Pre-Participation Sports Physicals in Colorado

By: Dr. Andrea Toppin


How awesome is it that Chiropractors with specialty training can perform pre-participation

physical evaluations in the state of Colorado?!? Pre-participations physical evaluations (sports physicals), also known as PPEs, are evaluations verifying that an athlete is medically cleared to participate in athletics at the youth, high school, and college levels.

Chiropractors are required to attend a certification course in order to be eligible to perform this evaluation. To maintain their current PPE registry status, they must go through the recertification course every 2 years plus a Health Provider CPR Certification.


What is different about a sports physical / regular pediatric check up / regular chiropractic exam?

The goals of a PPE are to determine general physical and psychological health as well as

evaluate for life threatening or disabling conditions and conditions that may predispose

athletes to injury or illness. We do this by taking a thorough family history, patient history and a physical examine. This process gives us you a better picture of what current and future issues might be there for a student athlete. The PPE exam includes musculoskeletal, cardiac, respiratory, vision and more. It takes a deep dive, looking at every possible risk that might occur and creates a plan for modification of sports or potentially exclusion from sport. Essentially, during a sports physical, we are reviewing preexisting injuries and assessing the athlete’s fitness level to determine if there is risk for them to play his or her sport.


A regular checkup at a medical doctor’s office assesses an overview of your child's general health. The medical practitioner does a brief history of the time between the last exam and this one, completes a routine physical examination for any possible signs or symptoms of a specific health condition.


A regular chiropractic exam assesses your child's general health, but will focus on their musculoskeletal system and chief complaint. This exam includes a consultation, review of history, and exam includes range of motion, neurological and orthopedic tests. This is followed by a discussion of probably diagnosis and may include an adjustment and potentially additional manual treatment, rehab and home care.


One of the major benefits of having a pediatric or sports chiropractor perform your child's PPE, is the familiarity they have with your child. If your child is receiving regular chiropractic check ups and adjustments, your chiropractor will be more able to identify any changes to their status.


The PPE exam consists of the following:

- Vital signs: blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate, temperature, height, weight

- General inspection: overall appearance, evaluation of the skin, and posture

- Cardiovascular and pulmonary screen

- Abdominal examination

- Eyes (vision), ears, nose, and throat evaluation

- Musculoskeletal examination

- Evaluation of active and passive range of motion

- Orthopedic Testing

- Neurological examination

- Muscle and ligament evaluation

- General medical evaluation


PPEs/Sports Physicals are offered at Washington Park Chiropractic by Dr. Toppin and Dr. Perez. They are convenient, easy to accommodate in office, and are about 30 minutes in length. Call or text the front desk today to schedule your appointment today at 303-744-7100.