One of the most common reasons people see a doctor is for a physical. But did you know there are different types of physical exams? Each has a different focus, depending on your particular needs. In general, all physicals involve a clinical examination by your doctor, who uses the opportunity to look for signs of illness, disease, physical injury, or other limitations.
The importance of regular physicals cannot be underestimated. Serious health conditions can be detected during a physical – even before symptoms appear. For example, many people with high blood pressure – called a silent killer for obvious reasons – aren’t even aware they have it. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms of cervical cancer can be so slight that a woman may have no idea something is wrong until it is discovered during a Pap smear at her annual well-woman exam.
Just because you’re feeling good, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the time to visit your doctor. So why not schedule your physical today? The experts at Star Medical Associates provide a wide range of physical exams, including:
Pre-employment or return-to-work physicals are examinations a doctor makes to ensure you are physically capable to perform the specific duties of your job. In many cases, blood and/or urine tests are also performed to run specific drug or alcohol screenings. The type of physical exam you receive will depend on the type of job you are applying for and what your specific employer requires.
Certain occupations may also require that you be current with particular vaccinations. For example, healthcare workers are usually required to be up to date with their immunizations against influenza, hepatitis, and measles, mumps, and rubella. In these cases, vaccines can be provided during the employment physicals.
Most people are familiar with the general physical exam. Your doctor will conduct an overall inspection and assessment of your body and its functions, as well as address any concerns you may have. Your doctor will ask about your health history, which can help identify areas that require monitoring or special attention. If you are taking medications for chronic medical conditions, the effectiveness of those drugs may also be discussed, and adjustments to your prescriptions may be made, if necessary. A standard blood test is often part of this exam. Be sure to find out if you should fast before your appointment.
Depending on your doctor’s findings during your physical, she may perform or order additional diagnostic tests or screenings.
General physicals are a good preventive health measure. Make sure to discuss how frequently you should be getting this type of exam done.
A school physical is often performed as part of your child’s back-to-school routine. It is similar to a general physical – although, in this case, the doctor will pay particular attention to whether your child is developing appropriately for his or her age. Immunizations can also be provided during a school physical. While not all schools require a physical, all of them require certain vaccinations.
Sports physicals are the perfect opportunity to ensure adults and children alike can safely play a sport. Your doctor will assess your physical abilities depending on the sport in question. In addition to checking your vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse, heart, and lungs, your doctor may also evaluate the strength, flexibility, and stability of your joints. Sports physicals are a good way to avoid many of the injuries common among athletes.
These exams focus on a woman’s reproductive organs and health. A well-woman exam generally includes a breast examination for signs of breast cancer and a pelvic examination. During the pelvic examination, organs within the cervix are assessed for any irregularities. A Pap smear may be conducted at the same time, which involves taking a sample of cervical tissue to look for early signs of cervical cancer. A swab may also be taken to test for HPV, which may increase your risk of cervical cancer.
Your doctor may order a mammogram, depending on your age and risk factors for breast cancer. Additional testing for sexually transmitted infections may also be conducted during the exam, depending on your concerns.
Comprehensive Physical Examinations in Denton and Frisco, TX
To schedule your physical exam, call Star Medical Associates at (940) 382-6900 in Denton, Texas, or (469) 301-2300 in Frisco, Texas. You can also request your appointment now.