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Veterans Deserve Access to Chiropractic Care

Original post made by Jo English, DC, Menlo Park, on Jul 15, 2014

The challenges facing the VA system, both nationally and right here in our own backyard, are many. Last week, Reps. Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, along with Palo Alto VA Director Lisa Freeman, heard directly from local residents on an array of related topics.
Improving the system will take years of effort, but some problems are easier to solve than others. For example: access to chiropractic care for veterans.
Research from the Department of Veterans Affairs indicates that musculoskeletal and back pain is the most prevalent physical condition that afflicts returning veterans. Additionally, most veterans want non-pharmaceutical, and non-surgical options to treat their condition.
Access to chiropractic care at the VA should not be an issue. In 1999, Congress required implementation of chiropractic care in the VA system. However, 15 years later, only one-third of VA hospitals offer this care, and there are no Bay Area VA hospital or outpatient clinic locations that offer this service.
Currently, the Palo Alto VA facility outsources its chiropractic care. Additionally, the website for the Palo Alto VA makes no mention of this mandated service.
This is unacceptable and a disservice to those who have served our country. Veterans do not want costly surgery or addictive pain medications to be their only options to treat their physical conditions. Fortunately, there is a solution in Congress right now that gives our nation’s vets access to chiropractic care. HR 921 and S 422 are companion bills that would mandate implementing chiropractic care in all VA facilities by 2016.
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million Veterans each year.
Our veterans deserve the best possible care they can get. Supporting HR 921 and S 422 is the least we can do to provide them with that care.

Comments (3)

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Posted by Unfortunate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

The medical community is rather closed-minded when it comes to alternative therapies, but especially so when it comes to chiropractic. There are still some insurance companies that will not pay for chiropractic, or acupuncture, or therapeutic massage.

However, in both France and Canada, the national health care system pays for these treatments in full. Yet, my closest friend, who has Kaiser, must pay out-of-pocket for them, even though they provide the ONLY non-narcotic relief for her back and joint pain. Kaiser would be perfectly okay with paying for narcotics, which are highly addictive--which is why she does not want to even start taking them ( to say nothing of the impairments they cause).

Having veterans in our extended family, some as young as 27, I know that a large percentage who have seen active duty have some form of chronic pain--and that the VA pushes OxyContin heavily, among other narcotic pain relievers. Considering the problems that long-term use of these drugs causes, such as liver damage, excessive sedation, addiction. I would think it would be healthier and more productive to at least try the non-traditional remedies FIRST. Surgery and drugs should be the last resort, NOT the first!

This country, the VA, and the insurance industry do NOT put patient health first, and we are in the minority in this. It is sickening that our country allows this to happen to anyone, but those people who have put their lives on the line deserve far better than what they get from the VA.

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Posted by Concerned resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 16, 2014 at 11:25 am

I can't believe in a city with a flagship VA hospital, that they haven't been able to find a way yet to integrate chiropractic services for the benefit of the veterans they serve. When ever chiropractic has been brought into a VA facility the services are used and appreciated. Let's try to make this happen here in Palo Alto, the veterans deserve this as an option to drugs and surgery for back pain.

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Posted by martin jason
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 5, 2014 at 2:37 am

Chiropractic therapy is capable of curing the uncertain pain that is caused due to the access work or there are some other causes of the pain such as Accidents,Prolonged setting during the working hours etc.It is necessary to be aware of the practices to avoid such pain.For more information,please visit Web Link

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