Sports Physical Specialist

Sports Physical Q & A

What is a sports physical?

A sports physical is an exam your child, adolescent, or teen can undergo to play competitive sports in Massachusetts. While sports physicals aren’t a requirement for adults, Kathleen and her team recommend them for patients of all ages. These exams ensure that players are physically fit enough to participate in the game. 

Certain diseases, chronic conditions, and previous injuries can threaten a player’s health and safety. Identifying these risk factors during a sports physical helps protect your child against injury during play. Schools and competitive teams often require documentation of a physical before allowing students to participate in sports.

What happens during a sports physical?

Like an annual exam, a sports physical includes two main components: a medical history review and physical assessment.

Medical history review

To gather a comprehensive picture of your child’s health, the team may ask about any medications they’re taking, past surgeries or illnesses, previous hospitalizations, and your family’s health history. Asking these questions allows the team to identify health risk factors before completing the exam.

Physical exam

The physical exam includes recording your child’s height, weight, and vitals, testing their flexibility, and evaluating their muscle strength. The team may also check your child’s posture and gait. They complete a full head-to-toe exam that includes looking inside your child’s eyes, nose, and throat. They also listen to the heart and lungs and palpate the abdomen.

What conditions do providers look for in sports physicals?

Kathleen and the team look for any signs of undiagnosed health concerns during a sports physical. The team may check for symptoms of:

  • Vascular diseases
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory issues
  • Concussions
  • Complications from previous injuries

If your child shows signs of any of the above health concerns, Kathleen and the team may order blood work, imaging tests, or urinalysis to investigate the cause.

What happens after a sports physical?

Sports physicals rarely disqualify children from participating in play. If Kathleen and the team do identify a potential health concern, they may prescribe medication, physical therapy, or recommend a follow-up exam.

Children with a history of concussions may not qualify to play contact sports, like football or rugby, but can still play golf, tennis, and other sports that are low-risk for head injuries.

To learn more about sports physicals, call Broadway Healthcare: Kathleen Broderick Logan, FNP, or schedule an appointment online today.