Annual physical exams are an important part of preventative care. They help detect early signs of chronic conditions, allowing patients to take the necessary measures to avoid developing symptoms. When provided regularly, they help keep a log of health information, enabling doctors to recognize warning signs of slowly progressing conditions.
What is included in an annual physical exam?
An annual physical exam typically includes the following:
- Blood Pressure Check
- Weight and Height Measurements
- Health Screening
- Blood Tests
- Age-Related Exams
- Counseling for a Healthy Lifestyle
What is an Annual Physical Exam?
An annual physical exam is a thorough medical examination performed to determine the health of the patient. It usually takes about 30 minutes, but can take longer if specific tests need to be performed. During a physical exam, a physician measures important vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, and evaluates a patient’s body using observation, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.
Observation: This includes the visual examination of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, typically with the use of medical instruments. The examining physician will look at skin color, lesions, and note any hygienic issues. If symptoms or medical history indicate the need, they may examine other parts of the body.
Palpation: The physician will touch (palpate) certain parts of the body, feeling for unusual lumps and checking organ size and shape.
Percussion: Doctors use percussion to determine organ location, identify blockages, and pinpoint any problem areas. This also includes reflex tests.
Auscultation: This refers to listening to sounds produced by the body with the use of a stethoscope.
Are annual physicals necessary and what can you expect at an Annual Physical Exam?
Yes, annual physicals are necessary to maintain good health and to prevent chronic health conditions. At an annual physical exam, you can expect the doctor to talk about your medical history, including diseases or conditions that run in the family and vaccination record. They will also discuss lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol or substance use, diet and exercise. The examining physician will also check your vital signs, including:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Respiration rate
On top of this, they will also assess your general appearance, checking for external signs of disease and substance abuse
Depending on your situation, they may perform a variety of exams, including:
Heart Exam: Heart exams check for heart conditions and diseases that affect the cardiovascular system.
Lung Exam: Typically performed with medical tools such as spirometers, lung exams determine lung health and capacity.
Head and Neck Exam: Exams of the head and neck include an evaluation of the ears, nose, throat, tonsils, lymph nodes and thyroid.
Abdominal Exam: Abdominal exams include checking the vital organs such as the liver, and also check for blockages in the bowels.
Neurological Exam: Reflexes, nerves, balance and mental state may be assessed in an annual physical.
Dermatological Exam: The skin is the biggest organ and can show signs and symptoms of underlying health conditions.
Extremities Exam: The examining physician may evaluate the joints, arms and legs to assess abnormalities.
If you or someone you love needs a physical exam to evaluate symptoms or to determine their overall health, come to Reddy Urgent Care today. Our medical professionals are experienced in performing physical exams and can help you discover and treat a number of health issues. Call us today. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Downtown Long Beach CA, Bixby Knolls Long Beach CA, Huntington Beach CA, Paramount CA, East Side CA, and Los Altos CA.