If you keep putting off your annual physical – you’re not alone. Studies show that only 50-60% of adults in the United States receive an annual physical, and some estimates say the number is even lower. The reason behind this may be that people mistakenly believe annual physicals are good for you, but not necessary. We asked the team at Innovative Primary Care to weigh in on the top 5 reasons to schedule an annual physical.
Health issues can sneak up on you. Annual physical exams screen for things like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disorders and anxiety to help detect potential health issues early, before they become serious. It’s also a good check-in to make sure you are up-to-date on vaccinations and prescriptions. The best medicine is preventative medicine.
If you have a chronic condition, you should be visiting your medical provider at least once a year. Health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure need to be properly managed and tracked to mitigate risk and further health complications. During an annual physical, your medical provider will do lab work to ensure you are within a normal range and properly managing chronic conditions.
Many of us have nagging health questions or symptoms that never quite get severe enough to warrant a visit on their own. An annual check-up is the perfect time to raise those questions and get answers. Seeing the same healthcare provider each year will allow you to build a foundation of trust, which is key to a patient-provider relationship.
During an annual physical, your provider may ask you about your mental health, stress and emotional well-being. It’s important to take time to consider your mental health and how it may be impacting your physical health. Our providers are attuned to mental health needs and refer patients to Innovative Therapy when applicable to ensure both your physical and mental health are top notch.
While you may not want to hear you need to eat better, exercise more and drink less, it’s your provider’s job to give you an honest assessment of your overall health. During a physical, your provider can offer advice on lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease.