Many aspects of military life can lead to nagging, persistent, maybe even chronic pain. It can be hard to know when to ask a professional, but if you've been out of the military for months and you're still dealing with neck pains, back pain, joint pain, stiffness or mobility issues, it might be time to speak with a chiropractor and the Veterans' Affairs (VA) office. Take a look at how these two groups can help you recover from temporary issues or get the proper support for a chronic issue.
The Pain Could Be From Any Time During Service
It doesn't matter if you're a combat veteran, a field technician, a builder, cleaner or administrative office worker, the military is full of risks that can speed up the wear and tear to your body. From the boots on your feet leading to discomfort and poor support to the regular physical fitness tests, you can point to any part of your career as the cause.
The important part is understanding that the VA is there to help you with your problems. Although the VA does have wait time issues, they exist solely to help veterans, and funding isn't the issue. You're leaving valuable resources and even hard cash on the table if you simply suffer through it, which is a problem that many veterans with pain as the only issue suffer.
If it's ever crossed your mind that your problem isn't worth the VA's time, try adding up the cost of every pain pill, doctor's visit and other issues that you'll have to pay for because of something that happened in the military. Then consider the $10 billion in unused services from the VA. You're not taking another veteran's place; the wait may be long, but these are systemic issues that have nothing to do with you needing help.
How Does A Chiropractor Fit In?
Not all sources of pain can be easily detected by modern medicine, and when it comes to getting assistance from the VA, your problem might not be detected by a streamlined compensation and pension (C&P) examination. You'll need a professional outside of the system to help you, but if specialists aren't within your budget, the VA can help.
If you're not a disabled veteran, anyone with an other-than-dishonorable discharge qualifies for standard medical care under the VA. From there, you can ask for a first or second look at your issue and request a referral. It's up to local VA officials to decide if you'll get a free or co-pay referral, but there are many clinics and hospitals to ask. Once you're able to get an appointment, VA staff is generally helpful when it comes to getting veterans qualified for different services.
Keep in mind that it's free to file a disability claim. It's better to put in a claim and be denied rather than assume that you don't qualify, as there are percentage-based benefits that can at least cover your medication for you. It's not a handout; VA disability is compensation for your services in order to make sure that not just you, but your fellow veterans, are properly treated.
A chiropractor can help by performing a full examination of your pain and delivering an analysis of possible pain causes along with proof. The documentation from a professional can underline your issues better than the claim or appeal alone. Contact a chiropractor and discuss your situation to begin planning a path to recovery.
For a chiropractor, contact a doctor such as Dr. Jason B Kaster DC.