The goal of the sports physical is to help keep sports safe and accessible to every student who wants to play.
The sports physical rarely uncovers health problems in kids, but performing a routine history and physical exam is the best way to ensure the safety of a child who plays sports and help avoid potential risks of injury or illness.
What Is Checked During a Sports Physical?The most common sports physical include a health history questionnaire that asks about the child's medical history of injury, illness or conditions, such as asthma, and ensure that they are being properly managed.
The health history also asks about the following:
- Emergency contact information
- Family history of illness
- Personal history of illness or injury
- Diagnosed medical conditions
- History of heart problems
- History of head injury
- For female athletes the physical inquires about menstrual cycle irregularities
The Physical Exam
The physical exam is designed to look for anything unusual including:
- Heart rhythm and rate (heart murmur)
- Joint pain or tenderness
- Curvature of the spine
- Elevated blood pressure
- Muscle imbalance
- Vision Loss
- Hearing Problems
- Problems with reflexes
In some cases, if there is a health concern, a student may undergo the following procedures:
- Blood Tests
- EKG or Echocardiogram
- X-ray, MRI, CT scan or Bone Scan
- Muscle Strength Testing
Sports Physicals are usually required about a month prior to start of practice in order to allow time for addressing any medical conditions that are uncovered so a child can still participate in the sports even if they need to modify their training routine.