What is a Sport Physical and When Do I Need One?

Sports physicals are physical examinations conducted as part of an athlete’s preparation for participation in sports. A sports physical is required in all 50 states before participation in high school sports. Also known as a pre-participation exam, a sports physical is conducted by a doctor, who may be the athlete’s personal doctor. Some parts of the sports physical may be conducted by a coach.

What is the Purpose of a Sports Physical?

Sports physicals are meant to assess the athlete’s:

  • General health
  • Current fitness level
  • Existing injuries
  • Physical and congenital conditions that might increase the risk of injury
  • Level of physical maturity

What Should I Expect During a Sports Physical?

A sports physical consists of two parts: medical history and a current physical evaluation. The medical history portion of the exam looks at some or all of the following:

  • Family medical history, especially serious illness
  • Immunizations, especially tetanus
  • Asthma
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Vision correction and dental work, such as braces
  • Past history of fractures, concussions, and heatstroke
  • Excessive weight loss or gain
  • Past history of dizziness or fainting
  • Allergies
  • The use of alcohol, drugs, dietary supplements, and/or performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids

The physical exam evaluates:

  • Height and weight
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Blood pressure
  • Vision

The sports physical may also test the athlete’s flexibility and endurance. If all is well, the doctor can sign a certificate stating that the athlete is in good health and is fit to participate in sports. If the doctor discovers a problem, he or she can work with the athlete on treatment or rehabilitation to prepare the athlete for participation in sports.

Where Do I Go for a Sports Physical?

Doctors Express conducts sports physicals. Our outstanding staff are friendly, professional and reliable. Call for an appointment.