We could tack on “besides it being a legal requirement in most states” to the title, but that would’ve made it a tad too long in our opinion. That said, there are six major things a doctor (and ultimately the school or sports team) looks for when a child or young adult undergoes a pre-participation sports evaluation.
Overall, the idea is to make sure the individual has the physical capabilities needed to engage in whatever sporting activity they wish to, and whether or not they are fit to compete in said sport. Oftentimes, many unknown medical risks and conditions are uncovered in these ordinarily routine examinations which can then be treated whereas if an exam was not conducted, the disorder would’ve gone unnoticed and become potentially more dangerous.
6 Reasons to Get a Sports Physical
- Determining general good health. The overall health and well-being of the individual is of paramount importance and is what generally dictates whether or not they are capable of playing the sport or activity.
- Assess the fitness level. This speaks to more of what the individual can do above and beyond the normally required athleticism of someone playing the game. If they are at a lower fitness level than average, they may not be able to play some positions, as where if they are above average they may be able to play multiple positions and more often.
- Detect predisposed conditions that may lead to new injuries. Inherited genetic disorders, congenital anomalies, and medical predispositions speak to what was passed on to the individual from the parents or bloodline that may hinder their ability to play sports and compete.
- Evaluate any existing injuries. Sprained, fractured or broken bones and other injuries limiting an individual’s ability to be physically active in a sport will be examined. If it is determined that the existing injury will prohibit or endanger the person then the doctor may not recommend participation.
- Assess physicality and body size. The individual’s body type and frame size will be examined to determine if they are physically able to compete in such team sports as football or any contact sports. A smaller frame does not necessarily mean they cannot participate in a sport, but it will be factored into which sports and positions they may play.
- Detect poor conditioning. If the individual is “out of shape” or not physically – or mentally – able to endure the stress sports can put on their body due to poor conditioning and/or unpreparedness for the game, the doctor will make note of this and determine whether they will be able to perform at the required levels a sport may demand.
Of course, the items above are broad strokes covering the basics of what a sports physical will look into. This isn’t a series of boxes to check to make sure that your child will “pass” or “fail” this exam since it isn’t designed like that. This exam aims to keep individuals safe while they play and compete in a sport by determining if they are up to the task.
If you are in need of a sports physical, contact or stop by our clinic today to get them examined and on the road to victory.