Participating in sports in a great way to learn sportsmanship, the value of teamwork and camaraderie. It’s also a great way to stay active and healthy. But before students in middle school, high school and college can participate in a sport, they must undergo a pre-participation physical exam. Here’s why the pre-participation exam is so important for your student athlete and their school. It Identifies medical conditions that could put the athlete at risk

One way to identify an athlete’s conditions or risk for conditions is to get the pre-participation exam, which begins with a complete health history. The physician asks questions to detect life-threatening conditions, including history of fainting, chest pain, high blood pressure and unexplained shortness of breath. Other questions help determine whether the athlete has experienced symptoms associated with a head injury, including dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness and nausea. If the athlete has experienced any of these issues, they should be referred to a cardiologist or neurologist for further testing.

A physical exam is performed, so a physician can verify and rule out any conditions that may impair an athlete from participating in sports. While the exam is thorough, particular attention is paid to heart health and proper function, and orthopedic health.

Injury prevention is an important consideration for all types of athletes. While you never know when or how an injury may occur, there are ways to determine your risk for injury. Using the Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS) and the Y Balance Test (YBT), these are screening tools that determines an athlete’s risk for injury, we can identify imbalances and asymmetries in common movements and use that information to locate areas of weakness. The FMS and YBT are helpful tools in proactive injury prevention that screens the following positions:


  • Deep Squat
  • Hurdle Step
  • In-Line Lunge
  • ​Shoulder Mobility
  • Active Straight Leg Raise
  • ​Trunk Stability Push-Up
  • ​Rotary Stability
  • Upper Quarter 
  • ​Lower Quarter

Screenings & physicals

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Smitty's Plan for O​rthopedic Rehabilitation & Training