Richmond, VA (WRIC) – A chiropractic and wellness center is working to help U.S. veterans across the country by cutting the cost of care.
U.S. Army Veteran Lonnie White served for 20 years and decades after retiring as a helicopter pilot, he now battles with chronic back and neck pain.
“As a result of my military service, I have degenerative disc in my back and bone spurs,” White said. “I also have a pinched nerve in my neck and while I’ve had pain over a number of years, it was pain I could live with. But for the last three months, I’ve had just excruciating pain that pretty much incapacitated me.”
White is not alone in his suffering. Back pain is the leading cause of pain or illness in the military and often leads to loss of work time or future disability, according to a study by the Naval Health Research Center.
“I could do certain things, but I was in so much pain, it was very difficult to concentrate at work,” White said. “I couldn’t do any bending any stretching, even walking was very painful.”
Jason Hurst, U.S. veteran and clinic owner of the Joint Chiropractic in Midlothian, said the national franchise saw the need to provide care for thousands of veterans and their families and launched a Military Appreciation Program.
“When I was in the army, I messed up my back quite a bit and neck by carrying the huge heavy rucksacks and everything and hiking all over the place — a chiropractic always helped then,” Hurst said. “It’s really rewarding for me as a business owner to be able to give back to the military community as well and allow them to get treatment at such a good value.”
White, who had never tried chiropractic therapy before, said he found relief from his crushing pain after just one session with the program.
“It was amazing. While I wasn’t completely pain-free and it’s taken a few sessions to get me there, it was a game changer,” White said. “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain and I think it can help most people with shoulder neck and back pain.”
Last year a bill, sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran and introduced to the U.S. Senate, requires a program under the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide chiropractic care and services for veterans through medical centers. The bill still needs to be passed by the Senate, but the bill is asking for the care to be carried out by 75 medical centers by December 31, 2016.