Physical Exam: An Inside Look Into the Purpose, Preparation, and What Tests to Expect
Are you an athlete who needs sports physicals? Or are you crossing our borders in need of immigration physical exams? Or are you just looking for a routine test to check the state of your overall health? Either way, getting a physical exam is an essential part of health care that can help you know what is going on in your body.
Physicals are vital since they have helped many people prevent issues that would have escalated. Some have been able to get early treatment for conditions that had just begun.
However, let’s see why our doctor in Houston, TX, offers physical exams and why they are essential for your overall health.
Physical Examination 101
In a nutshell, physicals are routine tests that our doctors perform to check your overall health condition. At times physicals are also known as a wellness check. Most people seek medical care whenever illness kicks in. However, you don’t need to be sick for you to come in for an exam. On the contrary, it’s more prudent to come when you think you are feeling tip-top.
There’s no better time to ask our doctor tons of questions concerning your health, including the issues that are there or things to avoid.
Typically, there are a host of tests that have to be performed. Any additional tests that can be performed will depend on your age and medical history.
What Is the Purpose of a Physical Examination?
Physicals are good for our doctor to determine where to place you in terms of your health. At the same time, you can tell our health care provider about any symptoms that you could be experiencing or any other health issues that you might be experiencing.
Typically, it is advisable that you come in for physicals at least once a year, especially if you are over 50 years. However, anyone can benefit from this exam. Physicals are used to:
- Update necessary immunizations
- Check for possible diseases so that you can get early treatment
- Ensure that you have a healthy diet and you are exercising regularly
- Build a relationship with our doctor
These exams provide a perfect opportunity for you to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. This is because these levels can spike, and you might not experience the symptoms. This can help our doctor to treat these conditions before they lead to other life-threatening issues.
How to Prepare for Physicals
After you have made your appointment with our doctor, you need to be well prepared to get the most out of your session. Here’s the paperwork that you need:
- Results from recent and relevant tests
- Names and contacts of the doctors that you have seen or currently seeing
- Medical and surgical history
- Bring a copy of your card if you have an implanted device like a defibrillator or pacemaker
- List of current medications that you are currently taking, including herbal supplements and non-prescription drugs
- List of symptoms that you might be facing
What Does a Physical Examination Entail?
Typically, our doctor will check how your body is performing. Depending on your medical or family history, there are certain areas that our doctor may decide to focus on. However, routine physicals check your:
This is when you get the opportunity to mention any complaints that you have about your health. You will answer some questions about your lifestyle habits such as sexual health, smoking, exercise, diet, and alcohol consumption.
Some of the vital signs checked by our doctor may include:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Respiration rate
Our doctor can get a lot of information about your health just by looking and conversing with you. Our doctor might examine your:
- Nervous system functions such as walking
- Musculoskeletal system such as your wrists and hands
This is when our doctor will use specific tools to look in your nose, eyes, nose, and throat. Some of the exams may include:
- Heart exams
- Lung exams
- Abdominal exams
- Neurological exams
- Extremities exams
- Dermatological exams
There are also gender-specific tests that will be carried out. For men, expect the following tests:
- Testicular exam
- Penis exam
- Prostate exam
- Breast exam
- Pelvic exam
A myriad of lab tests can be performed depending on what our doctor finds necessary. Some of the common lab tests done can include a complete blood count and a complete chemistry panel.
Routine physicals are essential, especially as you grow older since they can help prevent potentially life-threatening health conditions. You can contact our doctor at Crosspointe Medical Clinic to schedule an appointment.