7 Questions to Ask Yourself As You Self-Check/Self-Examine
Even though national self-check month has ended, we at Clear Passage are devoted to encouraging people to become more familiar with their bodies by performing a self-evaluation or medical self-check.
A “medical self-check” includes examining your body and then following up on any findings, as well as scheduling routine preventive care with your physician. By identifying symptoms early on—and addressing them— you can help yourself nip health conditions in the bud and prevent them from getting worse or causing you undue stress.
Here is what you need to know about the importance of asking medical questions during the rest of the year.
Why You Should Continue to Self-Check Even When it Feels Uncomfortable
It’s not uncommon to be experiencing a symptom of a health condition and put off addressing it with a medical provider. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Research has shown that being too embarrassed to ask a medical question is very common and can profoundly impact the quality of care that you receive and your relationship with your medical provider. That is why it’s essential to ask health questions, even when you’re unsure.
Sometimes, people feel:
- Unsure about whether a sign warrants attention.
- That symptom may be so vague or infrequent that it is easy to blow off.
It’s important to know that your symptoms may be having a profound impact on your life, but you feel shy or embarrassed to ask about them or regularly check on them. You may not even be aware that a symptom you’re experiencing can be addressed and managed with medical treatment. As you apply medium pressure on your joints, back and abdomen, you might find areas for improvement.
7 Important questions to continually ask yourself as you do a medical self-check.
1. Ask yourself if you’ve noticed changes in your stool patterns.
It may seem strange to consider details of your bowel movements, but if you’re having any changes in your stool patterns—especially if you’ve had a consistent pattern for a long time that’s suddenly different—it’s essential to address. You can either bring this up to your clinician or seek help with pelvic floor physical therapists.
Ask yourself about any changes in your stool color or consistency. For example, changes in your stool color can stem from various causes (such as a new diet or medication), but they can also be a sign of a more critical condition.
Changes in the way that your stool looks—like if you suddenly have stringy poop—could indicate a change in the structure of your colon, among other conditions. If you’re having painful bowel movements, pelvic pain with bowel movements, or if you’re unable to have a bowel movement, you could have a partial bowel obstruction or a condition such as endometriosis. Your doctor may want to perform a more extensive investigation. Depending on your findings, you may be eligible for non-invasive management of your condition using the Clear Passage approach.
2. Monitor your unexplained pain.
Be consistently considerate about any unexplained pain you may be experiencing. Sometimes, unexplained pain—especially stomach pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, or groin pain—can be caused by a condition known as adhesions, which are internal scars. Adhesions can develop from prior surgery, infection, or injury, and they can cause discomfort.
Sometimes, adhesions can lead to severe conditions such as small bowel obstructions.
Research shows that abdominal adhesions are the leading cause of small bowel obstructions. Managing adhesions can be tricky, as undergoing a surgical procedure to treat adhesions can often lead to the development of even more adhesions. However, a non-surgical, ‘hands-on’ physical therapy approach at Clear Passage clinics has decreased adhesion pain and increased function without surgery or pharmaceuticals.
3. Consider any complexities in your sex life.
Your sexual relationships potentially represent the most private and personal aspects of your entire life. It can be intimidating to discuss your sex life with your partner or medical provider.
This is even harder if you’re:
- Having pain with intercourse (also known as dyspareunia)
- Experiencing low sexual desire.
- Have difficulty getting aroused or other sexual concerns.
Talking to your medical provider can significantly improve your quality of life and relationships with all these signs. Often, women are shy to speak specifically about intercourse pain (dyspareunia). Still, painful sex is a widespread condition (affecting nearly one in three women at one point in their lifetime) that can be improved with proper treatment.
A non-invasive, hands-on physical therapy approach can significantly decrease pain with intercourse. Research published in the Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders journal showed that patients who received hands-on physical therapy using the Clear Passage Approach for the treatment of painful intercourse reported:
- Increased (or first-time) orgasms
- Elevated desire.
- Increased arousal and lubrication
- 93% of patients reported improvements in overall sexual function.
4. Think ahead about your family planning and fertility concerns.
If you’re interested in getting pregnant in the future or trying to get pregnant now, you may feel hesitant about whether you will achieve your goal. But, according to the American College of Gynecologists, the definition of infertility is 12 months of trying to conceive without resulting in a pregnancy, and, in women over age 35, infertility is diagnosed after six months of conception attempts.
It’s crucial to be honest with yourself about your fertility and family planning intentions because there are many things you can do to improve your fertility. Still, you must first identify the cause of your infertility.
For example, a blocked fallopian tube contributes to their difficulty getting pregnant for up to 25 to 35 percent of many women with infertility. While this condition is sometimes managed with surgical treatment or invasive procedures, a non-invasive, hands-on physical therapy method is also effective in restoring fertility.
5. While practicing self-checks, consider how to prepare for any upcoming surgeries.
Part of a thorough self-check includes anticipatory planning. When you see your doctor for a routine check-up, make sure to ask about how to prepare for any upcoming procedures or surgeries. That is especially important if you have a history of having complications with surgeries such as small bowel obstructions or adhesions. If you know in advance that you have to undergo a surgical procedure, your doctor may recommend ways that you can strengthen your body ahead of time. Your doctor may also recommend a rehabilitation program, such as hands-on physical therapy in the immediate period following surgery, as this is a preventive way of decreasing the formation of adhesions in the first place.
6. Consider what lifestyle adjustments you can make to optimize your health.
Once you know any active symptoms or concerns you’re having and prepare for any upcoming medical events, it’s also a good idea to discuss how to manage your health proactively. Four main lifestyle adjustments to improve your health include:
- Checking in about what you’re eating
- How you’re moving your body
- Your sleep habits
- Your stress level.
By staying on top of these four pillars of health, you can optimize your wellness and continue enjoying the highest possible quality of life.
7. Strongly consider pursuing physical therapy for your condition.
Identify a symptom on a self-check that leads to a formal diagnosis of a new condition. Your health professional may have provided you with several treatment options, including watchful waiting, lifestyle changes, prescription medications, procedures, or surgeries. It’s important to ask yourself questions about your treatment plan and whether your condition can also be managed with physical therapy.
The Clear Passage Approach’s hands-on (manual) physical therapy methods can heal conditions traditionally managed with medications or invasive medical procedures. These conditions include:
- Menstrual pain
- Intercourse pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Chronic pain
- Pain from inflammatory bowel disease
- Discomfort from small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and;
- Many more.
Partnering with Clear Passage to Address Your Health Concerns
It takes courage to regularly be considerate about your health concerns, especially when they involve highly personal areas of your life. However, you only stand to benefit when you are your own health advocate.
If a medical condition has been identified during a check-up with your medical provider, consider the role that physical therapy may play in your recovery.
At Clear Passage, we help patients manage many health conditions with a safe, natural, non-invasive hands-on physical therapy technique. With us:
- Our highly skilled clinicians use a scientific, patient-centric approach.
- We are adept at transcending medical jargon to get to the heart of what’s bothering you.
- We are dedicated to achieving positive results for each of our patients.
- Our team of therapists, researchers, advisors, and support staff at Clear Passage apply their excellence daily to get you back the life you know you deserve!
To learn more, request a consultation today.
If you’d like a free consult, please take 20 minutes and fill out this form and we can determine if therapy would be a good fit for you.