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Sports Physicals

Why are school sports physicals important?

Kansas requires middle and high school athletes to have a physical examination before they can participate in any sport. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine recommend a preparticipation sports exam for athletes. In the past, sports physicals ensured that growing children were safe to compete against one another. Today, we place more significance on the athlete’s health history and a more thorough physical examination.


What to expect during the physical


During a sports physical, the athlete’s blood pressure and visual acuity are tested to ensure an athlete can compete at the highest level. A thorough medical history is taken to be sure the athlete is does not have significant medical issues and is not at an elevated risk for a cardiac event.


An orthopedic exam is performed to check for strength and flexibility imbalances that may predispose an athlete to injury. The athlete will also have a general physical exam, which includes checking the abdomen (liver and spleen), lungs (to check for wheezing that can indicate bronchospasm or asthma), and heart (listening for murmurs or irregular heart rhythms). Sports physicals are an opportunity to ensure that athletes continue to compete at the top of their game on the field and court.


The sports physical does not include blood work, imaging or cardiac studies, unless there is a finding that needs further workup. If that is the case and something abnormal is found during the exam, our dedicated team will recommend further labs, testing, imaging or cardiac studies to ensure the athlete stays healthy and safe.

To learn more about the benefits of sports physicals for student athletes, or to schedule a sports physical, call 620-792-2511.

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