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Sports Physicals

It's a good idea to get a sports physical before you start playing any new sports.
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What is a sports physical and why do you need to take one? Find out more about sports physicals right here.

What Is A Sports Physical

  • A sports physical exam or a pre-participation physical exam (PPE) is used to help figure out whether it's safe for you to participate in a particular sport. In many US states, sports physicals are actually required for kids before they can start a new sport or begin a new season. Even if a physical isn't required, doctors recommend getting one before you start playing any new competitive sport.
  • A sports physical will ask questions about your medical history to find out info on any allergies you might have, serious illness in your family, past injuries or any illnesses you have now such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy. The medical history questions are usually on a form you can fill out at home with the help of your parents.
  • During the physical exam, a doctor will usually record your weight and height, take a blood pressure and heart rate reading, test your eyes and check your lungs, heart, stomach, joints and posture.
  • At the end of the exam, a doctor will sign a form if everything checks out, or they may recommend follow-up tests or treatment for any medical problems.
  • Why Do I Need A Sports Physical

    A sports physical can help you find out about and treat any health problems that might interfere with your participation in a sport. For example, your doctor could recommend a specific type of inhaler to help you deal with asthma attacks when you're playing basketball or soccer. Doctors may also be able to suggest specific exercises that can help prevent injuries in particular sports. If you have a history of injuring your ankle, a doctor can recommend ways to strenghthen your ankle or find ways of playing your favorite sport without doing further damage. Getting a sports physical and listening to the advice of a doctor can help you become a better and stronger athlete.

    When Should I Get A Sports Physical

    It's a good idea to get your sports physical done at least six weeks before your season begins, so you'll have time to follow up with any advice from your doctor. You can get a physical done at your school but it's also a good idea to talk to your regular doctor, who will have a better idea of your medical history. Professional athletes talk to doctors all the time to keep them on top of their game - so you should too.

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    Do You Get A Sports Physical Every Year?

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    • Only if I've had a serious injury.
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