,” Flores said.

“And knowing he was a football player and he had taken some punches recently, we evaluated it,” Dr. White said.

That evaluation showed a herniated disc. Flores could endure the pain, but not the uncertainty.

“The wrong hit, the wrong way, turning the wrong way could've caused it to cinch more, pinched nerve, paralyzed, it's a good thing I did come in,” Flores said.

Through slow, methodical therapy and monitoring, Flores came back and now he's god to go.

“But he would not have had any treatment if he had not come in for his checkup,” said Dr. White.

Sure, every player gets a physical, but a doctor's checkup before the season starts should be the first big play of the season.

“It's very important because there are many things we check for routinely, that can cause a player to have a sudden death or worsen an injury that's already there,” Dr. White said.

One example is listening to the heart in different positions to determine if there are any potential defects that could turn tragic on the field.

“My goal is to play college football and if I would’ve gotten hurt even worse, I wouldn't have had a chance to do any of that,” said Flores.

Wherever he plays next, he has learned the lesson: before putting on the pads, you put on the gown.