Military personnel and veterans typically perform rigorous physical activity with their service. Although the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration provide healthcare to members some types of health conditions seem to fall through the cracks. A recent research article details the value chiropractic care can provide for this unique patient population. This article will describe some health challenges that confront those in the Armed Forces and possible solutions.
We all have seen television airings of the duties of the women and men in the United States military. Each branch of our Armed Forces requires an initial physically strenuous boot camp and introductory period. We see our service people running through obstacle courses, carrying heavy backpacks while marching or running, and practicing and training for those missions for which they will be engaged. Once they are deployed to active duty strenuous and sometimes dangerous physical measures become a commonplace, every day requirement.
As a practicing chiropractor I have treated many active-duty and veteran men and women for conditions such as neck pain, lower back pain, sciatica and headaches. These patients commonly tell me that their complaints occurred, whether suddenly or cumulatively because of the physical demands of their profession. They note they initially met with the healthcare providers of the military and may have undergone some therapy or taken medications but that their problems persist. One of my patients who was an active duty Army Ranger suffering from significant neck pain and headaches told me that that he was advised to carry a family size container of aspirin to treat his problems.
The conditions for which they mostly see me are problems related to the spine. Injuries to the spine occur from every day activities and physical demands that are placed upon our folks in the military. These injuries are not serious or life-threatening such as fractures or dislocations but instead are slight misalignments and improper movement of the individual vertebrae or bones of the spine. These types of conditions cause irritation of the joints and nerves of the spine, pinched nerves and bulges and irritations of the spinal discs.
Chiropractic care has been shown for 122 years to be effective in helping all types of people with non-life-threatening injuries and conditions of the spine.
A research study published October 2017 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics describes a scientific study noting help for female veterans of the United States military service. Seventy female veterans with a chief complaint of lower back pain received chiropractic treatment. The results showed a marked improvement of the patients back pain.
Although there is some chiropractic care within the military it is limited. Tricare, the insurance plan for military personnel and their families, does not include coverage for chiropractic therapy. There are no chiropractors commissioned in the military as are dentists, medical doctors, physical therapists, etc. Not all armed services bases or Veterans Administration facilities have chiropractic doctors available. Most people of the military who obtain chiropractic services do so with a private practice doctor of chiropractic at their own expense. Knowing this, many chiropractors provide free or discounted services for this deserving group of people.
In time, there will surely be more institutional chiropractic care available to military folks. Until then, personnel of the active military and veterans should know and be aware that the chiropractic profession stands ready to help these unique people with an effective, non-surgical, drug-free alternative type of treatment and care for their injuries and conditions.
Many of us have experienced neck pain of some sort or another, and hardly anyone is unfamiliar with the feeling of a stiff neck after waking up from a long nap in an uncomfortable position. However, this kind of neck pain can actually be a serious problem, and it is important that you take steps to ensure any recurring neck ache or discomfort is taken care of quickly.
The neck is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, and the average human head can weigh as much as 12 pounds. People who have strong neck muscles tend to suffer less from neck pain or a neck ache, but almost everyone will experience a stiff neck at some point in their lives. You need to catch your neck pain before it gets worse, as you can end up seriously hindered by a chronic neck pain if you don’t care of your neck.
If your car was out of alignment, would you wait to get it fixed? Answer: No. The same principle holds true with the body and spine. If it is misaligned, or is not moving properly, wouldn’t you want to get it corrected before it became a major problem? Chiropractors excel at treating and improving our body’s posture, alignment and movement.
Chiropractors are experts are dealing with a sore or stiff neck, and you can be sure that a chiropractor is the best person to help you alleviate any pain you feel in your neck. Chiropractors are trained in manipulating bones and joints to relieve pain, restore proper function, and help get rid of any problems in the spine or neck.
When you see a chiropractor for mild neck pain it is similar to going to an eye doctor when you’re having mild vision problems. Just as the eye doctor can give you glasses or alter the prescription of your present classes to help you see better your chiropractic treatment can provide help to lessen and alleviate your neck pain. Not only can you feel better after visiting a chiropractor, but your chiropractor can give you tips and ideas so your neck pain will not worsen or develop into a serious problem.
Many things can cause neck ache, including:
- A slipped disk
- Sore or overly tense shoulder and neck muscles
- A strain placed on your head or neck
It is vital that you take the steps to correct any neck pain that you may experience, as a neck ache can easily develop into something more serious.
