As more and more soldiers return home from active duty tours overseas, the need for medical and holistic treatments within the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) department has risen dramatically. The push for chiropractic access to soldiers, both at home and abroad has made its way to the United States Congress, where new legislation is being introduced to further integrate chiropractic care in both military and VA health care systems. The benefits of chiropractic are widespread, and can help soldiers with not just physical injuries, but emotional ones as well.
Chiropractic care has long been used to help treat soldiers for back and neck injuries through spinal manipulation. Adjustments can help realign misplaced vertebrae, which can cause many different problems. These adjustments boost immunity, increase blood flow, and can help with range of motion. If needed, the chiropractor may also recommend light stretches and exercises. Physical therapy may also be integrated into the recovery plan.
Unfortunately for returning soldiers, the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is extremely common. This mental health problem can cause many negative symptoms, including flashbacks, anxiety, night terrors, and depression. In many cases, the disorder is swept under the rug, as some soldiers do not want to ask for help for a non-physical illness. The fact is that many sufferers of PTSD do not seek the proper help before the problem escalates. Luckily, chiropractic care has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms associated with this serious and very common disorder.
Once again, adjustments will be made at points throughout the spine where misalignments are seen. The goal of these manipulations will be to increase blood flow and to activate pleasure receptors in the brain. As the muscles relax, tension is reduced which can aid in stress relief. Studies conducted on the efficacy of chiropractic care on people suffering from PTSD and other mental health issues has been promising, with many patients finding more relief from adjustments than powerful prescription medications. This is important due to the high prevalence of substance abuse among veterans.
All of the success chiropractic care has had inspired several members of Congress to introduce bills that would integrate chiropractic care across the board throughout the military and VA. “The Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act” would ensure that all VA medical facilities would have chiropractors on site, as well as codifying the treatments as a standard benefit for vets. The legislation is exciting for the millions of American veterans that are seeking relief from so many different issues related to their service. Allowing them to have access to every possible effective treatment will honor their service and respect their delicate needs.
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