If you're a veteran with back, neck, or joint pain, it could have been caused by military service. Whether it's a known workplace injury, combat injury, or simple wear and tear problem after years of wearing crappy boots in crappy situations, you're entitled to medical assistance (and possibly compensation money) if you can prove that the condition is connected to military service. Unfortunately, pain can be as hard to prove as it is to diagnose. As you search for pain relief, consider a few ways that a chiropractor and Veterans Affairs (VA) offices can help.
How Can Chiropractors Help With Pain?
Chiropractic medicine is centered around musculoskeletal system examination and treatment, often through manual correction and massage therapy. Modern chiropractic care is often tied to physical therapy, which sometimes creates confusion when trying to find a skilled and certified chiropractic professional.
If your pain is localized to a specific part of your back, neck, or joints, treatment becomes a simple issue of searching for damage, followed by a more complex search for connected issues. Not all bodily pain is as easy as treating the hurting area; nerve damage, for example, can cause pain or some sort of sensation to be felt in one part of the body, even if the damage is nowhere close to the painful area.
An example of translated or misplaced pain can be found in people who have had broken limbs in the past. Some people with broken arms can touch their shoulder, but feel the touch sensation in their forearm or the back of their hand. A sometimes undamaged situation called referred itch can also illustrate these issues, such as scratching a certain part of your arm and feeling it over your rib cage.
With a chiropractor's help, you can figure out if the damage is caused by a poorly translated pain response, which could mean looking for nerve damage or other issues in other parts of the body that may be connected in ways that aren't immediately obvious.
Bringing The VA Into Chiropractic Care
Can you pay for medical visits? Do you suspect that your pain problems started when you were in the military? You can get the VA to cover your chiropractic care if you can prove a service connection.
A service-connected condition is any condition that is related to military service. This means you can prove that you started hurting in specific area during military service, or that a specific event during your service could have caused the problem. This is most easily done with military medical record entries, or service record entries showing that you were involved in a dangerous and injuring situation.
You also need to prove that the problem is still happening. A chiropractor can help by showing their theory of why your pain exists, along with evidence such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans or computerized tomographic scans (CT).
With the evidence in place, you can file a VA disability claim or submit an appeal with new, material evidence. If successful, you can even add the chiropractor who helped you as a third party provider. This is especially helpful due to the long wait times at many VA medical centers.
Contact a chiropractor clinic, like Gerleman Chiropractic Office, and bring your military medical information to make your compensation argument stronger.