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The importance of preventative care when it comes to our health

January 29th, 2024 by
Category: Dr Ruchi Adams Health Health & Wellbeing

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“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin

With the rise of the aging population worldwide, there has been a recent shift in awareness of our health & well-being to live a more fulfilling life. But this phenomenon isn’t something new; it’s been something that many of us have been doing for most of our lives to prevent certain conditions we may have (e.g. type 2 Diabetes, Arthritis) from progressing in a way that may cause some upheaval in our lives. Preventive care has been a cornerstone in the management of ailments. Preventative care is the early approach to specific conditions to avoid further progression while ensuring that strategies are put ahead to maintain & promote good health habits to combat the condition that someone may present with.

What is considered a preventative approach to health?

A preventive care approach outlines how a practitioner and patient can determine the best course of action to prevent future aggravation of certain key presentation features. 

Another aspect of preventive care is the enforcement of a delayed approach in chronic diseases/conditions, for example, Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis. 

Why is preventative care important?

The main goal of preventive care is to ensure the overall health & well-being of the patient through early intervention.

Preventive care can be utilized in chronic presentations to help maintain any current signs & symptoms from progressing in an elevated manner or map out ways to improve their overall outlook on life while keeping their condition under control. This approach can easily be applied to conditions that may be acute in presentation to assist in the management of current signs & symptoms and reduce the likelihood of new presentations from occurring. 

What does preventative health care look like?

Initial consultation

The first interaction someone may have with a healthcare provider is giving a brief run-through of what they are experiencing and any past medical/family history to give a clear picture of what is being presented to the healthcare provider.

Evaluation

During the evaluation phase, the practitioner will do some examinations, which can vary depending on the health professional, this can look like general medical examinations such as: 

  • blood pressure
  • lung/heart exam 
  • lymph node assessment 
  • Range of Motion (ROM) 
  • Muscle tension palpitation
  • Orthopedic tests

Investigation

To further assist in managing conditions, a health professional may refer their patients out to thoroughly assess what mitigating factors need to be considered in the management planning. These further assessment tools can include X-rays, MRI, and blood tests. In more specific cases, you may need to seek the help of a specialist like an immunologist or cardiologist. 

Treatment

There is a broad spectrum of things that health professionals can do to assist in alleviating pain or improving the overall well-being of the patients they see. These treatments can look like manual therapy (Chiropractic adjustments), massage, physiological therapies (Infrared therapy, soundwave therapy) and/or medications (for example, insulin for Type 1 Diabetes).

Maintenance

The health care provider may schedule follow-up appointments/calls to see how you may be progressing & how you are doing in regards to the management of the condition. They may also ask if anything has occurred in relation to the issue initially presented.

Chiropractic and preventative health care – what does this look like?

Chiropractors may be able to play a beneficial role in the early detection of musculoskeletal conditions, which can have a significant effect on the physical & mental well-being of a patient. 

Chiropractors may be able to advise on ways to lower the chances of common conditions like lower back pain or bad posture, which, if not addressed early, can be detrimental to the overall quality of life for individuals. 

Through Chiropractic care, Chiropractors may be able to assist in the improved interactions between the spine, muscles and body to help patients feel and move at their best.

Top tips to get started on your preventative healthcare journey

  • Develop good posture habits, like making a conscious effort to roll your shoulders back, and sitting upright in a chair that has good lumbar support. When working at a desk, try to have your screen/s at eye level with elbows tucked by your side when using the keyboard. 
  • Try to have a balanced lifestyle (easier said than done). Still, suppose these bad habits are identified early. In that case, it will make it easier to break out of them and develop good ones, like on many Apple watches, it will remind you to get up every hour to move around, staying hydrated by having a water bottle at hand, if you are in a multi-story office space,  try to take the stairs often throughout the week. 
  • Try a healthy diet, which may seem like a big task for most of us. Still, in the long run, your body will thank you for giving it a rich source of minerals, vitamins & other nutrients that can assist in managing or preventing chronic conditions.
  • Aim to exercise on your day off for 30 minutes continuously or in collective short sessions to gain its benefits. In cases of patients with arthritis, studies have shown that the exercise that their healthcare provider recommended saw improvements in mobility, muscle strength & balance. 
  • Try to follow any take-home advice or exercises that your healthcare provider gives you during a consultation, as it greatly helps to maintain the progress you have obtained by reducing signs, symptoms or further aggravation. Understandably, we can forget to take the bins out on collection day. However, incorporating any advice or specific exercises/stretches into your daily life will assist in long-term benefits.

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