Pre-Participation Physicals (Sports Physicals)

Northview Medical

Medical Center located in Cheyenne, WY

We are excited to announce the addition of pre-participation physicals to our clinic. This will be available to all students at a low-cost rate.

Pre-Participation Physicals (Sports Physicals)

What Is a Sports Physical?

In the sports medicine field, the sports physical exam is known as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE). The exam helps determine whether it's safe for you to participate in a certain sport. Most states actually require that kids and teens have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season. Even if a sports physical isn't required by your athletic department or club team, PPE’s are still highly recommend.

The two main components of a sports physical: a medical history and a physical exam.

Medical History

This part of the exam includes questions regarding:

  • serious illnesses among family members
  • past and present illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy
  • previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • allergies (to insect bites, for example)
  • past injuries (including concussions, sprains, or bone fractures)
  • whether you've ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or had trouble breathing during exercise
  • any medications that you are on (including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and prescription medications)

Looking at patterns of illness in your family is a good way to consider possible conditions you may have. Most sports medicine doctors believe the medical history is the most important part of the sports physical exam, so take time to answer the questions carefully. It's unlikely that your answers will prevent you from playing your sports.

Physical Examination

During the physical part of the exam, the doctor will:

  • take height and weight measurements
  • Record blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
  • Vision screening
  • Listen to the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
  • evaluate posture, joints, muscle strength, and flexibility

Although most of the exam will be the same for males and females, if a person has started or already gone through puberty, the doctor may ask girls and boys different questions. For example, if a girl is heavily involved in a lot of active sports, the doctor may ask her about her period and diet.

A doctor will also ask questions about use of drugs, alcohol, or dietary supplements, including steroids or other "performance enhancers" and weight-loss supplements, because these can affect a person's health.

At the end of your exam, the doctor will either fill out and sign a form if everything checks out OK or, in some cases, recommend a follow-up exam, additional tests, or specific treatment for medical problems.

Why Is a Sports Physical Important?

A sports physical can help indentify health problems that might interfere with participation in a sport. For example, if you have frequent asthma attacks but are a starting forward in soccer, a doctor might be able to prescribe a different type of inhaler or adjust the dosage so that you can breathe more easily when you run.

Your doctor may even have some good training tips and be able to give you some ideas for avoiding injuries. For example, he or she may recommend certain stretching or strengthening activities, that help prevent injuries. A doctor also can identify risk factors that are linked to specific sports. Advice like this will make you a better, stronger athlete. 

Please call the clinic to ask about our availability for these appointments. 

During the summer check out our Facebook page for Free Pre-participation physicals day, where your examination is free and you can just make a small donation towards the local schools.