The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report stating that from 2010 to 2014, potentially preventable illnesses like heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease were among the five leading causes of death in the United States. Experienced family practice clinicians at The Family Practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado, can help you stay on top of your health and reduce your risk of illness through a fully comprehensive physical exam. To schedule your annual exam, call or book an appointment online today.
Annual Physicals Q & A
What is a physical exam?
A physical exam is a routine test to make sure you’re healthy.
First, the staff take your medical history and ask questions about your lifestyle such as if you exercise, smoke, or drink alcohol. This is the best time to mention any concerns you may have about your health.
The next step is to check your vital signs, such as your heart rate, temperature, respiration rate, and blood pressure. Following this, a clinician uses a stethoscope to examine your heart and lungs to make sure there are no signs of a heart murmur or wheezes and crackles in your lungs.
The clinician may order laboratory tests such as a complete blood count or a urinalysis to check for high blood sugar, high cholesterol, or anemia.
How does a male and female physical exam differ?
While the traditional physical exam is the same for males and females, there are tests which can be done to check for sex-specific abnormalities.
A man’s physical exam may include:
This exam checks the prostate for lumpy or abnormal areas.
This exam checks for inner groin hernias caused by weak abdominal walls.
This exam checks the testicles for lumps, tenderness, or size changes.
A woman’s physical exam may include:
A clinician checks your breasts for any abnormalities including size, shape, or symmetry. Additionally, they makes sure the skin on and around your breast doesn’t have any dimpling, redness, or rashes.
A clinician examines your vagina, uterus, ovaries, and vulva. They may also administer a PAP smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test to screen for cervical cancer.
Because physical exams are all about preventative healthcare measures, the clinician may order other tests such as a colonoscopy or a diabetes screening depending on your age and medical history.
How can I make sure I remain healthy?
To help yourself stay healthy, the family practice physicians recommend you do the following:
- Eat balanced meals
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce stress levels through calming activities
- Don’t smoke
If you haven’t had your annual physical exam yet, call the office today or book your appointment online