Here are two tips to help you get rid of neck pain:
- Make sure to improve your posture if your neck is hurting. Make sure to stand or sit up straight, and keep your shoulders back. Having poor posture is the quickest way to ensure back and neck pain, so have correct posture to avoid aches and pains in your neck.
- Don’t sleep in positions that are uncomfortable for your neck, or allow your neck to remain in uncomfortable positions. Talking on the phone can be a cause of a stiff neck, especially if you hold the phone with your ear and shoulder. Make sure that your pillows are not pushing your neck into an awkward position, and get thinner pillows if you feel that your neck is painful after you sleep.
I’d like to tell you about an aspect of chiropractic care you might not know about.
When I first started in practice I treated a patient named Donna. Donna had a desk job and found monthly adjustments kept her free from neck and lower back pain. She became pregnant with her second child and we continued to give her regular treatments. After having the baby I asked her how the delivery went. She said: “I wish I had known about chiropractic adjustments when I had my first child.” She related that her second pregnancy had been much easier and the delivery was more comfortable and took less time than her first child. She noted during her first pregnancy she had not had the chiropractic care and, while there were no complications, it hadn’t been easy.
Over the years I’ve seen many similar results. Pregnant women who receive chiropractic care have more comfortable pregnancies and easier, faster delivery times. Chiropractic research verifies these facts.
I have attended chiropractic postgraduate classes focused on treating pregnant women utilizing the Webster Technique. The Webster Technique is a method that chiropractors use to keep the pelvis and lower spine of pregnant women in good alignment. This method is a safe, gentle, drug-free way of assisting women during pregnancy.
If you are women who is pregnant or know someone who is please consider what I’ve mentioned here. If I can help a pregnant woman I’ll let her know. If I can’t I’ll tell her that also.
Chiropractic care for pregnant women may make a world of difference!
I was getting migraines almost once a week. Almost every morning I would wake up with my neck hurting, and I believe that it was triggering my migraines. I had tried everything! Medications, diet changes, vitamins, yoga, etc. Some were temporary fixes, but nothing was working. It was very frustrating. When I met with Dr. Schofield, I explained to him what was going on with my neck. He took some time to talk with me about my migraines before giving me an adjustment. After that first visit I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I walked out of the office feeling so different. I didn’t realize what the misalignment in my neck was doing to my body. Dr. Schofield also gave me some exercises to do at home that focused on my neck. I went to get adjusted two times a week for a few weeks. Now, by choice, I go every three weeks to keep my spine in alignment. After two years of on-and-off neck pain and weekly migraines, I have never felt better! I feel more confident making plans with friends and family now. I don’t have to worry about if I need to call off work anymore. I have a much better quality of life. People don’t understand migraine headaches and how truly debilitating they are. I feel more balanced now and I can enjoy my life again without pain.
While At first glance the dental profession may not seem physically demanding, surprisingly many in the dentistry field experience physical discomfort. In fact, a recent research journal study reveals a large majority of those employed in this vocation experience ongoing pain. The purpose of this article is to explain what conditions specifically affect those in dentistry and what can be done to help alleviate their maladies.
The March 2017 Journal of Back in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation published a research study in which an analysis of a health questionnaire was completed by dentists, dental assistants and dental technicians. The findings revealed that neck pain is a common complaint. While nearly 76% of the dentists, almost 91% of the dental assistants, and 40% of the dental technicians experienced neck discomfort, only 40% of those surveyed had sought care for their neck symptoms. The authors of the analysis conclude, “Considering the fact that the said discomforts affect performing both professional and every day activities, its prevention is necessary in order to avoid the consequences they carry.”
When one realizes what a dentist, an assistant or a hygienist has to do each day of work it becomes apparent why they are susceptible to injury. First, they are sitting somewhat hunched over their patient, possibly in a twisted posture for long periods all day. They are also holding their upper extremities in the same position for prolonged periods of time. This places a great strain on the neck and upper back as well as the lower back.
Recently, while at a social function, I met a female dentist who had to quit practicing her profession when she was in her early 50s because of excruciating neck and upper back pain. She told me she would have loved to continue practicing but the prolonged hours of sitting and caring for her patients while performing her duties was more than she could physically bear.
Being in the chiropractic profession myself, I treat a number of folks- both dentists and dental hygienists- for the care of their neck, mid and lower back pain. Once we alleviate their discomfort and they can perform their professional duties comfortably many come back periodically for preventative maintenance care.
