Most of us will experience lower back pain at some point in our lives. It might only last a few weeks, or it might last much longer – causing debilitating pain and making everyday tasks a battle.
The good news is, if you have private health insurance, there are many ways you might be able to use your cover to help manage the pain.
Here are some tips for managing lower back pain– and how Medibank might be able to help.
Visit your GP
Your first stop should always be your doctor. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and can provide you with a referral to the right health professionals and treatment program if necessary.
See a Physio
A Physiotherapist can provide treatment aimed to relieve the pain, as well as teaching you how to look after your back and prevent future episodes.
Depending on your level of health cover, and whether you have extras, your private health insurance might be able to help with costs associated with your treatment. By choosing a Members’ Choice provider you can also be assured of getting a fixed percentage back on the total bill for included services, up to your annual limit and subject to any waiting periods – this could be 55%, 60%, 70%, 85% or even 100% depending on your cover. You can find your nearest Members’ Choice provider here.’
Low-impact exercise can often help back pain, especially walking, swimming, Pilates and yoga—but check with your doctor or health professional first.
Check out Medibank’s Free + Active for fun social events to get your body moving. And if you are a Medibank member, you can visit our Member Offers for great deals such as discounted gym entry, 20% off discounts on fitness and sports products.
You could also try Clinical Pilates – a type of exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. These classes are taught by fully qualified physiotherapists who often provide individual treatment programs. If you have extras cover, your private health insurance might help cover the cost of these classes. Check your cover summary or give us a call if you’re unsure.
Consider a Chiropractor
Chiropractic treatment is focused on treating and preventing musculoskeletal problems throughout the body, using spinal manipulation – a form of manual therapy involving the joints of the spine. Studies have shown that spinal manipulation is one of several options—including exercise, massage, and physical therapy—that can provide mild-to-moderate relief from low-back pain. Talk to your GP before seeking treatment.
Again, your private health insurance might help with costs associated with your treatment, and by choosing a Members’ Choice provider you can also be assured of getting a fixed percentage back on the total bill.
Try remedial massage
Remedial massage aims to reduce or eliminate pain, and restore normal function of muscles and joints. It can help increase joint mobility and flexibility, stimulate the lymphatic system and promote blood flow, particularly to injured areas. Many of Medibank’s Extras products pays benefits towards remedial massage* but you must visit a recognised provider to claim benefits for remedial massage. You can search for Medibank Member’s Choice providers online, or check with a local or preferred provider that they have a current Medibank provider number. When considering remedial massage as an option, keep in mind that it is not a replacement for assessment and care by a doctor. And if you are using it as part of your treatment for an injury or condition, you should let your doctor know.
If you need to go to hospital
If you end up going to hospital for surgery or a procedure, make sure you’re fully informed before you go. Private health insurance is about giving you choice – when you’re treated as a private patient, you have choice of doctor, choice of hospital, and flexibility over timing.
Before you commit to a specialist or procedure, it’s always a good idea to call us on 132 331. We can help you understand what out-of-pocket costs you are likely to encounter, and what you can expect from your hospital stay.
Medibank’s LiveBetter is a valuable resource to prepare you for your hospital admission. You can look up what you might pay out-of-pocket and how health insurance could help manage the costs using our online interactive tool. And you can get lots of practical information and advice to help you prepare for, and recover from, your hospital stay in our going to hospital guide.
For more information, or to check that you have the best cover for your condition, talk to our team on 134 190 or chat to our friendly staff online 24/7 for advice and help with your health cover.
* Waiting periods and annual limits apply