Musculoskeletal Injuries in Combat Areas Prompts Congressional Response
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) today applauded a Senate proposal calling for greater utilization of the services provided by doctors of chiropractic within the Department of Defense (DoD). The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations recently filed a report to accompany fiscal year 2012 spending legislation for Pentagon operations which included language urging DoD to expand the use of services delivered by doctors of chiropractic to troops in combat settings.
The language, included in Senate Report 112-77, specifically urges DoD to address musculoskeletal injuries, prevalent in the forward combat areas, by “increasing the use of chiropractic care” and “to expand the utilization of alternative medical treatment options such as chiropractic health care services at military treatment facilities to help mitigate these injuries.”
“Too often soldiers are forced to turn to medications that may slow down their reaction time or make them drowsy. Having more chiropractors to keep our troops healthy and pain-free is a step in the right direction. I have seen many soldiers in practice (especially when I practiced in Hawaii, which is where Chairman Daniel Inouye who introduced the legislation is from) and I am always amazed at their dedication and desire to get back into full service,” said San Francisco Chiropractor and ACA member Dr. Andrew Cohen.
The report’s pro-chiropractic language was largely in response to various media reports, including one earlier this year that received nationwide attention, stating that musculoskeletal injuries are twice as prevalent as combat injuries among deployed troops, and that musculoskeletal injuries among deployed troops have increased tenfold in the last several years.
The services provided by doctors of chiropractic are available at 60 military treatment facilities worldwide. ACA and ACC are hopeful that the subcommittee’s support for the services provided by doctors of chiropractic will spur further expansion of chiropractic’s presence in both the DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).