What are annual physicals?
Annual physicals are thorough health screenings. These head-to-toe medical evaluations focus on preventing health complications. The main goals of annual physicals are to:
- Prevent chronic disease
- Identify health concerns
- Assess risk factors for disease and illness
- Perform immunizations
- Update your medical history
- Provide lifestyle and nutrition counseling
An annual physical is also the ideal time to connect with your doctor about any new or worsening symptoms you experience. You can ask questions about your health, discuss concerns you have, or ask for specialist referrals.
What happens during annual physicals?
When you arrive at Injury and Health Institute, the team records your height and weight and takes your vitals (temperature, blood pressure, and respiration rate). Next, they move you to an exam room.
An annual physical typically includes two equally important parts:
The medical history review involves evaluating and updating your health records. The team asks detailed questions about your diet, lifestyle, and any new or worsening symptoms you experience.
During the physical, the team performs a full visual assessment before checking inside your nose, eyes, and ears. They also use a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs. Finally, the team palpates your abdomen to check for proper organ placement and tests your reflexes.
Physical exams often change as you age. The team at Injury and Health Institute may recommend imaging scans, bloodwork, and other types of tests depending on your current health care needs.
Are there different types of annual physicals?
Aside from your routine physical, the Injury and Health Institute team encourages athletes and competitive sports players to complete a comprehensive sports physical before their season starts. Schools and competitive leagues in Texas require all children to complete a physical before they can participate.
How often should I schedule annual physicals?
Most individuals can benefit from yearly physicals, however, your doctor may recommend visiting more frequently if you have a chronic disease, like diabetes or hypertension. Some patients only need physicals once every two or three years if they are in good overall health.
Call Injury and Health Institute today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about annual physicals.