Joint stiffness and pain are the first, and usually the most potential, indicators of arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to say the worse. A debilitating health condition, RA is an autoimmune disease that progresses with time and causes joint stiffness, pain, mobility issues and serious degradation of bones and muscles, leading to bone erosion and joint deformity. 

The effects of rheumatoid arthritis are not limited to your joints, RA affects your other body organs too and can lead to serious physical disabilities. Timely detection and treatment are the only way to slow down or halt the progression of RA – something that annual physicals champion at. 

Annual physicals give your primary care physician an opportunity to assess your condition and understand the exact cause behind the problem and associated health problems that it may lead to. During an annual physical exam, your doctor schedules a variety of checks and preventive health tests to understand the extent of disease progression and stop it from further damaging your joints, organs and systems. 

That’s why, whether you are suffering from joint pains and stiffness, have a family history of arthritis or want to stay at top of your health, it is important for anyone and everyone to schedule a preventive health check at least once a year. It is the best way to live a healthy, disease-free life.     

Benefits of Annual Physical Exam

Annual physicals are the easiest way to know what’s going inside your body. Also known as preventive wellness checks, they allow your doctor to flag out diseases before they could lead to chronic illnesses. Even in arthritis, annual physicals have a huge role to play. They can help your primary physician to assess your joints and evaluate all signs of wear and tear. A regular annual health check also allows your doctor to timely treat the disease and prevent it from causing other health complications.

Some of the significant benefits to routine preventive physical exams include: 

Annual Physicals Can Help You Understand the Exact Cause of Joint Pain

Joint pains and stiffness not always indicate rheumatoid arthritis. There are various other reasons that can lead to stiff and painful joints. These include: 

  • Excessive overuse of joints 
  • An injury or fracture 
  • Inflammation of the bursa (the tissue between your skin and the tendons of a joint) 
  • Gout (that occurs due to excessive uric acid build-up) 
  • Viral infection (caused due to hepatitis, herpes, and more)
  • Measles and mumps 
  • Rubella and chickenpox 

During an annual physical, your doctor can check your joints and associated stiffness to understand if the reason behind that persistent pain is truly arthritis or any other disease or health condition. 

Annual Physicals Make Way for Timely Detection and Prevention of Arthritis

Blame it on our hectic schedule or carefree attitude about our health, we often ignore minor pains and aches until they become gruesome and lead to chronic health issues. Annual physicals give you and your healthcare provider the perfect opportunity to evaluate all such pains and understand the root cause behind them. Without physical exams, most of such health concerns go unchecked, until they become serious. Annual physicals allow for preventive care and help you to take control of your health before things go wrong. 

Annual Physicals Help You to Assess Other Areas of Your Health That Need Attention

During an annual physical exam, your doctor will assess not just your joints and bones, but other organs of your body too. Whether it is through the rigorous evaluation of your vitals (blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol and body mass index) or through the specific sequence of tests, annual physicals help your doctor to know how you are doing health-wise and if there are any health concerns that need immediate attention (whether or not you are feeling any symptoms). 

Annual Physicals Help Your Doctor to Evaluate the Effects of Arthritis on Other Body Parts

Rheumatoid arthritis affects not only your muscles and joints, but it has a degenerating effect on your other body organs too, including your mental well-being. By thoroughly evaluating your health (during annual physicals), your doctor can check if your rheumatoid arthritis is causing a detrimental effect on your other body organs too. Thus, annual physicals allow your healthcare provider to not only detect the severe side-effects of RA, but also prevent or treat them in a timely manner.     

Annual Physicals Allow the Doctor to Review Your Diet, Medications & Lifestyle

Physical exams are also a great opportunity for your doctor to review your diet, lifestyle habits and medications to analyze if any of these are speeding up the progression of the disease or are leading to other health consequences. For example, certain RA medications and poor lifestyle habits lead to excessive weight gain. During a preventive health check, your doctor can check your medications to evaluate the side effects they are posing on your health and replace them with other supplements and therapies. He can also monitor your diet and lifestyle habits to bring about healthy changes. 

Schedule Your Annual Physical at EPIC Health

Looking forward to leading a healthy, pain-free life? Schedule an annual physical at EPIC Health and make your health your priority. Through comprehensive diagnostic tests and preventive screenings, we can help you understand and evaluate the reasons behind all your chronic pains and aches, and provide you a personalized treatment plan to ease down pain and increase your range of motion. Our primary care physicians and nutritionist can also work with you to improve your diet and lifestyle habits for long-term health benefits. 

Schedule your annual physical at EPIC Health today! We can help you live happy, healthy and better.