Before your student/athlete hits the court or the field, a big part in the preparation for the start of the season is by getting a sports physical.

Also known as a pre-participation physical, this physical is a comprehensive examination that focuses on specific medical conditions to ensure the athlete can play without risk of injury.  A sports physical allows your doctor to ensure that old injuries have properly healed and that you don’t agitate or create chronic issues during play.  

Sports physicals are designed to detect certain medical issues that could have the greatest impact during intense levels of physical activity.  Some of the conditions evaluated during this physical includes:

  • Musculoskeletal abnormalities
  • Flexibility levels
  • Breathing issues
  • Heart problems
  • Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or epilepsy

What happens during the examination?

A sports physical usually begins with an overall medical history, reviewing current health as well as previous medical conditions, injuries, surgeries, or concussions.  The physician performing the physical might also review family history and immunization records. 

Along with the medical history review, the physician will measure height, weight, blood pressure, and heart and lungs.  Posture, joint range of motion, and any musculoskeletal abnormalities such as scoliosis will also be assessed.

Why is a sports physical important?

A sports physical is a great opportunity for your athlete to find out about, treat, and prevent any health problems that might interfere with their participation in a physical activity.  

For example, if your child has frequent asthma attacks and they are running track or playing soccer, a  different inhaler might be prescribed so they can breathe easier during play.  A physician might also suggest training tips that can prevent injuries, such as stretching and strengthening exercises.

Where can I go to get my child’s sports physical?

Scheduling an appointment with your pediatrician can be difficult. AFC Urgent Care can provide any required physicals, and while appointments are encouraged, walk-ins are always welcome. For more information about our sports physicals or other services we provide, please call us at 203-845-9100.