Socioeconomic Status and Access to Chiropractic Care
While the United States faces a significantly high presence of chronic pain, specifically chronic lower back pain, there are so many individuals who lack access to the proper treatment that they need. There are barriers to proper medical care for so many different health problems, but when it comes to musculoskeletal problems and lower back pain, the need for proper care far outpaces the amount of healthcare resources that are available to the populations.
We have long known that socioeconomic status directly impacts an individual’s access to medical care, and his or her ability to secure the healthcare services they need. Health insurance has become a luxury, and while numerous healthcare providers require health insurance to make sure that costs are manageable, there is still a significant disparity between the proportion of the population that has health insurance and access to healthcare services, and the proportion of the population that experiences chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Many individuals who experience musculoskeletal problems do not even consider that alternative medicine, namely chiropractic care, can be an effective care pathway for their chronic pain. The traditional care pathway for chronic pain often involves surgery, pain medication, and invasive treatments that may not work for long periods of time.
Chiropractic care is one of the more transitive treatment interventions for chronic musculoskeletal pain, but many who have a socioeconomic status that prohibits them from consistent access to medical care are not even aware of how chiropractic care can help them. Many chiropractic clinics throughout the country make a considerable effort to ensure a degree of community involvement, helping individuals get the care that they need regardless of socioeconomic status.
There are countless community initiatives for health and wellness throughout the country, and chiropractic care clinics play a role in many of these health and wellness promotion initiatives. Until we are doing something about chronic pain and musculoskeletal health for vulnerable populations with low socioeconomic status, we can expect a continuation of the high prevalence of musculoskeletal problems for quite some time.
Luckily, more governent healthcare programs are covering chiropractic treatments. In addition, several chiropractors offer a sliding-fee scale or payment plans in order to make sure that everyone who needs care gets it. There's nothing more important than health, and chiropractic access is vital to ensure it.