We have a long, proud tradition of military service here in Texas. In our time serving the Houston area, we’ve met veterans who’ve returned home with back, shoulder, and neck pain. The VA began covering chiropractic care over twenty years ago, and they’ve continued to expand coverage and access.

 Today it’s often recommended that veterans seek chiropractic care soon after an injury because it helps them avoid more invasive (and expensive) treatment. While the VA does provide chiropractors at some of their clinics, they also cover visits to community clinics. You have access to low-cost, quality chiropractic care as a service member, and there are many reasons to use your benefits. 

Here are five ways chiropractic care can improve the lives of service members.

1. Avoid Addictive Medications

Opioids and muscle relaxers don’t heal back pain; they just cover up the symptoms. Muscle relaxers are approved for short-term use only. Both types of drugs are addictive and can have other serious side effects. Unfortunatley, some of these side effects may make it impossible for service members to preform their duties.

 Of course, remaining in pain isn’t an option either. That’s where chiropractic care comes in. Spinal adjustment is the mainstay of chiropractic treatment and can relieve pain from several common injuries and conditions. Our clinic offers additional treatments like spinal decompression therapy, injections, and physiotherapy. 

All of these treatments are safer and more effective than medications. Depending on your condition, you may need only one type of treatment or more than one. Chiropractic care focuses on reducing inflammation and pain, building strength and flexibility, and assisting the body’s healing process, so you feel better faster. 

2. Relieve Chronic Pain

Studies show that active service members suffer from chronic musculoskeletal pain at a higher rate than their fellow Americans. There’s a common misconception that old injuries and chronic pain don’t respond to non-invasive treatments, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Research into the effectiveness of chiropractic care for chronic back pain proves that most patients can significantly reduce pain. The results are different for everyone, depending on the underlying cause of your pain. Typically chronic pain patients experience at least a 30% reduction in symptoms. Many patients can resume daily activities that they’d given up because of their pain.

When you see your chiropractor for chronic pain, they will perform a physical exam and needed diagnostics (like x-rays). They will then design a treatment plan specifically for your needs. You will likely need frequent treatment for several weeks and then taper down to less frequent visits. Many chronic pain patients benefit from monthly visits after they’ve achieved their initial goals. This helps to keep their progress over time and can prevent re-injury. Chiropractic care not only assists with low back pain it also relieves chronic neck pain, sciatica, and frequent migraines.  

3. Help with Stress and Tension

Chronic stress during and after service can affect both mental and physical health. We often think of chiropractors as “bone doctors,” but they actually work with the nervous system. Your spinal cord– the highway of your nervous system, runs through your spine. Nerves branch out between vertebrae to other body systems. When a vertebrae or disc moves out of alignment, these nerves cannot function optimally. Aligning the spine frees the nervous system to cope with stress better. 

Stress causes muscle tension, and chronic muscle tension can lead to pain and injury. Regular adjustments relieve tension and fix spinal subluxations caused by tense, tight muscles. Many chiropractic patients report feeling less stressed when they get adjusted regularly. Some also notice a positive difference in their anxiety and depression symptoms. 

The nervous system affects every other part of the body. By freeing impaired nerves in the spine, chiropractic care can benefit your physical and mental wellbeing. 

4. Heal Acute Injuries Faster

Muscle strains and herniated or bulging discs are common acute injuries that may cause severe pain and disability. They can be caused by traumatic incidents or by simple everyday movements that go wrong (like lifting improperly).

 Spinal adjustment and spinal decompression therapy are both effective at treating these injuries. Your chiropractor will use these treatments to move bulging or herniated discs back into place, relieve pressure on nerves, and encourage blood flow to the injured area. 

Chiropractic care treats the damage and helps the body heal instead of just masking symptoms. With proper treatment, most people experiencing an acute injury can heal completely and be free from pain. 

5. Prevent Injury and Improve Physical Performance

Professional sports teams keep chiropractors on contract because they’ve found that chiropractic care helps their athletes perform better, recover faster, and experience fewer injuries. These benefits occur because of chiropractic care’s positive effect on the nervous system. Spinal adjustment improves reflexes, flexibility, and range of motion. Better coordination and a healthier musculoskeletal system benefits anyone who pushes their body to the limits. 

Even if your MOS involves sitting in a chair most of the day, you can still reap these benefits. Sitting is hard on the whole body, including the back. It’s even worse if you find yourself hunching over projects or computers. In addition to fixing the damage caused by these postures, your chiropractor can help you improve your posture to prevent future injury. 

Chiropractic care is affordable, holistic healthcare that helps your body be the best it can be.

Chiropractic Care for Service Members in Houston

At Vanguard Spine & Sport, we pride ourselves on being a one-stop, comprehensive clinic for all your musculoskeletal needs. Our chiropractors work alongside nurse practitioners and physiotherapists to provide a variety of treatments to our patients. We can help you experience less pain and a better quality of life, even if you’ve been living with chronic pain. Schedule a consultation today to get a personalized treatment plan.