A sports physical is an examination conducted by a medical professional to assess an athlete’s fitness to participate in a sport.
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A sports physical is an exam given to athletes to make sure they are healthy and fit to participate in their chosen sport. The physical will assess the athlete’s height, weight, vision, heart health, and more. Many schools require students to have a sports physical before they are allowed to try out for a team or participate in practices.
What is a Sports Physical?
A sports physical is a medical exam given to young athletes before they begin playing a sport. The physical is meant to ensure that the child is healthy enough to safely participate in the sport.
Children who are starting a new sport or are seen by a doctor for an injury should always receive a sports physical. The physical should be given by a healthcare provider who is trained in sports medicine, such as a pediatrician, family doctor, or sports medicine doctor.
During the physical, the healthcare provider will take a medical history and will perform a physical examination. The medical history will ask questions about the child’s past medical problems, surgery, allergies, and medications. The physical examination will assess the child’s height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, lungs, abdomen, flexibility, joints, strength, and coordination.
The purpose of the sports physical is to identify any health problems that could put the child at risk for getting injured while playing sports. If any problems are found during the medical history or physical examination, the healthcare provider may recommend further testing or treatment. For example, if the child has asthma, the healthcare provider may recommend that the child carry an inhaler with him or her at all times while playing sports.
Sports physicals are an important part of keeping children safe while they play sports. All young athletes should receive a sports physical before starting a new sport.
Who Needs a Sports Physical?
Athletes who plan to participate in a sport at the high school or collegiate level are required to have a sports physical. The purpose of the sports physical is to ensure that the athlete is physically fit to participate in their chosen sport and to identify any potential health concerns that could increase the risk of injury.
Sports physicals are also sometimes referred to as pre-participation physical examinations (PPE) or preparticipation evaluation (PPE).
When to Schedule a Sports Physical
It’s important to have a sports physical scheduled at least six to eight weeks before the start of the sports season. This gives you and your family time to schedule any additional testing or follow-up visits that might be recommended by the doctor. It also allows you to get any prescriptions for glasses, braces, or other devices that might be needed in time for the start of the season.
What to Expect During a Sports Physical
A sports physical is a type of medical exam that is designed to evaluate whether or not an athlete is healthy enough to participate in a sport. The exam usually includes a medical history, a physical examination, and sometimes blood tests or X-rays.
During the medical history portion of the exam, the doctor will ask about any previous injuries or illnesses, any medications that the athlete is taking, and any family history of medical conditions that might be relevant. The physical examination will assess the athlete’s height, weight, blood pressure, vision, and heart rate. The doctor will also check for any signs of injuries or conditions that could potentially be aggravated by participation in a sport.
Blood tests and X-rays are not always necessary for a sports physical, but they may be ordered if the doctor suspects that the athlete has an underlying medical condition that could impact their ability to safely participate in a sport. Once the exam is complete, the doctor will provide an evaluation of the athlete’s health and make recommendations about whether or not they are cleared to participate in their chosen sport.
How to Prepare for a Sports Physical
It’s important to be prepared for your sports physical. Follow these tips to make sure you’re ready:
-Be aware of the requirements for your sport. Some sports have special requirements, such as a certain body fat percentage.
-Get a good night’s sleep before your physical.
-Eat a light, healthy meal before your physical.
-Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily.
The Importance of a Sports Physical
A sports physical is an exam given to young athletes to make sure they are healthy enough to safely participate in sports. The purpose of the physical is to detect any medical conditions that might put the child at risk for injuries or other problems during sports.
Sports physicals are also a good opportunity for parents and guardians to talk to the child’s doctor about any concerns they have about their child’s health or ability to participate in sports.
The physical includes a review of the child’s medical history and a physical exam. The doctor will ask questions about any injuries or illnesses the child has had in the past, any medications the child is taking, and any allergies the child has.
The physical exam part of the sports physical will vary depending on the age and sex of the child, but it will usually include measurement of height, weight, blood pressure, and vision. The doctor will also check for signs of heart disease, asthma, and other medical conditions.
It is important to remember that a sports physical is not the same as a routine check-up with a pediatrician or family doctor. A routine check-up is important for all children, but it does not include all of the tests and measurements that are done during a sports physical.
Parents should talk to their child’s doctor about when their child should have a sports physical. In most cases, children should have a sports physical every year if they are participating in organized sports such as school teams or club teams.