For a long time, it was accepted wisdom that everybody needs to get an annual physical. However, recent studies have found that yearly physicals don’t do much for healthy adults.
“I only recommend annual physicals for certain people,” Jeremy Gabrysch, MD said. “Multiple studies have shown that they are not necessary in otherwise healthy, asymptomatic people. The likelihood of picking up disease in someone with no symptoms is very low. Usually unnecessary ‘screening tests’ are ordered, and these rarely turn up something unexpected. Sometimes they just lead to even more unnecessary testing.”
So, while a yearly physical may be great for your doctor’s bottom line, it’s probably not in your best interest as a patient. However, that doesn’t mean you should never have a physical, or that you should avoid seeing a doctor when you feel ill. For many people, regular checkups are still a vital part of an overall preventative health plan.
When should I get a physical?
Yearly physicals may not be of much value to healthy adults, but there are still situations where consulting a doctor is the right call.
- Unlike adults, children benefit from yearly medical exams. Children’s bodies change rapidly, and it’s important to monitor those changes and make sure they’re growing up healthy and meeting all of their developmental benchmarks. A routine physical can identify any areas of concern.
- People of any age should consult a doctor before and after overseas travel, especially to developing nations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that travelers see a physician 4-6 weeks before embarking on their trip. A post visit checkup is also wise, as you may have picked up diseases or parasites that may not come with any immediate symptoms.
- Patients at risk for heart disease should receive regular treatment from a doctor. If you smoke, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it’s important that you actively monitor your heart health. High blood pressure in particular is known as the “silent killer,” as it causes severe stress on your pulmonary system without noticeable symptoms.
- If you’re introducing new stressors on your body, such as a new diet plan or workout regimen, consult a doctor beforehand. A sports physical will not only help you determine a safe diet and level of activity, it will also provide you with important data on your overall health so you can see how all of the good work you’re putting in is affecting you! Adults and children should get a sports physical before starting any sports program.
Sports Physicals Now, Before the Back-to-School Rush
A sports physical is typically done to determine if an athlete is healthy enough to participate in sports and to help minimize the risk of sports-related injuries in adults and teens.
The exam checks the general health and current fitness level, and looks at any existing injuries or conditions that might increase the athlete’s risk of injury.
- The physical can identify any high-risk disorder or medical condition that might affect the ability to play sports.
- It helps determine the athlete’s safe level of activity, which can have an impact on their performance.
- If an existing injury or potential problem is identified during the sports exam, follow-up care will be recommended to help avoid future problems or to rehabilitate an existing injury.
Teens and young adults’ get a medical clearance as part of this exam so they can train and compete safely. Teens’ level of physical maturity is checked too.
The Active Days of Summer
Most people are more active during summer than other seasons – especially in Austin. We tend to play harder on the tennis and basketball court, take an early-morning run or swim and enjoy lots of watersports on the lake or in the pool.
Being more physically active in summer, we may be more susceptible to ailments, including back, knee and shoulder pain or even tendonitis. Heat stress from many 100℉ days can wear us down too. If you or your child are taking on a new sport, getting ready for football or just spending a lot of time being active, getting a sports physical is a wise move. If you feel a twinge in your elbow or an ache in your shoulder, schedule an appointment with Remedy to get it checked out. The last thing you want to do is cause further damage and sideline yourself from activities you enjoy.
Safety Tips to Remember While Being Active this Summer:
- Do your most physical exercise early in the morning when Austin-area temperatures are below 80℉ most days.
- Stretch before and after exercise to avoid muscle strain.
- Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or more, even in the shade.
- Spray your body to keep mosquitoes at bay, especially at dusk. Dusk is when mosquitoes start to swarm. Mosquitos can be vectors for disease, including Zika.
Want Summer Physicals on Your Schedule? Just Order Them Online. Remedy Delivers.
With Remedy Urgent Care, one or more people can be seen at once in the comfort of your home or office. No waiting weeks or months for appointments nor lengthy stops in a physician’s waiting room. Pick your own schedule and go online and we’ll be on our way to you within 90 minutes.