Let’s face it, fellas, going to the doctor for a check up or that occasional pain in your side is not your favorite thing to do — or so the studies show.
That’s why we asked readers to submit their men’s health questions for this month’s installment of Prisma Health On Call — our Q+A series that connects you to the healthcare professionals at Prisma Health. Here with the answers are Prisma Health‘s primary care providers, tackling reader-submitted questions about sports injuries, cancer screenings, and more.
Big thanks to John Manna, FNP, and Meghan Martin, FNP, for their knowledge + expertise.
Q: I always get horrible anxiety when I go to the doctor. What can I do to relax?
A: It’s not uncommon for people to get anxiety when going to the doctor. Here are a few steps you can take to help you relax:
- Deep breathing. Try breathing in through your nose for 5 seconds and then out through your mouth for 5 seconds and then repeat.
- Do something relaxing before your appointment. Listen to calming music or complete a guided meditation.
- Bring a family member or friend with you as support. They can help ask questions and write things down for you if your anxiety makes those things more difficult.
- Let your provider know you’re anxious. They can help provide more clarity and address your concerns.
Remember that your doctor is on your side and wants to partner with you to keep you as healthy as possible.
Q: Is there a test that screens for all forms of cancer? It seems that doctors often detect it too late.
A: While the goal of cancer screenings is to detect different kinds of cancer early so that patients have the best possible outcomes, there is not one specific test that screens for all forms of cancer. To help reduce your risk of cancer, it is important to have a relationship with a primary care provider who can discuss with you which cancer screenings are appropriate and at what age to start. These recommendations are based on your personal and family medical history.
There are also lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk of cancer which are important to discuss with your primary care provider.
Q: What is the best way to prevent hip flexor and glute injuries while running?
A: Focus on these factors:
- Warm up: Take a brisk walk or light jog to increase joint mobility and stretch connective tissue.
- Cool down: Walking and stretching for 5 to 10-minutes at the end of your run allows your heart rate and blood pressure to gradually return to normal.
- Rest: Resting one day a week allows your muscles to recover and prevents injury from overtraining.
- Nutrition: Eating carbohydrates and protein 30 minutes after a run can help enhance recovery.
- Strengthening: To strengthen your core and increase flexibility try exercises such as lateral step ups, side steps with resistance bands, single leg deadlifts, lunges, planks, side legs raises, and kneeling hip flexor stretches. Don’t do these right before you run, though.
It’s also important to focus on having good posture throughout the day.
Q: I just moved to the area for work and have been putting off finding a new primary care provider. Is there a list of physicians somewhere that also tells me what health networks they are in?
A: Having a relationship with a primary care provider is proven to increase your overall health, so it’s worth moving it up on your priority list. It’s better to find a new primary care provider when you’re well and not wait until there is a problem or you are out of your medication. To find a primary care provider you can call (844) 447-3627 or head to PrismaHealth.org.