Skipping an annual physical may not seem like a big deal, but when you put it off year after year, it can negatively affect your long-term health. Visiting a primary care provider for an annual physical exam and preventive care is essential to your ongoing health.
At these visits, the care team at South Plains Rural Health Services can identify and treat any health issues early, before they cause serious complications as well as to track progress toward your health goals.
Here are five major benefits of annual physical exams that we here at South Plains Rural Health Services want you to consider.
1. An annual exam offers a clear assessment of your overall health
Your annual exam includes many basic screenings that assess your overall health, including:
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose
We also assess your weight and personal and family history at these visits. All this information helps us get a clear picture of your overall health and any risks you may have for developing a chronic disease, like diabetes or heart disease.
If you do have troublesome health statistics that put you at a higher risk of disease, we can support you with dietary changes, recommendations for physical activity, and stress reduction methods to help you avoid full-blown illness.
2. An annual exam is a time to update vaccinations
Though you know your babies and kids need vaccines, did you know adults do too? Your annual exam is the perfect time to get your COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine.
Adults who have asthma, smoke, or are older than age 65 benefit from the pneumonia vaccine, which prevents lung infections. Adults 50 and older benefit from the shingles vaccine. We can help you understand the pros of getting these vaccines for your immediate and long-term health.
3. An annual exam is a time to get necessary cancer screenings
Routine cancer screenings detect cancer in the earliest stages when it’s easiest to treat. At your annual exam, we can make sure you’re up-to-date with routine screenings for issues like skin cancer, gynecological cancers, colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
When you should start cancer screenings depends on your age, your personal and family history, and other individualized risk factors. We can help you determine what screenings you need and when at your annual exam.
4. An annual exam is time to update your medical records
Your annual exam is the perfect time to make any changes to your medical records that could affect your long-term health and future care. These include:
- Medication changes
- New allergies
- Changes to your lifestyle, including smoking, alcohol intake, and sexual activity
- Family history changes
- Surgeries or major illnesses
We’ll also ask whether there’s anything we should know about your mental health. We can arrange mental health support if you need it.
5. An annual exam helps you establish a relationship with your doctor
Many people only see their healthcare provider when they’re sick or injured. Annual exams give you a chance to establish a relationship with your provider when you’re healthy. This helps them support your overall wellness and the preventive care you need to stay healthy. You can ask general health questions, rather than ones focused on an acute condition that brought you to the office for a one-off visit.
Schedule your physical exam to get the care you need. Contact South Plains Rural Health Services in Levelland, Lamesa, or Big Spring, Texas. Call today, or use our online booking tool to schedule your appointment.