Sport Physicals 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 particular 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. But even if a PPE isn’t required, doctors still highly recommend getting one.
The two main parts to a sports physical are the medical history and the physical exam.
This part of the exam includes questions about:
- Serious illnesses among other family members
- Illnesses that you had when you were younger or may have now, 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)
The medical history questions are usually on a form that you can bring home, so ask your parents to help you fill in the answers. If possible, ask both parents about family medical history.