Millions of Seniors Report Lower Back Pain, but Many Never Seek Treatment or Physical Therapy



Living with back pain is a daily reality for millions of American adults, and trying to find doctors who can help with medication, physical therapy, and outpatient treatment could start as close to home as patients’ nearest walk in clinic. Many urgent care medical clinics offer treatment and help for a wide range of symptoms, including chronic back pain. Depending upon location, local doctors at a walk in medical clinic may be able to provide on site prescription fulfillment and could also help with referrals to occupational health services and physical therapy treatment centers.

The cost of delaying treatment for back pain can be considerable: recent studies indicate that patients who received physical therapy immediately after being diagnosed with back pain spent about $2,500 less on their treatment than patients who delayed addressing their symptoms. The average emergency walk in clinic should be able to treat patients with chronic back and neck pain, and doctors realize that more than half of all senior citizens report chronic pain and other ongoing health conditions.

Patients want to avoid the necessity for back or neck surgery, but more than one-third of all people who suffer from a painful lower back condition never seek treatment or medication for their conditions. They wonder if physical therapy can be effective, but if they do not pursue regular exercise and therapy their conditions will continue to get worse. Some patients pursue chiropractic adjustments in addition to physical therapy, and try to find doctors who can prescribe medication for pain.

Physical therapy differs a bit from exercise: patients should also stretch and walk regularly, but need to realize that the term “physical therapy” refers to a series of therapeutic stretches, range of motion exercises, and other professionally-supervised exercises that are designed to restore function to patients managing chronic conditions. Therapists understand that recovery is a gradual process, and patients who undertake physical therapy with a commitment to improving their flexibility and reducing pain often find themselves with less need for prescription pain medication.

To find doctors locally with experience treating chronic neck and back pain, many patients look online for a list of doctors who provide treatment at walk in urgent care clinics. Medical walk in clinics do treat patients in crisis — in “urgent” need of care — and can also meet with patients whose treatment plan will be ongoing. Typically, walk in medical clinics have the ability to perform fracture care: some neck and back pain could be due to a small, undiagnosed fracture. Doctors will work with patients to narrow down the causes of their discomfort and pain; patients who have a strong desire to improve their health may wish to consult a local doctor at their earliest possible convenience.

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