5 Important Benefits of a Sports Physical

Mar 02, 2024
 5 Important Benefits of a Sports Physical
If you play sports, your school or team may require you to have a sports physical before you participate. Here are five important benefits of having a sports physical.

If your child wants to participate in athletics at their school or in an afterschool program, chances are good they’ll need to get a sports physical. Most schools or teams require such tests for all athletes as a safety measure, to determine if there’s an underlying condition that could make participation dangerous if the child can play with certain limitations, or if they can play without restriction.

At Primecare Family Practice, board-certified family practitioners Maryline Ongangi, APRN, FNP-C and Lewis Nyantika, APRN, FNP-C offer sports physicals for their patients — of any age — in Arlington, Texas. To help you understand just how much these exams can help, the team has put together this guide with everything you need to know.

What’s included in a sports physical?

Also known as a preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE), the sports physical is required by most states before a student can participate in athletic competition.

The two main components are the medical history and the physical exam.1. Medical history

The medical history is designed to get a “whole person” picture of your health. It includes questions about:

  • Medical problems that run in the family
  • Medical problems you have, such as asthma, diabetes, COVID-19, or sickle cell trait
  • Previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • Any allergies
  • Past injuries, including concussions, sprains, and fractures
  • Whether you've ever fainted, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or had trouble breathing while exercising
  • Any medications you take, including over-the-counter and dietary supplements
  • Testicle pain (boys)
  • Menstrual cycle (girls)

The more honestly you answer the questions, the better able the doctor will be to get a clear picture of your overall health.

2. Physical exam

The physical is a hands-on exam. The doctor evaluates:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
  • Vision and hearing
  • Heart and lung function
  • Muscles, bones, and joints

He may also draw blood and collect a urine sample to check your circulatory system, blood sugar (diabetes), and levels of important hormones.

Questions, though, can go in both directions, so if you want to know something about your health, diet, or participation in sports, ask!

5 important benefits of a sports physical

While the main purpose of a sports physical is to clear you for playing, the exam also offers five important benefits:

  • Can detect an underlying medical condition that would interfere with athletics
  • Can lead to treatment for an underlying condition
  • Can determine your physical fitness for your chosen sport
  • Can suggest adaptations (i.e. inhaler for asthma) to ready you for sports
  • Doctor can offer training tips or recommend physical therapy to prevent injuries

Even if your school or team doesn’t require a sports physical, you may want to schedule one (or combine one with your annual exam) to help you stay physically fit.

If you need a sports physical, Primecare Family Practice has got you covered. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, call us at 817-873-3710, or book online with us today.