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Legislation Would Provide More Chiropractors At VA Centers Nationwide

Armen Hareyan's picture

Chiropractic care

It's looking more promising for veterans to get proper chiropractic care for common ailments such as neck pain, low back pain and degenerative conditions.

A piece of legislation known as the "Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act" would require the Veterans Administration (VA) to have a chiropractor on staff at no fewer than 75 major VA medical centers before the end of 2009, and for all major VA medical centers to have a chiropractor on staff before the end of 2011. Doctors of Chiropractic currently serve at only 30 VA sites across the national.

Dr. Michael Arber of the Advanced Physical Medicine Center in Fairview, N.J., says proper chiropractic care is vital for veterans and all senior citizens because they can suffer from acute and chronic musculoskeletal ailments.

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"Seniors in particular need chiropractic care because their problems have developed over several years. Many are already taking medications for other ailments. If we can help them with their arthritic pains naturally without additional medications they will have less chance of adverse drug interactions," says Dr. Arber. He agrees adding more chiropractors in VA centers can only improve care for senior citizens.

"Putting more chiropractors into VA hospitals will give more seniors additional options for care," says Dr. Arber. "We have treated several hundred seniors in our office and the results have been phenomenal. We commonly hear 'You've helped me get my life back'."

In addition, the Advanced Physical Medicine Center has created a program where local medical practitioners, podiatrists and orthopedists will refer to the center as an additional source of helping their patients, many of them seniors.

The "Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act" was introduced in March by Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif. New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. D-N.J., also addressed a delegation regarding the bill at the American Chiropractic Association's annual National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC), held at Capitol Hill last month.