Members of the military put their bodies through tremendous stress every day, both physical and emotional. Add to that injuries that gamut from minor to serious trauma and you have a strong case for chronic pain. Often, this pain affects our veterans and soldiers on a daily basis, interfering with their normal activities and impacting their ability to perform their regular daily tasks. All too often, doctors will dismiss the pain as “something you just have to live with” and write prescriptions for narcotics that impair and incapacitate the patient. There are better ways to manage a good bit of the chronic pain that members of the military live with each day. We’ll explore one way, mainly chiropractic, in today’s article.
Chronic pain and members of the military
The regular demands of being a soldier, coupled with the stress that is prevalent, particularly among active duty military personnel, can create a perfect storm of sorts for chronic pain. When they are advised to tough it out or arrive at that option on their own, they usually do not get the medical attention they need. This can lead to exacerbation of the issue, compelling the soldier to seek treatment only when the pain is severe, or the condition is serious.
Single event trauma is all too common in this arena and plays a large part in the pain they experience, as does surgeries to correct injuries or trauma. However, the cumulative stress can have a detrimental effect on not just the condition and the pain, but the patient’s perception of the pain. In other words, it can cause them to experience the pain more acutely and have greater difficulty in managing it.
These issues are a part of the military and they aren’t likely to change. A chiropractor can help military personnel manage their pain, prevent injury, and regain flexibility and range of motion. It can be the solution that makes all the difference.
Using alternative treatments to combat an epidemic
Right now in the United States, opioid abuse has become an epidemic, yet doctors can rarely find viable alternatives that don’t have the dangerous and uncomfortable side effects – and that are not addictive. In truth, painkiller use is a growing problem with veterans and active military alike, mainly due to issues with substance abuse.
While their medications do relieve pain, the cost is just too great in many cases. Many people who take these pain pills report that they would live from pill to pill, their lives revolving around their next dose. That is why chiropractic is such an attractive option.
Chiropractic and PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common condition among active military and veterans. Studies have found that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is very effective in treating PTSD.
Matter of fact, chiropractic care has received very high marks in this area. Typically, it involves combining chiropractic with some conventional approaches in an effort to bring relief to the patient.
Through specific spinal manipulations called vestibular rehabilitation treatment (VRT), the body is brought back into balance. This technique has been proven very effective among individuals who have brain injuries that are combat related. In one study, patients who received VRT for two weeks reported a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms, including depression and anxiety.
Chiropractic care for chronic pain
Chiropractic care is a highly effective way to manage chronic pain and help speed healing from injuries. It is safe, non-invasive, and does not require any medication.
The chiropractor will use specific spinal adjustments and other techniques to bring the body back into alignment. A balanced body heals faster and experiences less pain.
The patient may also receive recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and dietary advice from their chiropractor which can help speed up the results and bring them to a place of less pain or no pain much faster.