Serving in the military is a very physical occupation—soldiers are called upon to carry heavy loads and to perform other difficult physical activities. It is no surprise that many veterans have issues that may improve with proper chiropractic care.
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) has been authorized to offer chiropractic care since 2001 and has provided chiropractic services at specific locations since 2004. DCs employed by the VA work in concert with primary care doctors to help soldiers and veterans who have neuromusculoskeletal disorders, which are often treated with instrument adjustments.
Anthony Lisi, DC, Director of the Chiropractic Program for the VA, discussed the number and demographics of veterans seeking chiropractic care, along with some of the types of treatment they need most often, in a 2013 interview with Daniel Redwood, DC, of the Cleveland Chiropractic College.
In the interview, he said many of the patients DCs working for the VA see are Vietnamera veterans, but there are approximately 830,000 veterans in the country who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Among those veterans, Lisi said, the most commonly diagnosed conditions were musculoskeletal, and mechanical adjusting instruments are designed to treat musculoskeletal problems.
It is easy to see how important instrument adjusting could be for DCs working with veterans—either in private practice or through the VA. According to Lisi, at the time of the interview, as many as 57 percent of the Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were being diagnosed with musculoskeletal conditions. Those who are far from a VA facility or who prefer to get treatment from a private practice may well be seeing non-employed DCs, which means it is highly likely that many chiropractors across the nation have veterans among their patient populations.
There are often comorbidities to consider when treating veterans, as well. For example, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often has musculoskeletal symptoms.
Instrument adjusting is very precise and is often the most preferable treatment for patients suffering from more than one condition.