Every year we make sure to schedule our routine appointments such as: doctor checkups, pediatricians, dentist visits, etc. As you have grown you may even have changed doctors or providers that are better suited for your individual needs, and because of this, you most likely assume that all of your based health needs are covered.
Not so fast.
While it is vital to visit your doctor for a general checkup and to see the dentist every six months to maintain your teeth, you probably overlook the fact that regular visits to maintain musculoskeletal system which is comprised of your muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and other connective tissues, is also vital. It is essential to make sure these internal systems are working properly and helping to support, stabilize, and move your body.
That is why it is highly suggested that you schedule a yearly injury screen with your physical therapist to help get an idea of the status of your musculoskeletal system, especially if you are a physically active person or an athlete. Physical therapists are educated on how exactly your musculoskeletal system works and are highly trained to identify dysfunctions and issues before they grow into bigger problems.
What occurs during a yearly injury screening?
At your screening, your PT will gather your medical history and observe you as you participate in a series of screening tests and other assessments to establish a baseline of your physical abilities, fitness levels, and personal health. Year-after-year, we can use the information collected and compare with previous results to reveal any inconsistencies that could signal problems.
Both elite athletes and those just getting started with an exercise program will benefit greatly from a yearly screening by a physical therapist. Based on the information gathered during the screening, your PT will design an individualized program to help you to prevent injuries.
What should I do to prepare?
While your PT will be running the show, it is important for you to come prepared with as much information as possible. Your physical therapist can only design a program based on what they know, so it is important to cover everything and anything, including:
- current medications (as well as supplements)
- any new or recurring health issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- your current physical fitness activities
- any new activities that you are considering trying
- your overall fitness goals
This information will help to form an ongoing relationship with your PT. It is important to relay any information about what sports and activities you currently participate in, what you are looking to try out, and what kind of goals you are aiming to achieve. Your PT will be able to craft a customized program for you to follow in order to keep your musculoskeletal system in top form. This is just as important as your traditional checkup as issues with your musculoskeletal system can cause other, more general health problems, and yearly screens can often help identify health issues before they become a problem.
Taking care of your physical wellness is something that you should make a priority, and that includes taking steps to ensure that your musculoskeletal system is functioning at its best.