Chiropractors are considered to be the “go to” specialists for common conditions of the spine. A chiropractor will have an initial evaluation with the patient and discuss the symptoms they are having. It is also helpful to know if activities of daily living of the patient are hindered. The doctor of chiropractic will also perform a physical examination to determine what is causing the pain. Many times x-rays of the spine are helpful to pinpoint the source of the problem and to rule out more serious pathology. Since chiropractors are trained to help realign and restore proper movement of the spine by giving a safe, gentle manipulation or adjustment to areas that have pinched or irritated nerves they are ideally positioned to help professionals of dentistry.
What was your condition? For years, I had chronic pain in a very specific place under my left shoulder blade. It seemed that nothing could help. I tried massage, stretching, yoga, but nothing worked. I couldn’t find relief, and since I had a slight curvature of the spine from birth, I figured it was just a part of getting “creaky” and older!
How were you referred to chiropractic? I never considered going the chiropractic route because I was skeptical of it. But a little under a year ago, during a time when I was feeling particularly acute pain in my shoulder blade, a couple of close friends told me about Dr. Schofield. I voiced my reticence, but my friends swore by him and urged me to go. I figured at that point (I was in a lot of pain), what do I have to lose?
In your words, what did the chiropractor do? Dr. Schofield is thorough, explains your treatment clearly, and educates you with exercises you can do to be proactive about your own unique healing process.
How has chiropractic helped your hobbies and interests? I am a singer, and the adjustments have helped my alignment-which in turn has helped me be able to support my sound more efficiently. And after a concert performance, I don’t have the awful pain I used to have in my shoulder from holding my music for a couple of hours.
How has chiropractic helped other aspects of your life? Within a month of seeing Dr. Schofield, I felt consistent ease and release in my shoulder and neck that I hadn’t felt in a long time. As a result, I had more range of motion in my neck and head movement. I could rest my head both ways on my pillow at night instead of only to the right! My treatment has also helped me to be more aware of my own body structure. I am using more of my “self” (literally) when I move through space.
Words of encouragement to others? I am so happy I found Dr. Schofield and gave the chiropractic approach a try. Chiropractic is a non-invasive holistic approach because you’re working with your body’s natural ability to heal itself. (It’s a preventative way to avoid surgery for some.) You have absolutely nothing to lose-or be afraid of-and everything to gain by giving chiropractic treatment a try! Thank you, Dr. Schofield!
- National Chiropractic Educational Conference
On February 11, 2017 Doctor Schofield attended a chiropractic conference in Orlando Florida. Chiropractors from various areas of the United States participated. Many topics were covered including treatment of lower back pain, neck pain, sciatica, herniated discs, headaches and treatment of injuries from automobile accidents. Specific emphasis was given to methods of giving patients the fastest possible relief of pain and returning to normal activities.
- Schofield Attends Pain Management Methods Seminar
On August 19, 2017 Dr. Schofield attended a conference, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, to learn current pain management methods. Topics covered which natural treatments work. In 33 years of practice Dr. Schofield has always searched and used innovative ways to alleviate and control the pain his patients are experiencing. Chronic pain conditions like lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, hip pain and shoulder pain are traditionally not helped by medications. Especially concerning is the increasing use of opioid medications for these types of problems. Fortunately, Dr. Schofield learns and continues to use natural treatment techniques for chronic pain in his Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office.
- Schofield Receives Additional MRI Training
Many of Dr. Schofield’s patients who have neck pain, lower back pain, sciatica and herniated discs may require an MRI or have already had an MRI. By analyzing the MRI Dr Schofield is better able to diagnose his patient’s condition and render effective treatment. Solutions for neck and lower back pain, herniated discs and sciatica offered by a chiropractor are both safe and natural. Many of these types of conditions are successfully treated without the use of drugs or surgery. Research studies show that chiropractic care has been helpful in improving 90 percent of lower back disc herniation and sciatic leg pain conditions. Dr. Schofield attended postgraduate training on June 3, 2017 in Tampa Florida.
- Protecting Patient Confidential Health Information and Insurance Accuracy
Dr. Schofield attended a continuing education conference on February 4, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Guidelines for protecting patient’s confidential health information and submission of accurate insurance data was comprehensively covered. In our world of cyber activity it is important that private health information is kept secure. Doctor Schofield goes to every degree possible to follow this directive. Additionally, there are many government mandated regulations regarding the documentation and submission of information to insurance companies. This conference reviewed the most recent, up-to-date protocols.
- Schofield Receives Ongoing Training
On June 4th 2017 Dr. Schofield attended ongoing training in proper observance of insurance, Medicare and HIPAA privacy protocols. The training took place in Tampa Florida. The government has been directing doctors to maintain practices of awareness in this ever-changing sphere.