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The Difference Between a Sports Physical and a Regular Physical

Your body, much like a car, requires long term maintenance. And like a good car owner who knows that even if their car seems to be working well, regular tune-ups can help identify and prevent future, costlier repairs. The best investment you can make for your body is to regularly maintain it. It’s helpful to think of a physical like a tune-up for your body. There’s nothing wrong with you right now, so let’s keep it that way. You can even schedule a walk-in right now!

People often wait until it’s too late to see a doctor, not realizing that the signs of their illness may have been clear to a physician several years earlier. Be it preventative screenings for cancer, diabetes, or maintenance for an already under control health condition, it never hurts to be on top of your health. 

Perhaps the school year is coming and your kid’s getting ready for sports and a physical is  required. This is one of the many ways where AlphaMeD can help you. AlphaMeD is able to provide multiple healthcare platforms tailored to your needs and to the needs of the Scottsdale, Arizona community at large be for Urgent Care, a simple telemed check-in, or a routine physical.

What is a sports physical?

A sports physical focuses on reviewing your kid’s health to make sure they are healthy enough to participate in sports. During a sports physical, their fitness level will be assessed in addition to a review of any pre-existing injuries or ailments that might impact their ability to participate. It’s not about preventing your child from playing a sport, it’s about making sure they are healthy and able to participate safely. If anything is identified that might need further attention, additional tests may be conducted. 

Some things that are checked often include:

  • Heart health
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Blood pressure
  • Flexibility and strength
  • Bone and muscle health 
  • Height
  • Weight 
  • Checking of the ear, nose and throat

What is a regular physical?

Annual physicals differ from sports physicals because they focus as well on developmental and social health, in addition to what would be looked at in a sports physical. You should expect that your family medical history will be discussed in addition to cognitive and social development. 

Regular physicals provide a great way for your child to build a healthy relationship with their health care provider, and it allows them an opportunity to ask questions.

A regular physical might include:

  • An overview of health and medical history
  • Immunizations
  • Lab work
  • Behavioral overview
  • Developmental screening
  • Nutrition 
  • Sleep assessment
  • Discussions of preventative health 

What is the difference between a sports physical and a regular physical?

Regular physicals focus on emotional, social health, and developmental health issues and can cover broader topics like nutrition, academic, and cognitive development in addition to physical wellbeing. Sports physicals are narrower in focus and commonly have the goal of seeing if your child is able to participate in school sports.

When should kids have a sports physical?

They’ll often need sports physicals before the start of their season, ideally about a month or so out, that way, should any issues come up, we will be able to address them before the season starts. They are also sometimes a requirement as part of a PE curriculum.

When should kids have a regular physical?

Most kids don’t have to see doctor’s too often, but you should aim to have an annual physical. While physicals are just one of the parts of the health care equation, they are an important one, helping to assess overall wellbeing.

Come on down to an AlphaMeD near you

Whether you’re looking for a quick sports physical or an annual check in, AlphaMeD is here for you. Other physicals we offer include:

  • Physicals to Camp Guests & Counselors Childcare Providers
  • College or University Students 
  • Dept. of Transportation
  • Foster care or Pre-adoptive Services Insurance Physicals
  • Immigration Physicals Pre-employment Physicals
  • Return to Work Physicals
  • School Physicals
  • Senior Living Admission
  • Teacher or School Personnel
  • Travel Physicals 

Schedule an appointment today. 

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