Many people love going to urgent care centers whenever they are injured or sick. The main reason behind this is that urgent care centers are convenient, as they provide patients with walk-in appointments even in the evenings or weekends.
You do not have to be in pain, injured, or sick to receive a physical. The goal of a physical is prevention and here is why you should never miss getting one.
Why Do You Need an Annual Physical?
Studies reveal that 92% of Americans believe that an annual checkup is crucial to their overall health. Some people may argue that a physical exam is not crucial just because they feel and look healthy. However, this is a wrong perception because getting a physical can help in the early detection of conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, and many other ailments. Despite this, the decision to get an annual physical should be made on an individual level. No one should be forced to get one. However, it is one of the best preventive health recommendations by experts.
What Should You Do Before an Annual Physical Exam?
Regardless of where you get your annual physical done, the procedure is almost the same. Healthcare providers often follow similar physical exam practices for all patients. However, if you want to get the best possible experience, consider personal health information like the medications or OTC supplements you are consuming. You should also have records of previous surgeries and medical tests ready prior to visiting your physician. Providing this information is key because it will help your doctor to have an understanding of your medical history. He/she will thus know the best tests to conduct on you.
What is done during an Annual Physical Exam?
During an annual physical exam, your physician does a head-to-toe body exam to ensure all your body parts are working optimally. In addition to this, it provides you with the chance to talk candidly with your doctor about all things related to your health.
One common thing that physicians do during a physical exam is to check your weight and height. From the results, your doctor calculates your body mass index to determine whether your weight is underweight, normal, or overweight. Being obese or overweight puts you at risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, and cardiovascular complications.
Important Vital Signs Measured
Apart from that, your doctor will evaluate other things such as pulse, temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, vision, hearing, and heart rate. The results your physician comes up with helps him/her determine potential health problems in your body.
- Blood Pressure
Evaluating blood pressure determines pressure in the arteries in between beats. According to medical experts, a blood pressure of 120/80 or less is considered quite normal. The reason why a blood pressure test is important is that high blood pressure makes your arteries and heart to work extremely hard than normal. This adds extra strain and can cause heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes. It is thus crucial to monitor your overall blood pressure by getting an annual physical. This is mostly so if your family has a previous history of hypertension.
- Body Temperature
Your body temperature should remain stable because the body is able to monitor internal temperature. Any body temperature spikes should indicate a health issue in the body.
Your physician measures the pulse to evaluate heart health. If an abnormal pulse is recorded, the doctor will advise that you get more tests conducted to evaluate any further underlying issues.
- Respiratory Rate
The normal respiratory rate is about 16-20 breaths per minute. Any discrepancy here can indicate respiratory or cardiovascular problems. It is crucial to get an annual physical exam to help determine whether you have a normal respiratory rate.
Having an annual physical at least once in a year is a crucial part of staying healthy. A physical exam can help detect health issues before they turn out to be serious cases.