Physicals are an essential part of a doctor’s visit and preventive health care. A good doctor may be brief and thorough but will take time to listen to your concerns and provide counseling for your complaint and risk factors. An annual physical helps your primary care provider to determine the overall status of your health. The exam gives you a chance to tell them about the ongoing symptoms or pain that you are experiencing. Stanford physicals are performed by a well-trained team who provide you with proper treatment and listens to your concerns.
Do You Need an Annual Head-to-toe Physical?
This is a question that has been in the news headline recently. Some studies have shown that overuse of some tests, which happen during annual physicals, can be harmful. Many people see the doctor when they feel something is wrong. So they may not have had a comprehensive exam for an extended period.
The common reason behind regular physicals is that they can help detect problems as early as possible, while treatment is an option or a diagnosis can be made. During these physicals, you have time to discuss things that may be concerning you and recommend some lifestyle adjustments, this may not be appropriate when you are visiting a physician for an acute problem.
Equally, putting an end to your physicals’ can cause severe complications. Some severe diseases and illnesses have no early physical signs and symptoms but can be detected through testing done during a physical.
How Is a Physical Performed?
Before meeting your primary care provider (PCP), a nurse will ask you some questions concerning your medical history, including any past surgeries, allergies, or symptoms you might have. They can also inquire about your lifestyle, including if you drink alcohol, exercise, or smoke.
Your PCP will always begin to examine the body for unusual growths or marks. You may stand or sit during this section of the exam. Next, your PCP may ask you to lie down and feel your abdomen and other body parts. When doing this, your health care provider inspects the size, location, consistency, texture, and tenderness of your organs.
What Happens During Physicals?
Your PCP uses a stethoscope to listen to some parts of the body. This includes listening to the lungs while you breathe deeply and listening to the intestines. Your PCP will also listen to your heart to ensure there are no unusual sounds. He can evaluate your valve and heart function and hear your heart’s rhythm.
Your PCP also uses the percussion technique, which involves tapping your body like it’s a drum. By doing so, your PCP can discover fluid in areas where it shouldn’t be and locate the size, borders, and consistency of organs.
Make sure you communicate with your primary care provider if you have any issues throughout the exam. You can contact your PCP as needed because your physical exam is a private time set to consult about anything health-related. If you don’t understand the need for tests done by your PCP, don’t hesitate to ask a question.