What Does a Physical Exam Consist Of?

Annual/Sports Physicals

In addition to treating minor illnesses and injuries, the primary care physicians at Penn Highlands Healthcare Family Medicine clinics provide routine physical exams, school physicals, and sports physicals. And, if you need one soon, appointments are available.

Through annual physicals and more regular checkups, our primary care physicians will get to know you and your health history, concerns, and screening needs. An annual physical exam provides a time to pause and assess your risks for certain diseases, and to monitor conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar.

Annual school physicals and sports physicals can help detect health risks in your children and adolescents before they become problems. Our primary care physicians also will be looking for overall health indicators as your children grow, as well as providing routine vaccinations.

During an annual checkup, your primary care physician will check your height and weight, as well as your blood pressure and pulse. They will also discuss things like depression, alcohol use, needed vaccines, nutrition and sleep, in addition to answering your questions. They also will recommend tests and preventive screenings based on your age and risk factors, such as cholesterol or blood sugar tests, a mammogram, or colonoscopy.

What Happens During a Sports Physical or School Physical?

School-age kids should see their primary care physician annually for a school physical or sports physical. In addition to your child’s overall health, the physician will be making sure your child is up to date on vaccinations and will assess your child’s height and weight. Obesity is one thing that should be detected and addressed early. If a child is putting on weight, but isn’t seen annually by their primary care physician, type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure can develop.

Sports physicals, which are often required before a child can participate in certain activities, may involve additional evaluations. The primary care physician will examine your child’s joints and flexibility, and will discuss any past injuries or concerns, such as sprains, concussions, asthma, surgery, or medications. They also will check your child’s heart and assess your child’s family history for any risks. Their intent is to ensure that your child can safely participate in athletics.

There can be a mad rush to get school and sports physicals scheduled in the late summer. Instead, schedule yearly physicals around your child’s birthday or other “off season” dates.

Schedule a school or sports physical for your child with your primary care provider or the Family Medicine Continuity Clinic in DuBois.

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