What is an Annual Physical?
Annual physicals are a generalized health visit during which an Adena Primary Care physician will ask general questions and performs routine exams to make sure everything is running smoothly. An annual exam should ideally happen every year, because the annual physical is the patient’s chance to discuss any health concerns with their doctor and to review overall medical history. Annual appointments typically take no more than 30 minutes but will depend on the concerns you bring up with your doctor.
What do Doctors Look for During an Annual Physical?
Physicians check for a number of things during an annual physical, including:
General Appearance. Watching you and talking to you about your health can give your doctor a large amount of insight into your overall health. Does your skin look healthy? How quickly are you able to comprehend and respond to questions? Can you walk around easily? These are all things a doctor looks for when observing you.
Vital Signs. Testing for blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and temperature are all routine during an annual checkup. Vital signs give the doctor a bird’s eye view into the general state of your body’s most essential organs and functions.
Heart Exam. The heart is one of the most vital organs in your body, and your doctor will perform a few tests to check and see if there are signs of disease or any other inhibiting factor. He or she will listen to your heart with a stethoscope to detect an irregular heartbeat or a murmur – both of which can be signs of heart disease.
Lung Exam. Likewise, lungs serve an essential purpose in your overall function and health. Your doctor will listen for crackles, irregular breathing sounds or wheezes by using a stethoscope. Irregularities in breathing can be a sign of either lung or heart disease.
Head and Neck Exam. The doctor will take a look at your throat, tonsils gums and teeth to help determine your overall state of health. The doctor will also likely check your nose, ears, sinuses, lymph nodes, and carotid arteries.
Why Get an Annual Checkup?
Annual physicals are an essential component of preventive care and living a long, healthy life. The services, screenings and tests conducted by Adena primary care physicians during an annual checkup can help find problems before they start – which in turn optimizes outcomes through earlier treatment.
The importance of annual checkups is even greater in people who have certain risk factors that increase their chances for health problems. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, activity levels and dietary habits, can all influence your long-term health. Things like age and family history can also impact what and how often you need healthcare. Annual physicals are also needed for children who want to play school sports.
Annual Checkups at Adena Health System
For more information about annual physicals and other primary care services, visit Adena Health System. In a day and age when personal connections with healthcare providers continue to become more challenging, Adena primary care physicians are taking steps to increase your access to them and in turn for you to receive the most personal care possible. Need help finding a Primary Care Provider? Search Adena Health System online or call 740-779-FIND (3463).