School and Sports Physicals

A sports physical is also known as a pre-participation physical exam (PPE). It’s an examination to assess your health and fitness levels for enrollment in sporting events. Many states will not allow minors to play a sport until they have had a sports physical. During the examination, the physical checks for any injuries or diseases that could make it unsafe for your child or teen to participate in sports. Your family medical history will also be reviewed. Learn more about school or sports physicals.

Where Is a Sports Physical Done?

Doctors, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners can perform the physical as well as sign the required forms. Some schools offer sports physicals and often have health care stations set up around a gymnasium where the practitioner can perform different tests on the teens. Many walk-in clinics, like MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care, also offer sports physicals.

When Is a Sports Physical Done?

It’s ideal to have a pre-participation physical exam performed at least six to eight weeks before the sports season begins. This gives the health care provider time to treat any conditions they may find, as well as time for any necessary follow-up exams.

What to Expect During a Sports Physical

At the beginning of the pre-participation physical exam, you will be asked to fill out a health history questionnaire about any illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy, as well as a family health history. The provider may also ask about any previous injuries, such as concussions, sprains, bone fractures, hospitalizations or surgeries that might prevent your student from participating in the sport. Lifestyle questions, such as medications they might be on, as well as drug and alcohol use, will also likely be asked.

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