Medicare Benefits for Back Pain

Back pain is a common complaint that many people have and a leading ailment that causes people to visit a doctor every year. According the Mayo Clinic, 80 percent of American will experience low back pain at least once in their lifetime. Back pain can range from a dull ache to sudden sharp pain that limits mobility. It can gradually become more of a problem over time or it can come on quickly if you suffer an injury.

There are many circumstances that can cause back pain. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases said that falling or sustaining an injury can lead to muscle or ligament strains. Disks in the spine can become bulged or ruptured. Arthritis and osteoarthritis can affect the spine and cause painful sensations and can irregularities in a skeleton like scoliosis.

A person’s age, physical activity level, lifestyle choices, weight, gender and other factors can determine if someone will suffer from back pain. Anyone can have this issue from children to seniors and all age groups in between.

People should see a doctor depending on how severe back pain is as well as other factors:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Pain that doesn’t improve with rest
  • Injury

If people are suffering from back pain, they should rest and avoid strenuous activities so as not to make it worse or aggravate it further.

Does Medicare provide benefits to help with back pain?
Medicare Part B covers chiropractic manipulations of the spine to correct subluxations (spine bones out of position). Chiropractic is a therapy that centers around doctors interacting with the spine and nervous system. It’s often an effective method of treating back pain as well as beck pain, joint pain and headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate pain and muscle tightness, improve flexibility and help tissues heal.

People with Medicare can have chiropractic adjustments covered if they have neuromusculoskeletal conditions, have subluxation of the spine or need manual manipulation to improve a condition.

If people have Medicare Part D, any medications prescribed by a doctor to treat pain or other symptoms of back pain could be covered. It will depend on which Part D plan they have, so they should check to find out what prescriptions are covered. If the medications are not covered under their current plan but are under a different one, a person can switch plans during the annual election period, open enrollment, from October 15 through December 7 annually.