$25 Sports Physicals for Middle School Students!
Walk-in School & Sports Physicals in Charlotte NC | AFC Urgent Care | 440 Tyvola Rd
The spring sports season will be here before you know it! Visit our Charlotte walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Tyvola Rd. to get your annual sports physical today. We’re open 7 days a week with no appointment necessary.
Playing sports is an excellent way to stay physically and mentally fit, but there’s even more benefits. Sports activities provide a way for to socialize, learn teamwork, and meet new people. But before you get started, it’s important that you get a sports physical before your sports season. This can help to identify any potential health issues that could prevent you from participating safely in your sport.
What to Know Before Your Physical
Before your visit, make sure to bring any required forms, including completed documentation for health and immunization history. If you have any previous history with any type of heart problem or heart condition, we require documentation from your primary care or treating physician stating that the condition doesn’t prevent you from participating in sports.
*AFC Urgent Care can only verify immunizations administered at our clinics or with appropriate documentation showing your vaccination history.
What is a sports physical?
A sports physical, also known as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE), is an exam that helps determine if it’s safe for a child or teen to participate in a particular sport. North Carolina and Mecklenburg County require children and teens to get a sports physical before they can start a new sport or prior to beginning a new season. Even if it isn’t required for various recreational leagues, our physicians still strongly advise obtaining a sports physical.
What’s involved in a Sports Physical?
A sports physical typically consists of two major parts: medical history and a physical exam.
The medical history part of the exam involves answering questions about any past or current medical conditions, medications, injuries and other health concerns. We will also ask about family health history, lifestyle habits and any other relevant health issues. Here are some common components covered for the medical history portion:
● Family history of any serious illnesses (Cancer, heart disease, respiratory issues, etc.)
● Current and previous illnesses from any time in childhood (asthma, diabetic issues, epilepsy or seizures)
● Any hospitalizations or surgeries
● Allergies to medication, food, or insect bites
● Previous injuries (broken bones, sprains/strains, dislocations, concussions)
● Loss of consciousness, dizziness or fainting spells.
● Any chest pain or discomfort
● Difficulty breathing when working out or exercising
● Frequent headaches
● Heart problems and irregularities (murmur or irregular heart beat)
● Liver or kidney issues
● Regular medications (prescription and non-prescription medications, natural or herbal supplements.
● Current and previous mental health diagnoses or concerns (depression, anxiety, perfectionism, stress, and attention deficits)
A parent or guardian should be present to help answer the medical history inquiries, since many children may not be acquainted with or remember their complete individual or familial medical history. Most health care experts believe that medical history is the most significant component of the sports physical examination.
The physical exam part of the exam involves a thorough physical examination of the patients’s body. This includes checking the heart, lungs, eyes, ears and other areas of the body. The doctor will also check for any signs of illness or injury. During the physical portion, your provider will check, test and record several things including:
● Height and weight
● Blood pressure and pulse
● Vision and hearing tests
● Your heart, lungs, abdominal area, ears, nose and throat
● Possible hernia
● Muscle strength and flexibility, posture, joints
● Cholesterol, hemoglobin count and a urinalysis (depending on the child’s age)
The physical assessment is generally the same for both male and female patients. However, the doctor might ask particular questions based on whether your child has started or finished puberty.
Your provider will also ask about any drugs, alcohol, or supplements you’re taking. This includes questions about weight-loss supplements, steroids and/or performance enhancers, as these can affect health.
Why is it important to get an annual Sports Physical?
It is essential to receive an annual sports physical to ensure that any new or developing conditions are identified, as there could be drastic changes over the course of a year, especially as kids and teens grow.
During a sports physical, your medical provider evaluates any diseases or injuries that may put you at risk of participating by going over family medical history and seeing to it that additional tests are conducted if necessary. For instance, if someone has asthma, the medical professional may recommend an alternative inhaler or adjust the dosage based on the sport they are playing and/or their position. Your physician may also advocate for certain strategies to prevent traumas, such as suggesting specific stretching or strengthening exercises that may reduce the risk of injuries.
When should I get a Sports Physical?
You should try to have your sports physical done at least six to eight weeks before your season starts.
This gives your medical provider enough time to properly evaluate you and treat any conditions that may arise. It also gives them enough time to refer you to a specialist if needed, or to do a follow-up exam.
If you wait until the last minute to get your sports physical, you run the risk of not being cleared to play in time. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have your sports physical done early.
What if there is a problem after the exam?
Normally, the provider will fill out and sign the sports physical exam form once the exam is finished. However, there are times when they may request further testing, another examination, or order treatment for any medical issues revealed during the exam.
Your provider might also suggest particular adaptations, such as, wearing appropriate safety equipment, having epinephrine shots on hand for severe insect allergies if playing outdoor sports, or utilizing an inhaler for asthma.
If your provider does recommend any of these modifications or treatments, it’s important to follow their instructions. That way, you can ensure that you or your child are safe and healthy all season long. The great majority of health concerns won’t prevent kids from participating in sports, but occasionally they may need treatment and a follow-up exam in order to play. That’s why it’s important to be aware of any potential issues that may arise after a sports physical exam.