One Annual Health Checkup That’s Probably Missing from Your Calendar
Some health habits are instilled in us at a young age. For example, when you were younger, you may have made annual trips to both the pediatrician and the dentist. As you entered adulthood, you probably transitioned to a primary care physician, and maybe even a different dentist better equipped to address adult needs. Anytime you’ve moved or switched insurance carriers, one of your first priorities has been to track down new providers. You probably figure that between the two healthcare professionals, all of your health needs are covered, right?
Did you know that a physical therapist is specifically trained to assess your musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues. They are the healthcare professional that ensures that these essential internal structures are working properly and helping to support, stabilize, and move your body.
At a yearly physical therapy “checkup,” your Physical Therapist will gather your medical history and observe as you participate in screening tests and other assessments to establish a baseline of your physical abilities, fitness level, and personal health. Physical therapists are educated on how your musculoskeletal system functions properly and are trained to identify dysfunctions before they grow into bigger problems. To maximize the encounter with your physical therapist, it’s important to be prepared before your appointment. To ensure that you cover everything and address any issues you may be having, make a list that includes:
- Health issues like diabetes or high blood pressure
- Current medications, including supplements
- Current limitations and pain
- New activities you are considering
- Wellness or Fitness goals
The communication between you and your Physical Therapist is critical to forming an ongoing relationship, and to ensure that you are functioning and moving at your highest level. Your Physical Therapist will be better prepared to make recommendations and tailor a plan designed to help you achieve your goals and live more.
Making wellness a part of your everyday life and taking steps to ensure that your musculoskeletal system is functioning at it’s highest level can be very empowering and rewarding. Why not begin—or continue—that journey with a physical therapist? Now that you know how to prepare for a physical therapy checkup, and understand what you can expect during the appointment, the next step is to call and schedule your annual visit.