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Sports Physicals for Teens: Do They Check for Drug Intake?

March 18, 2024

Sports Physicals for Teens: Do They Check for Drug Intake?

It is normal to have concerns before you have a sports physical. You may not know what to expect or worry that you will not be cleared to play for your team. At BASS Primary Care, we are here to help put your mind at ease by letting you know what you can expect before you have your examination.

What Are Sports Physicals?

A sports physical exam is performed on athletes to determine if they are strong and healthy enough to play in competitive sports such as basketball, football, or soccer. Before the exam, the doctor or nurse will go over your medical history with you. They may ask if you or your family members have certain medical conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, or diabetes.  The doctor will also want to know about any past accidents or injuries such as bone fractures or concussions.

You may be asked if you are taking any dietary supplements like weight-loss pills or performance enhancers. The doctor or nurse may ask about your current diet or find out if you have any concerns about playing sports.

After they discuss your medical history, the doctor will perform an examination. Your vital signs, such as your heart rate and blood pressure, will be checked during the exam. The doctor will record your height and weight and check your ears, nose, throat, and abdomen. The doctor will also do an evaluation to check for flexibility, overall strength, posture, and joint issues.

Is a Drug Test Performed During Sports Physicals?

The doctor or nurse will likely ask you to do a urine test, but this test is not performed to look for drugs. Instead, urinalysis is used to test your sugar levels and check for creatine in your body. For females, a urine test can be used to check for pregnancy as well. There may be several other things that a doctor will look for using the urine test, but they will not look for drugs.

In the rare instance that a drug test will be performed during your sports physical, you will be notified before your exam. It is illegal to test anyone for drugs without their consent or knowledge. However, with minors, the parents must provide consent. It is also illegal for doctors to discuss the results of a drug test with any other person. Confidentiality between the doctor and patient is essential.

Usually, if a drug testis ordered during a physical, it is for a physical you have because of your job, not for playing sports. But even then, you are told beforehand that you will be tested for drugs.

Is a Sports Physical Different from a Regular Physical?

Yes, sports physicals are slightly different from a regular physical you would get during a routine check-up. The sports physical focuses on your ability to play a sport and will not be as thorough as a regular check-up. If it is time for your annual check-up, most doctors will be glad to perform both exams at the same time. Remember that even if your sports physical doesn’t show any issues, you still need to follow your doctor’s advice while playing to remain healthy.

Where to Get a Sports Physical

If you need a sports physical to be approved to play for your team, BASS Primary Care is here to help. We will discuss your medical history and perform an exam to determine if you are strong and healthy enough to play. Call (925) 962-9120 today to find out more details about getting a sports physical at our facility. 

At BASS Primary Care Walk-in Clinic, it's Your Health, Your Schedule.