Military service is stressful on the body. Whether you're going between combat operations and lots of downtime, dealing with cramped mechanical work for 12 hour shifts, or sitting at a monitoring console with the worst chair available to the US government, there are chronic pain and posture problems that are known to affect military service members. If you're looking for relief, cures, or long-term care for back pain that just won't quit, here are a few ways that a chiropractor and your veteran status can be used to your benefit.
Veterans Affairs Compensation, Medication, And Referrals
Veterans Affairs (VA) disability exists as a compensation system to give veterans some assistance for what they may have lost due to military service. Unlike social safety nets such as Social Security, VA disability isn't designed to get you off the system or regulate your income; you get the money that the VA thinks you deserve, and your income doesn't change that payment amount.
Many conditions are covered under VA compensation as long as you can prove some sort of service connection. A service-connected disability has proof that your condition was caused by military service, meaning that you have some kind of proof that the VA can agree upon. This can be with your military medical record, a service record entry showing an event that could have caused your pain, or other official documents that are dated back during your military service.
Not all veterans have documentation proving that their condition exists, even if they've complained about the issue before. A medical professional is necessary to prove the existence of a problem, especially if the VA doesn't agree with your condition's severity.
Successful VA claims will receive the monetary compensation, free medication relevant to the condition, and free medical care related to the condition, including the veteran's choice of care providers.
Getting The Proof And Additional Care You Need
The VA has a few issues with wait times and appointment scheduling at some locations. This can be a problem both in getting a timely VA claim or appeal approved, as well as trusting that your care isn't rushed to get the next veteran in.
A second opinion is absolutely necessary when dealing with VA medical decisions for your claim. If the answer is no, it could be because of a hasty decision or a lack of clarity with the evidence. There could be an obvious mistake in the decision, but you would have to wait for a new appointment to get your issue looked at again. Instead, take your second opinion to a back pain specialist outside of the VA.
Non-VA chiropractors can help by examining your pain symptoms, providing different scans and analysis of both the VA's evidence and their new evidence, and working with you to craft claim evidence that is more likely to get a thumbs up from VA medical professionals.
It could be as simple as getting a chiropractor who has time to circle certain symptoms and problem areas that claims officials may be too busy to find at first glance. On the other hand, your issue may be so complex that you need a professional who can dedicate their full attention as soon as you're available, not just months later when the VA hospital has an available appointment spot.
Contact a back pain specialist and explain your VA situation to get the evidence you need, and use your new care provider as a referral once your VA claim is approved for continued quality care.