What is a Sports Physical?

A sports physical is often required for any school sport being played. It is not the same as a regular physical and specifically looks for conditions or injuries that might make participating in sports unsafe. A sports physical is performed by a physician to assess a teen’s health. Sports physicals are recommended about six to eight weeks before the season begins, allowing time to treat any conditions or injuries.

What to Expect During a Sports Physical

A sports physical will begin by discussing your child or teen’s medical and family history. This should include mentioning any illnesses, trips to the ER, or recent injuries. A health form and questionnaire will also be asked to fill out. This gives an idea of the teen’s habits and choices that might influence their health. During the exam, the teen’s height and weight will be recorded, and vitals will be checked. Tests will be done to check vision, lungs, joints, and heart function. The physician can detect signs of certain conditions such as:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders
  • Vision problems
  • Bone or joint injuries
  • Liver, kidney, or heart problems

The health care provider will then make an assessment of whether sports are safe to participate in or if other precautionary measures need to be taken.

Sports Physical Results

After a sports physical, a physician will decide if it is safe for a teen to participate in the sport. This will depend on any findings during the exam but will also take the following into consideration:

  • The type of sport and position
  • Protective equipment available
  • Ability to modify the sport
  • Level of competition

If the results and these factors do not present any reason to sit out a sport, the teen will be given the OK to participate. In some cases, modifications and certain preventative measures might be required before a teen can play a sport. For issues such as asthma or allergies, an inhaler or EpiPen can be carried. If any conditions or injuries are detected, they will have to be treated before the season and monitored throughout the season.

Where to Schedule a Sports Physical

A sports physical can be scheduled at your primary care physician and sometimes even in schools. However, if you want a quick and convenient way to get your child’s physical in, you might choose to go to an urgent care facility. Contact Springfield Urgent Care if your child is in need of a sport physical in Springfield Township.


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