There are many differing opinions about how often you and your family need to have physical exams. Some say the frequency depends on your age and health risks. Others go so far as to say that annual exams aren’t necessary as they don’t make you healthier and lead to unnecessary testing.
Here at American River Urgent Care in Orangevale, California, our team recommends annual physical exams. We work with you to find a schedule that suits the needs of your family.
Children’s physical exams
Kids sure do grow up fast. Their bodies, brains, and skills sometimes seem to change overnight, which is why your little ones need to have regular checkups. For example, during your child’s first three years of life, they should have approximately 12 checkups. After their third birthday, an annual exam is usually sufficient for us to keep an eye on their physical, mental, and social development. We offer school and sports physicals here as to ensure your child can enroll in school and participate in the sports they love.
Adults health statistics
Some medical professionals believe that if you’re healthy and don’t have an elevated risk of disease, you can have physical exams every two or three years until you get older and your risks increase.
However, let’s review some American health statistics that demonstrate why you might want to commit to checking in on your health annually.
- Nearly 60% of Americans have at least one chronic disease, and around 40% have two or more chronic health problems.
- More than a third of American adults have prediabetes, and more than 84% of them don’t know they have it.
- Almost half of American adults have high blood pressure, but only a quarter of them have it under control.
- Nearly 74% of American adults are overweight or obese.
Common chronic health problems like obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes can have dire effects on your health when undiagnosed and untreated. High blood pressure is a leading factor in heart attacks and strokes. Nearly half a million deaths each year have high blood pressure as a contributing factor.
Unmanaged diabetes damages your blood vessels and nerves, often leading to neuropathy, blindness, infections, and limb amputation. Obesity is a contributing factor to health problems ranging from arthritis to cancer.
How physical exams can help
Most health problems develop gradually and don’t cause obvious symptoms in their early stages, which is also when they’re more easily treated. An annual physical exam is an opportunity to check in on your health and get tests and health screenings to identify any warning signs of disease before you develop symptoms.
We keep detailed records of your health and use them to track any changes from year to year. In addition to any significant health changes, we can also quickly identify any unhealthy trends — for example, if your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, or weight is gradually increasing.
When we identify a potential problem, we work with you to turn your health around. Often, when a health issue is diagnosed early, you can reverse the potential disease by making healthy choices like giving up smoking, getting more exercise, and eating a more nutritious diet. And if necessary, we can prescribe medications or other treatments to restore your health and lower your risk of future health problems.
So why put your health at risk by skipping physical exams? Call our office or book an appointment online today. In a best-case scenario, you’ll leave our office with peace of mind that you’re as healthy and fit as you thought. And if we find signs of a problem, you can rest easy knowing that you get expert treatments to restore your health before you feel sick.