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Why Get Sports Physicals?

Sports physicals are vital to ensure the health and well being of those keen on participating in athletic activities. They are thorough medical exams that are necessary to gauge the physical fitness levels of athletes. In Oregon, the Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA) oversees sports physicals. The OSAA also recommends a specific form be used by medical professionals when performing this exam. The form can be found online at https://www.osaa.org/docs/forms/ This is the “gold standard” for sports physicals in our local communities here in Oregon. Anyone seeking an exam should ask that this form be used (it is used at all local AFC clinics). 

 These exams also play an important role in preventing potential injuries and catching any possible underlying health conditions that could impact an athlete’s performance, safety, and/or overall health. By being proactive, we can keep our athletes safer and playing for longer.

The primary objective of sports physicals is to evaluate an individual’s overall health. This includes cardiovascular fitness, musculoskeletal strength, and a brief overview of the athlete’s general medical history. According to Kidshealth.org, sports physicals can help identify pre-existing conditions that could impact performance or increase risk of injury. These conditions usually require additional precautions or specialized care when engaging in sports and athletic activities. For example, if you have a scratched cornea, a doctor may recommend wearing sports goggles. By taking steps to improve an athlete’s longevity, the individual may have less health problems down the line.

The medical staff or the athletic department tries their hardest to keep the athlete as safe as possible. This can be done by implementing preventative measures and developing personalized programs for the athlete’s training regimen. This allows the athlete to continue to play the sport and engage in physical activity while also minimizing the risk of injury or worsening conditions. 

Sports physicals are not only essential for professional athletes but also helpful for all individuals in organized sports. Children and adolescents can benefit significantly from these examinations as their bodies are still developing. This makes them more susceptible to injuries or undiagnosed underlying health concerns that could impact their growth and development. Without a sports physical, an undiagnosed condition could lead to dangerous conditions for an athlete, especially an adolescent. Sports physicals also provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to educate people about injury prevention, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles. 

The OSAA is a great resource for other health and safety information for students and parents. Visit https://www.osaa.org/health-safety for information on a variety of student health issues including concussions, hydration, nutrition, overall wellness, and even air quality (pertinent during fire season here in the Portland area).. 

AFC Urgent Care Portland offers camp and sports physicals at all of our locations and are covered by some insurance plans. If seeking a physical outside of insurance, the cost at our clinics is only $50. For more information on what AFC covers with our sports physicals, click here. To schedule a physical, please call us at (503) 305-6262 or book an appointment on our website by clicking here. We want to ensure everyone in our community is able to play the sports they love in the safest way possible.