Urgent care clinics offer extended and weekend hours as well as convenient neighborhood locations. These walk in clinics have highly qualified staff, including doctors, nurses, technicians and pharmacists on site to treat most medical conditions that are not emergencies. The Urgent Care Association of America estimates that 3 million people visit doctors urgent care clinics each year, for everything from the common cold to fractures and chronic conditions like diabetes and back pain.
Urgent care centers also offer physical therapy to treat sports injuries, chronic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions for which there is no quick and easy medical treatment. Physical therapy also complements treatment for other medical conditions and improves patient outcomes.
Why are urgent care clinics so popular?
Urgent care clinics have become increasingly popular and around 20,000 physicians practice in such facilities across the nation. The reasons for the popularity of doctors urgent care clinics are not difficult to understand. They offer extended hours, many being open from 8 am to 8 pm, so people can stop by before or after work. They’re also open on weekends.
They are conveniently located in various neighborhoods, so it’s easy to find one near you. Once you get there, you don’t have to wait for hours to see a doctor, as you would in an emergency room. Most walk in clinics have wait times of around 20 minutes to see a doctor – and that’s without an appointment. They also have testing facilities and pharmacies on site, so you only have to make one stop for all medical needs.
What conditions do walk in clinics treat?
Walk in clinics treat just about every condition that isn’t an emergency. For life-threatening situations, people should be taken to the nearest emergency room. But for nearly everything else – colds, flu, whooping cough, fractures, diabetes, chronic back pain, even weight loss – doctors urgent care clinics can provide the treatment. If they can’t treat a condition, they will refer you to a specialist.
Chronic pain is notoriously difficult to treat through medication. As the Baby Boomers age, a larger proportion of the population is expected to be dealing with chronic pain issues. It is estimated that by the year 2030, 60% of all Boomers will have a chronic condition that can not be treated but only managed.
One of the commonest types of chronic pain is lower back pain. It affects as many as 69% of Americans in their day-to-day lives. Since there is really no effective medication for lower back pain treatment, many people give up on treatment altogether. Four out of ten people suffering from long-term lower back pain don’t even bother to see a doctor or a physical therapist.
Physical therapy improves patient outcomes
Many doctors urgent care clinics are adopting innovative and multi-disciplinary approaches to health care. This includes physical therapy to treat conditions like sports injuries, joint pain, muscle sprains, and carpal tunnel syndrome. They also treat workplace injuries and offer employment screenings.
Physical therapy services are seen to improve patient outcomes for most conditions. Evidence-based physical therapy services like manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and walk conditioning, as well as modalities to control pain and inflammation all improve health and healing. Patient education and empowerment are seen as important medical tools.
Urgent care clinics treat most medical conditions, including chronic pain. Physical therapy offers many benefits for patient health and is seen to improve outcomes. With their extended and weekend hours and convenient neighborhood locations, they are quickly becoming the one-stop for all medical needs.