What to Expect from a Sports Physical

More than just a physical examination, a sports physical focuses on general health as it applies to athletic activity. Before you or your child engages in a new athletic activity, see your health care providers at New Hope Medical Clinic for a sports physical.

During a sports physical, we check to make sure you or your child has no health problems that could interfere with athletic activities.

Some schools or teams require that a child or teen have a sports physical before participating in a new sport or before the start of a new season. Adults may have sports physicals before embarking on new physical activities or before returning to physical activity after an injury or illness.

Whatever your athletic goal, we want to be sure it’s safe for you to participate in sports. Here’s what you can expect during a sports physical.

Discussion about your medical history

If we’ve seen you before, we’ve probably already asked you about your health history. If not, we talk with you about you any chronic health conditions you may have, as well as previous illnesses, surgeries, hospitalizations, injuries, or allergies. We also review your medications.

In addition, we ask you for information about relevant health conditions in your immediate family.

Vital signs

We measure your blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, and respiration rate. These are known as your vital signs, and we check them whenever you visit our office. If you are in any pain, we ask you to tell us about it. We also check your height and weight.

Symptom review

If you’re having any physical symptoms, such as trouble breathing, chest pain, muscle soreness, dizziness, or a headache, we want to know about them.  

Check of your heart and lungs

We use a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs. Certain types of health problems cause audible changes in your heartbeat or breathing that we can hear with a stethoscope.

Physical exam

To make sure you can engage in sports safely, we examine your ears, nose, throat, belly, and joints. We also check your posture, strength, balance, and flexibility. We may even ask you to sprint down the hall and back so we can see how well you breathe after the sprint.

If we need more information, we may recommend blood tests, imaging tests, or other follow-up care.   

And if you need any immunizations, we offer them to you during your sports checkup or schedule an appointment for you to come back and have them.

Discussion about medications

If you are on medications for any health conditions, we may need to adjust your medications or review how you should use them while exercising. For example, if you have asthma, it might worsen while you’re exercising, so we talk with you about when and how often to use your inhaler.

We also answer any questions you may have about nutritional supplements or performance-enhancing substances. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about these products. Some are not as effective as you may think, while others are unsafe or illegal.

We want you to have the information you need to make smart choices about what you put into your body.

Signing your sports form

Most schools and sports programs require us to fill out and sign a form giving permission for you to participate in athletic activities. Make sure to bring the form with you when you come for your sports physical.

No matter what type of checkup you need — a sports physical, an employment physical, or a yearly checkup — your health care providers at New Hope Medical Clinic are happy to take care of it. Call us or use our online scheduling tool to make an appointment.

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