9 Preventive health exams you can skip! – PART II
Carotid Artery Screening
This is a preventive health exam that is prescribed to detect carotid artery disease which is caused by plaque build-up in the arteries obstructing the free flow of blood. The exam is performed by using ultrasounds to screen the carotid arteries (there's one on each side of the neck)
The test is administered by making the patient lie face up on an exam table and turn to one side to get the right quality of images. After this, a clear gel is applied to the area being studied. Once this is done, an ultrasound technologist or radiologist places a transducer, a handheld device that sends and receives sound waves on the area to be studied and moves it across it.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force is not in favor of performing this test on asymptomatic people in the general adult population. They are convinced that such screenings have imperfect sensitivity and may lead to unnecessary surgery with detrimental results and even stroke and death.
What is an ECG or EKG? This is a non-invasive exam performed usually at the doctor's office, a clinic or a hospital room. This involves recording the electrical signals in your heart using electrodes attached to the chest and sometimes limbs. This helps to secure data from 12 areas of the heart. This might work as a good diagnostic tool for those with cardiovascular distress but for someone healthy, it could show up abnormality which may end up with further unwarranted testing.
X-Rays, MRIs and Scans for Lower Back Pain
The minute you complain of lower back pain, most doctors are quite swift to ask you to immediately go for an X-ray, MRI or Scan. However, if there have not been any issues such as an accident or fall or fever along with back pain, any of these tests may not be needed initially. Sometimes physical therapy, medication and so on can relieve lower back pain in about a month. However, in case you don’t see any difference during this period or face loss of bowel control, weakness or numbness, have a history of cancer or unexplained weight loss, you must get further tests done.