Dealing with Pain After Serving in the Military?

6 January 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Lots of careers come with aches and pains that aren't well understood until later in life. The military has a lot of risks that can be front-loaded early in life, but even if you make it through your service without major, obvious scars, the aches and pains of military life can take its toll once you hit the middle-aged part of life. If you haven't dealt with Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics and hospitals much or haven't put much stock into a VA disability claim, here are a few things that could either take the edge off your pain issues or manage them completely with the help of a chiropractor.

The VA Isn't Just for Disability Care

Veterans Affairs offices have changed a lot since even the Gulf War era, and they continue to change. Following several scandals in the later parts of the Afghanistan and Iraq terrorism conflict, the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act was signed in 2014 to provide extended benefits to all veterans.

Under the new act, VA clinics and hospitals are just like general-practice clinics and hospitals for veterans with other-than-dishonorable discharge status. Even veterans with dishonorable status can get consultation as well as administrative assistance if they wish to appeal a wrongful dishonorable discharge.

If you're in pain, you don't need to pretend to be looking for disability just to get care in the process. A general visit and consultation can get you basic physical therapy and pain medication, which can give you some relief without taking your money. And just in case it costs a lot of gas money to travel to the VA, there's travel reimbursement that pays a general rate for fuel and food.

All of these can mean a much-needed breather and relief for veterans paying for their own pain meds and looking for a way to get better. Once you stabilize, or if you have much more dire pain concerns, it's time to tie the VA disability system to a non-VA chiropractor.

Disability Claim Success with a Chiropractor's Help

One problem with the above plan is that it doesn't work well for severe pain that needs immediate care. If you're lucky, the VA will provide a referral to an emergency room outside of the VA or to a specialist without requiring disability status. Don't count on it.

Instead, you'll need to do what some veterans did before the Veteran's Access to Care Act: file a claim. When you file a claim for a disability, the VA brings you into a compensation and pension (C&P) examination, which doubles as medical care as long as you bring up all of your ailments. The VA can schedule you for appointments, but what you want is additional evidence.

You'll want as much evidence as possible for a successful claim, so visit a chiropractor and explain your situation. A non-VA chiropractor can prepare their observations and give you all the documentation you need to justify your VA disability claim.

The VA doesn't have chiropractors on staff. Instead, referral chiropractors are used to provide physical therapy and examinations. If you're approved for even the lowest rating of disability, you can simply use your referral requests to visit your non-VA chiropractor on a regular basis. You don't have to pay, and the chiropractor is compensated directly from the VA.

Contact a chiropractor such as one from Gerleman Chiropractic Office to discuss pain management, disability-claim documentation, and other ways to make your civilian life easier with less pain.