New Research on Military Veterans and Disability

Research News Staff
New Research on Military Veterans and Disability

Chiropractic Alleviates Suffering in Disabled Veteran  

Recent research reporting on a 56 year old military veteran who was completely disabled due to back problems reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for people with these conditions. The research, reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research includes a review of the literature on chiropractic and the care of military veterans.

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“Research is revealing that structural shifts of the spine such as disc herniations secondary to vertebral subluxation can be improved following chiropractic care” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy continued “This case adds to the body of scientific literature suggesting that chiropractic should play an important role in managing people with structural spinal distortions.” 

Abnormal spinal alignment and posture are associated with poor general health, physical function, emotional function, social function, and low back pain. Normal spinal alignment and movement provides shock absorption and leverage, which protect the spinal cord and nerves from the forces of gravity and other daily traumas one may encounter. 

McCoy stated “Abnormal spinal alignment and posture also increase stress and strain to the nerve and blood supply of the spinal cord. This can seriously affect the nervous system.” It is a rare phenomenon for resolution of these abnormalities in the absence of intervention. However, there is literature that supports the effectiveness of chiropractic to restore a healthy spinal alignment and motion according to the research, thereby lowering the risk of degeneration and poor health. 

The military veteran reported on in this study was a 56 year old man who was completely disabled according to Veterans Affairs. He presented to a chiropractic clinic suffering from multiple disc herniations and degeneration in his low back. He needed a cane or walker in order to ambulate. He also had a number of other problems including ringing in his ear. He could not sit longer than 10 minutes and couldn't bear to travel long distances in a car. Over the counter and prescription medications did not help him with his pain. He additionally had high blood pressure.  

He was examined at the chiropractic clinic where they found structural shifts in his neck, mid and lower back. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.  

He was seen for 22 chiropractic adjustments over a 6 month period and is now able to walk without a cane or walker one to three miles per day, can touch his toes, sit for several hours and ride in cars for as long as 7 hours. The ringing in the ears resolved. He has resumed things like yard work and he has taken on a part time job.   

The study’s authors called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population of patients. 

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research

McCoy Press