How to Perform a Sports Physical?

It is how to perform a sports physical? season once again and that means it is time for young athletes to get their annual sports physical.

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A sports physical is a medical exam that is required for participation in many organized sports. The purpose of the exam is to identify any medical conditions that could potentially put the athlete at risk for injury or illness.

During the exam, the doctor will take a medical history and will assess the athlete’s height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. The doctor will also check for signs of dehydration or heat stroke. A physical examination will be performed to check for flexibility, range of motion, and strength. The doctor may also ask the athlete to perform some simple physical tests such as running or jumping.

The sports physical should not be confused with a pre-participation exam, which is a more comprehensive exam that is required for some competitive sports. The pre-participation exam includes all of the components of a sports physical, as well as additional tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) or stress test.

What is a sports physical?

A sports physical is an examination performed by a medical professional (usually a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) to determine if it is safe for you to participate in a particular sport.

The medical professional will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination. You will likely be asked about any injuries that you have had in the past, any chronic medical conditions that you have, and any medications that you are currently taking. The physical examination will usually focus on your musculoskeletal system and your cardiovascular system.

The purpose of the sports physical is to screen for any medical conditions that could potentially put you at risk for complications if you participate in a particular sport. It is important to note that a sports physical is not the same thing as a complete physical examination. If you have any concerns about your health, it is important to see your regular healthcare provider for a complete physical examination.

Why are sports physicals important?

Sports physicals are important for several reasons. First, they can help identify any potential health problems that could affect a child’s ability to safely participate in sports. Second, they can provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider and get guidance on how to manage any medical conditions. Third, sports physicals can help create a baseline for comparison in case of an injury.

Who should get a sports physical?

There is no one definitive answer to this question. Every individual athlete, as well as every sports team, will have different requirements when it comes to sports physicals. In general, however, it is recommended that all athletes receive a sports physical at least once per year. This physical should be performed by a qualified medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or certified athletic trainer.

When should you get a sports physical?

There is no one answer to this question. The best answer is that you should talk to your doctor about getting a sports physical. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you need one and when the best time for you to get one would be.

How often should you get a sports physical?

It’s important to have a regular physical assessment to check for any new injuries or changes in your health before participating in any sport. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all athletes have a pre-participation physical examination (PPE) every year. Family physicians, pediatricians, and sports medicine specialists can all perform PPEs.

What happens during a sports physical?

A sports physical, also known as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE), is a medical exam that determines whether it’s safe for you to participate in a particular sport.

The doctor or other health care provider will ask about your medical history and do a physical examination. The provider may also order some tests, such as bloodwork or an EKG.

You don’t need to prepare for a sports physical, but it’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothing so the provider can do a thorough exam.

During the medical history portion of the visit, the provider will ask about any past or current illnesses, injuries, allergies, and chronic health conditions. They will also want to know about any medications you’re taking and if you’ve ever been hospitalized overnight.

Next, the provider will do a physical examination. This will include checking your height, weight, blood pressure, vision, heart rate, and breathing. They will also feel your abdomen and check your joints and muscles for range of motion and flexibility.

If everything looks good on the physical examination, the provider may not order any further tests. However, they may order bloodwork or an electrocardiogram (EKG) if they have concerns about your heart health.

Once all the test results are back and everything looks good, the provider will give you a clean bill of health to participate in your chosen sport!

What if I have a chronic health condition?

If you have a chronic health condition, such as asthma, diabetes, sickle cell trait, or heart condition, be sure to tell your doctor or the person performing the sports physical. You may need to take extra precautions or get clearance from your doctor before playing sports.

Are there any risks associated with sports physicals?

Most risks associated with sports physicals are related to the procedures performed during the exam. For example, a blood pressure test or blood draw carries a very low risk of serious complications. However, more invasive procedures like an X-ray or MRI scan may carry a slightly higher risk of complications.

Overall, the risks associated with sports physicals are very low. However, as with any medical procedure, there is always a small risk of complications. If you have any concerns about the risks of a sports physical, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider before the exam.


In order to ensure that a young athlete is physically able to safely participate in sports, it is important to have them undergo a sports physical. This type of physical exam is different from a regular doctor’s visit, as it specifically looks for signs of possible injuries or illnesses that could impact an athlete’s ability to play.

During a sports physical, the doctor will ask about the athlete’s medical history and current health, as well as any previous injuries or illnesses. They will also perform a basic physical exam, including checking the heart, lungs, and joints for any red flags. In some cases, additional testing may be recommended, such as X-rays or MRI scans.

If you are an athlete or the parent of an athlete, be sure to schedule a sports physical with your doctor before the start of the sports season. This will help to ensure that your child is healthy and able to safely participate in their chosen sport.

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