How to Prepare for Your First Sports Physical

Jul 05, 2023
How to Prepare for Your First Sports Physical
Playing sports is a great past-time — as long as you're healthy. A sports physical is a way for a doctor to evaluate your health before starting the sports season. Read on to learn how to prepare for your first sports physical.

Basketball, baseball, and football are all great team sports that help bring people together and create a lot of fun. However, if you're not careful, you can injure yourself, ruining your entire season.

Schools and outside programs typically require sports physicals for athletes under 18 to participate.

A sports physical allows Dr. Yaritza Arriaga O'Neill to evaluate your health and physical wellness before the season starts.

Dr. O'Neill and her team at Highway Integrative Health Center offer primary care and urgent care services to patients in the Davenport, Florida, community.

If you're ready to get on the field, Dr. O'Neill provides the necessary exams and clearances to get started with any sport.

The facts on sports physicals

A sports physical is simply an exam doctors provide when student-athletes are going to participate in school sports. While not every state requires them, having one before engaging in any sport is a good idea.

The goal of a sports physical is to ensure you're healthy enough to participate in your chosen sport. We evaluate your physical health, making sure no red flags pop up that would prevent you from being active.

For example, if we find you have asthma, we can adjust your medications to ensure you're safe during sporting activities. We can also provide you with exercises and stretches to help you avoid getting injured.

There are several steps to a sports physical, including a physical exam. During the exam, we look at things such as:

  • Height and weight
  • Your vision and hearing
  • Blood pressure and pulse
  • Heart, lungs, and abdomen
  • Ears, nose, and throat
  • Joint health, flexibility, and posture

Another vital aspect of the physical is learning about your family history and past medical history. These give us the information to find any preexisting conditions that could put you at risk for injuries or problems on the field.

Preparing for the sports physical

You need to do little to prepare for your first sports physical. It's a good idea to wear comfortable clothing and be ready to answer questions about your current health and past medical history.

If you need clarification on your family history, check in with your parents or immediate family members and write down any pertinent information you need at the appointment. The essential information you need for your physical includes:

  • A list of current medications, including over-the-counter and supplements
  • Any allergies you have and the reaction to each
  • A list of immunizations and when you received them
  • Past surgical history
  • Any current or past illnesses
  • Any issues with exercise or sports in the past
  • Family history of illness or disease

We also ask about your diet, including how many calories you eat daily and evidence of weight loss or gain in the past.

If you're a female, we want to know about your menstrual cycles, including when they started and if they're regular or irregular.

Bring glasses, contact lenses, dental appliances, or orthotics you use regularly so we may evaluate their effectiveness.

We typically send you a form in the mail or online to fill out before your visit with all this information included. Be sure to have all the information with you on the day of your physical.

Call our office at 689-600-1542 to schedule an appointment with our team, or request a consultation online for a sports physical today.