What Is a Sports Physical?
The sports physical exam helps determine whether it's safe for each individual to participate in certain sports. Most states require that children have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season. But even if a sports physical isn't required, clinicians still highly recommend getting one.
The two main parts to a sports physical are the medical history and the physical exam
This part of the exam includes questions about:
- serious illnesses among family members
- illnesses that you had when you were younger or may have now, such as asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy
- previous hospitalizations or surgeries
- allergies (to insect bites, for example)
- past injuries (including concussions, sprains, or bone fractures)
- whether you've ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or had trouble breathing during exercise
- any medications that you are on (including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and prescription medications)
The medical history questions are usually on a form that you can obtain from the school
Answer the questions as well as you can. Try not to guess the answers or give answers you think your provider wants.
Sport’s history is the most important part of the physical exam, please take your time to answer the questions carefully.
During the physical part of the exam, the provider will usually:
- record your height and weight
- take a blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
- test your vision
- check your heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
- evaluate your posture, joints, strength, and flexibility
The provider will also ask questions about the use of drugs, alcohol, or dietary supplements, including steroids or other "performance enhancers" and weight-loss supplements because these can affect a person's health.
At the end of your exam, the provider will either fill out and sign a form if the exam is negative for any discrepancies or, in some cases, recommend a follow-up exam, additional tests, or specific treatment for medical problems.
Why Is a Sports Physical Important?
A sports physical can help you find out about and deal with health problems that might interfere with your participation in a sport.
Your provider may even have some good training tips and be able to give you some ideas for avoiding injuries.
When & Where Should I Go for a Sports Physical?
Getting a sports physical once a year is usually adequate. If you're healing from a major injury, like a broken wrist or ankle, however, get checked out after it's healed before you start practicing or playing again.
You should have your physical about 6 weeks before your sports season begins so there's enough time to follow up on something, if necessary.
If you need a Sport’s Physical, walk-in or schedule an appointment at Forward Care Family Practice. We are having a $40 sports physical special. Call us today @ 602-718-1962 or visit our website: www.fwdcare.com