Participating in sports is a great way to meet new people and stay active, but it is important to get a medical check-up before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
Whether you want to play for a school team or a community league, you may need to have your primary care provider fill out a sports physical form to show that you are healthy enough to participate. At Chapel Hill Primary Care, you can get the sports physical you need from a trusted healthcare professional.
NC School Requirements
Public Schools of North Carolina State Board of Education requires that the participating student must receive a medical examination each year by a duly licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, subject to the provisions of G.S. 90-9, 90-18.1, and 90-18.2. You can download the form here or from our Patient Forms section.
If your school or community organization requires your doctor to fill out a health examination form, you will have to answer questions about your health and the health histories of your immediate family members. Your primary care provider might ask you some of the following questions:
- Do any of your family members have any serious illnesses?
- Do you have any chronic diseases such as epilepsy or asthma?
- Have you ever had surgery?
- Have you ever been hospitalized for an illness?
- Do you take any medications?
If you sustained an injury in the past, your doctor will also ask about the treatment you received and any problems you may have had after the injury. If you are a minor, ask one of your parents about your family medical history if you are not sure about the answers.
Most sports physicals also involve a comprehensive physical examination. This exam will help your doctor determine if you are healthy enough to play a sport. Before the exam begins, someone will record your height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure. Your doctor may ask you to stand, sit, and walk around the room to check your joints and evaluate your flexibility. Some sports physicals also involve a vision test.
Your primary care provider will listen to your heart and lungs, press on your abdomen, and check your ears, nose, and throat. It is important to answer any questions about drug use honestly, even if you are taking legal supplements or diet pills. These drugs can affect your health and make it riskier for you to engage in sports.
If you already have a health condition, it does not mean you cannot participate in sports. You and your doctor should work together to find preventive measures that reduce your risk of injury. If you have asthma, for example, your doctor might prescribe a rescue inhaler to help you if you have an asthma attack during a sporting event. If you already take medications, your doctor might adjust the dosages to limit side effects and make it safer for you to play sports. Make sure you schedule your physical at least six weeks before the season begins so your doctor has enough time to complete the physical and submit your examination form.
If your doctor thinks you need additional tests, don’t worry just yet. This does not mean that you will not be cleared for physical activity. A referral to a specialist can actually help you learn how to avoid injury while practicing and participating in matches. A sports medicine specialist, for example, can tell you which shoes you should be wearing and demonstrate some stretches you can do to avoid muscle sprains and strains.
When you visit Chapel Hill Primary Care for a sports physical, you will have plenty of time to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up about any concerns you have, especially if you will be participating in a contact sport. One of our experienced medical professionals will teach you how to avoid injuries and enjoy your time as an athlete.
*Sports physicals do not include labs, procedures or vaccines.