After serving the country, military servicemen and women can face their own battles at home. While the impact of combat injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder are well-known, chronic pain and back injuries are not widely discussed.
Why Are Veterans Experiencing More Pain?
Back, neck, and joint pain are all too common among veterans, and the changes in modern warfare could be contributing to musculoskeletal issues and chronic pain.
Military personnel now carry more equipment and heavier protective gear. Additionally, veterans are now going on more tours, which leads to more time carrying gear that weighs 55 pounds on average.
Some common back injuries among servicemen and women include:
- Lumbosacral pain
- Intervertebral disc syndrome
- Misaligned vertebrae
- Chronic low back pain
- Bulging or herniated disc
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
According to a study analyzing disability cases among women in the military, lumbosacral strain and intervertebral disc syndrome were the most common causes of disability claims for back issues.
Another study completed by Johns Hopkins University revealed that the top reasons for medication evacuation from Iraq and Afghanistan were musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders. According to the researchers, more than 34,000 military personnel were evacuated from the areas between 2004 and 2007. Of those evacuated, 24% has musculoskeletal or connective tissue disorders, while 14% had combat injuries.
Chiropractic Care for Veterans
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, chronic back pain is prevalent among 40% of veterans over the age of 65. Committed to providing veterans with quality care, the VA completed a study on the use of chiropractic therapy to treat chronic back pain.
The study included a group of 136 veterans 65 years of age or older who never received chiropractic care. Participants were split into different groups with 69 receiving spinal manipulative therapy. The remaining participants were given placebo treatments, meaning they thought they were being given ultrasound therapy but the treatment machine was not transmitting any sound waves.
At the end of the 12-week study, those receiving spinal manipulative therapy showed significant improvement in disability. These patients showed improved physical symptoms and a reduction in pain.
About 22 million people visit a chiropractor annually, 35% of which are seeking relief from back pain.
If you are a veteran or current military member, contact ChiroCare of Florida to schedule an appointment and find out how a chiropractor can help you with your medical condition or injuries.