The Importance of an Annual Physical Exam

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The Importance of an Annual Physical Exam

You’re feeling healthy and well, so is an annual physical really necessary? 

While the yearly visits aren’t mandatory, they can benefit your health in numerous ways. In some cases, the routine checkups might even help elongate your life.

Our expert providers at Next Direct Primary Care provide annual wellness exams to help keep your health and well-being on track in the long term.

Let’s delve into annual physical exams, including what to expect during your appointment and potential benefits you can look forward to.

What to expect at your annual physical exam

While the specifics of annual physicals vary, most include a check of your vital signs, such as your blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rate, as well as a physical exam. We might also order a urinalysis to test for issues related to diabetes, kidney problems, and infections.

Annual physical exams typically include a visual assessment of your ears, eyes, and throat as well. We may also lightly touch areas of your body, such as your back and abdomen, to feel for any abnormalities, like tenderness.

Physical exams also provide a good opportunity to get caught up on any vaccines you may need, such as the COVID-19, influenza, or tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (tDap) vaccine. We may order blood tests, too, to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and confirm or rule out nutrient deficiencies.

We talk to you about any chronic conditions you have, as well as any prescription medications or dietary supplements you take. Meanwhile, be prepared to discuss any bothersome symptoms you’ve noticed — even if they don’t seem that bad — along with any changes in your family and personal medical history since your last checkup.

Benefits of annual physical exams

Routine annual exams provide opportunities to have your overall health assessed and to discuss with a medical professional any concerns or questions you have.

The exams can enhance and support your health by:

  • Detecting asymptomatic health issues, such as high blood pressure, before they worsen or result in a heart attack or stroke
  • Detecting any early cancer signs while the disease is more treatable
  • Providing guidance and support for managing a chronic condition
  • Tracking your vital signs, so any significant changes in the future are evident

Our team can also talk to you about lifestyle changes that may improve everything from your energy levels and sleep quality to your ability to fend off viruses and disease.

To learn more about annual physicals or get started with the yearly care you need, call us at Next Direct Primary Care in Cincinnati, Ohio, or book an appointment through our website. 

If it’s been over a year since your last physical, schedule an initial primary care consultation — in our office or via telemedicine — so we can determine your next best steps.