Many Americans suffer with chronic pain that has a negative impact on their quality of life. While some members of the Baby Boomer generation do engage in regular physical activity, 1 out of 10 report that they only do so a few days a month. By 2030, it is estimated that 6 out of 10 Baby Boomers will be dealing with some type of chronic condition.
Recent figures indicate that nearly 69% of people in the United States have issues with their lower back that cause them pain. It is interesting to note that only 40% of these individuals are choosing to seek medical help. While 4 in 10 people will attempt to relieve their lower back pain with exercise, others may choose to work with a professional such as a physician or physical therapist. Depending on their situation, many individuals may be prescribed medication to assist them with their chronic pain.
A recent study showed that when patients do receive physical therapy at the onset of lower back pain, their total medical costs were significantly lower. It was found that patients paid $2,763.23 less when they received physical therapy during the early stages of their lower back issues.
Chronic back pain could also be a sign of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). A study published in World Neurosurgery compared the results of lumbar fusion and physical therapy for 96 patients that were being treated for DDD. It was found that there weren’t any significant differences between the 53 patients that had lumbar fusion and the 43 patients that had physical therapy.
Even though the aforementioned study found there wasn’t a significant different in treatment outcomes, non-invasive interventions may be the preferred course of action for many patients. Since physical therapy has been shown to be effective for back pain as well as other chronic conditions, it makes sense to explore it as a treatment option.
For those individuals that haven’t been seeking treatment, visiting the nearest urgent care clinic is an option. Urgent Care Medicine is a growing field, and there are currently 20,000 physicians that practice this specialty. Furthermore, approximately 85% of these centers are conveniently open throughout the week, including Saturday and Sunday.
The best doctors are available at urgent care centers. In addition to providing physical therapy options for chronic pain, these physicians also provide occupational health services and handle other medical issues. Rather than suffering with chronic pain of any kind, it makes sense to work with the best doctors at a local medical clinic. In addition to less waiting time than a traditional hospital emergency room, these clinics, which are staffed with the best doctors and mid-level providers, are also more affordable.