Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - Excercise - WITH NATALIA & BRI­ANNA O’TOOLE


Reg­u­lar read­ers know how much we value both our men­tal and phys­i­cal well­be­ing. We have made nu­mer­ous rec­om­men­da­tions with re­gards to diet, ex­er­cise and men­tal health. There is one as­pect of our health which we must not for­get: reg­u­lar health checks. It’s easy to get caught up in our daily rou­tines and for­get the im­por­tance of these vis­its.

Get your cal­en­dar out and pen­cil in these few im­per­a­tive ap­point­ments:


Ev­ery three years (yes, it has changed) af­ter the age of 18, it is rec­om­mended we get a Pap test. This pre­ven­tive health test checks the cells of the cervix for any changes, ab­nor­mal­i­ties and for any signs of cer­vi­cal can­cer. These tests aren’t pleas­ant and for this rea­son many peo­ple de­lay their vis­its.


This one is for ev­ery man, woman and child re­gard­less of your skin type, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing we live in the skin can­cer cap­i­tal of the world. An an­nual skin check is a must!


Re­gard­less of whether or not you have pri­vate health cover, six-monthly den­tal checks are highly rec­om­mended. Nine­ty­nine per cent of the time you will just come out with a glis­ten­ing white smile af­ter the clean, but there is the chance that what may seem mi­nor to you could be some­thing that leads to se­ri­ous in­fec­tion and/or struc­tural changes and pain with­out treat­ment.


Do you suf­fer from headaches or mi­graines? Do you find you squint and strain to read the com­puter or street signs? Do you have trou­ble with depth per­cep­tion walk­ing on un­even sur­faces? These are just a few of the signs that may in­di­cate it’s time for an op­tometrist checkup. You would be sur­prised at what some nifty glasses or con­tacts can do. Hello clar­ity and good­bye headaches.


Do you have ring­ing in the ears? Do you strug­gle to hear in loud restau­rants or clubs? Do you of­ten have to ask peo­ple to re­peat them­selves? It took me throw­ing out three sets of per­fectly func­tion­ing head­phones to re­alise it was, in fact, my left ear and not the left ear piece that had a prob­lem. Hear­ing checks are quick and easy and can be done in your GP clinic. In this day and age hear­ing aids are not what they used to be, and in many cases are so tiny no one would ever know you had them, and there are many sub­si­dies avail­able.


Many of my pa­tients come to me af­ter putting up with pain for weeks, months and even years. More of­ten than not these pre­sen­ta­tions could have been ei­ther fixed or at least dras­ti­cally im­proved if they pre­sented at the first nig­gle. Whether that be a twinge in the lower back ev­ery time you rise from your chair, per­sist­ing headaches, jaw pain, achy backs af­ter pro­longed driv­ing or sit­ting, catch­ing knees or old stiff an­kles, or just gen­er­alised dis­com­fort, it is all worth get­ting an as­sess­ment from your phys­io­ther­a­pist be­fore let­ting it progress into long­stand­ing and/or in­tense pain.


De­pend­ing on your age, sex, co­mor­bidi­ties and over­all health, your pur­pose for your trip to the GP may vary. Make it worth your while to have your vi­tal signs checked; sort out women's and men’s health checks; get your con­tra­cep­tion reg­u­larly mon­i­tored or changed ac­cord­ing to your con­tin­u­ously chang­ing hor­mones and life sit­u­a­tions; and have in­di­vid­ual is­sues mon­i­tored.

It is so easy for months to turn into years be­tween these very im­por­tant check-ups — it hap­pens to the best of us. Use this col­umn as a re­minder. Come Mon­day (if you haven’t al­ready) ring around and make these very im­por­tant ap­point­ments. Look­ing af­ter your­self is not just about what you eat, how much ex­er­cise you do, and the state of your mind. It’s also about tun­ing into your body in these other ways. Your body is your tem­ple. Treat it with re­spect.

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