Nothing signals the change of seasons like a mailbox full of ‘back to school’ advertisements. When it’s time to dust off backpacks and binders, don’t forget to schedule doctor’s visits for your kids, your loved ones, and yourself.
At Longview’s Pacific Surgical Center (PSC), skilled physicians see patients for a range of outpatient surgical needs. They handle all manner of podiatry, orthopedic, urology, gastroenterology, and general surgery issues for patients from across the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Don’t postpone a procedure that might help you—or your student—dive fully into the new season.
We know that for active kids who play sports, mandatory physicals are part-and-parcel of your late summer schedule. But everyone can benefit from taking a step back and looking for ways to stay active, happy, and healthy all year round.
Medical professionals encourage parents to take stock. “Shuffling your child back to school these days takes more than a new wardrobe and a shiny apple. What about the dizzying array of immunizations? Hearing and vision tests? Special instructions for the school nurse? And tips for buying and loading a backpack that won’t turn your precious offspring into an achy, whiny pack mule?”
They advise adults to make a list for school staff that includes emergency contact information, any medications your child takes or allergies they may have, and of physical restrictions like asthma, support braces, or heart murmurs.
Many of the issues PSC doctors address deal with joint pain and limited mobility. While a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise help, pain in your shoulders, back, legs, and knees can start as early as school. Current security crack-downs sometimes require students to carry all their supplies and belongings without the use of a locker. This makes for heavy backpacks on still-growing bodies.
Careful arrangement of binders, phones, sweatshirts, schoolbooks, and more can be crucial. “Backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause problems for children and teenagers. Improperly used backpacks may injure muscles and joints. This can lead to severe back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems…Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about pain or discomfort that may be caused by a heavy backpack.”
Outside of school, be on the lookout for injuries from sports practice, riding bikes or walking to/from school, and the normal goofing around that comes when spending time with friends.
For athletes, the most common injuries are bruises, sprains, strains, and fractures from overuse, twisting, falling, or colliding with other players. Everyone from swimmers to sprinters, cheerleaders to wrestlers, punters to bunters can find themselves sidelined for a game or the entire season.
If injuries can’t be fixed with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), consider a consult with your family physician and PSC. Their orthopedics team specializes in “advanced, minimally invasive treatment for most musculoskeletal (bone, muscle, joint, cartilage, ligament, etc.) disorders or injuries. Each doctor is highly trained and experienced, and uses the latest surgical technologies across all orthopedic specialties.”
Trips to the doctor’s office are seldom fun or convenient. But at PSC, “physicians use the most advanced surgical equipment and technology available. This ensures that your procedure will be fast, comfortable and minimally invasive; and it also will require less recovery time than a surgical procedure performed using older methods and instruments.”
By providing transparency pricing and offering comprehensive treatment, imaging, and lab work under one roof most of the required pre- and post-surgical care can be streamlined into as few visits as possible. With a dedicated, patient-first attitude, childhood injuries won’t develop into life-long physical limitations.
Parents can also use this time of year to consider of their own health. Did pain keep you sidelined over the summer? Do the cooler, damper days of fall exacerbate achy knees, ankles, and shoulders? Is there a suspicious mole or freckle that should be biopsied? Are old sports injuries flaring up unexpectedly? PSC can help. Working with your insurance company—if you choose to use it—and primary care physicians, they’re happy to walk you through all the options. Turnaround time is often within a few weeks so you’ll be 100% by Thanksgiving.
Back to school season is a bittersweet, hectic time. Wave goodbye to long summer days and get ready to settle in for a cooler season of holidays and pumpkin spice lattes. But while you’re packing away the beach towels, address any immunizations, medical issues, and eye exams you or your family may need. Then call PSC at 360-442-7900 for a consult.