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Sports Physical Simplified by Sports Medicine M.D.

November 28, 2012

Everyone wants to be healthy.

Most people want to be in good shape.

Many exercise regularly.

Some visit their physician to get a ‘check-up’.

Few get a Sports Physical Exam.

Even less understand what it entails.


We want to feel like a Maserati, run like a Porsche and look like a Lamborghini, and yet we seek Chevette ‘tune-up’ while we treat ourselves like an old forgotten Datsun.


The importance of establishing a ‘line of care’ with a physician cannot be stressed more. It is also important to have your annual Medical Physical Exam. Maybe you’ll be surprised to know your seasonal Sports Physical Exam (aka, Pre-Participation Physical Evaluation) is just as important.

Whenever we join a gym we are given forms for a physician’s clearance. We normally take it to our Primary Care Physician, who will fill it up and send us on our way after checking our blood pressure in our ‘Sports Physical Exam’.

 A true Sports Physical is much more than a quick blood pressure check and filling in of papers. It encompasses a complete history, including what sports you have participated in the past and what sports you are seeking to participate in (so that your physician can focus on your body adaptations, what to expect as a finding and what to recommend). It also includes a discussion of goals, a complete physical examination focusing on evaluations of respiratory and cardiac systems,  hernias and range of motion of extremities, ligament stability and flexibility, ambulation, education on proper hydration techniques and training zones (when applicable), cross training education, and sometimes recommendations on equipment to use. If your ‘sports physical’ has not included most of the aforementioned, then know that you really haven’t had a Sports Physical Exam, you just went in for a quick check at a glance.

On some occasions your Sports Physician will find an injury that was not properly rehabilitated and needs to be addressed to prevent further injury.

Do not start exercising without having your doctor see you. Consider a Sports Physical if you’re interested in Cardio Training, cross training, high-intensity training, and weight loss or improved sports performance.

Make sure you always have your body perform at its best.

Ignoring the importance of a Sports Physical is like buying a high performance car by just looking at it from the outside. Would you really do that?



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