HomeHealthAnnual Physical: What Are The Basic Components?

Annual Physical: What Are The Basic Components?

Did you know that just like your birthday, you also need a scheduled visit to your doctor once every year? Why should you do so? Because an old bridge annual physical is a vital aspect of preventive health care and aims to help your doctor detect health problems early and offer the necessary treatment. After your exams, you can get a big picture of your health and support you in making necessary changes. Here are six exams your doctor may perform on you during your annual physical exams.

Health History

During this time, you can raise your concerns about current health symptoms. Your doctor will ask about your lifestyle behaviors, including smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, diet, sexual wellness, and exercise schedule. Additionally, your doctor may check your family medical history, personal health history, current prescriptions, recent surgeries, and allergies.

Checking Vital Signs

Your doctor will measure your blood pressure to ensure it lies within the normal range and that you are not at risk for high blood pressure. Next, your doctor will measure your temperature, which may vary depending on several factors, and check your heart and respiration rates. A normal heart rate for a healthy person may be slower than 60, and heavy breathing may suggest heart and lung problems.

Visual Exam

Your doctor checks your general appearance at this stage for signs of a potential health condition. Your doctor may examine your head, eyes, chest, abdomen, and hands to see if your skin appears healthy. You may need to talk to help your doctor evaluate your speech and also walk so they monitor your gait, range of motion, and flexibility. Also, you may have to answer some questions to check on your mental quickness and memory.

Physical Exams

As your annual physical exam continues, your doctor may need to use devices to look into your ears, eyes, throat, and nose. Your doctor will then place a stethoscope on your chest to listen to your lungs and heart. During this procedure, your doctor will palpate your abdomen to feel for abnormalities, check your hair and nails, examine your rectum and genitalia, and test your reflexes.

Laboratory Tests

You may also require blood tests to complete your annual physical. Your doctor will draw some blood and perform a complete blood count and a chemistry panel. A chemical panel will test your blood plasma and indicate any liver, kidney, or immune system issues.

Screening Tests

Your doctor will recommend screening tests depending on your gender. For women, your doctor may perform a mammogram, breast exam to check for abnormal lumps, and Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer. On the other hand, for men, your doctor may recommend prostate cancer screening, testicular exam, cholesterol test, and abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.

A routine annual physical ensures you stay healthy and can prevent some conditions before they can progress and cause complications. Your doctor will catch up on your health history and discuss prevention measures you can take to manage your health. Additionally, an annual physical may be the time to discuss your current medical concerns with your doctor. You will undergo several tests that check your vital signs, visual exams, physical exams, and screening tests. You can consult with your doctor to determine the necessary tests you will require during your annual physical visits so you can stay on top of your health.


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