In both active combat troops and veterans, back pain is the most common injury US soldiers are likely to sustain. About 50% of them will experience moderate to severe back pain.
Military service is a sacrificial path to begin with, but back pain can last a lifetime and many veterans bear this consequence of their service every day. It’s also true that back pain is the most common reason troops are medivacked from the theater of war. This statistic was revealed by a study from John Hopkins University, using data from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Why back pain?
The soldiers most likely to suffer from back pain while on active due are those who conduct lengthy foot patrols. Outfitted with heavy packs and often, body armor, they’re also carrying serious weapons. These burdens represent a threat to the health of the spine.
A study by the military found that many of these soldiers could be helped by military authorities taking proactive, preventative action. It also found that those soldiers who were most prone to back pain featured lower fitness scores, particularly for core strength. Findings further revealed that male soldiers were more likely to suffer from back pain.
Chiropractors and prevention.
With all that said, it seems to me that US soldiers on active duty would benefit from the presence of chiropractors in the theater. Especially for personnel on foot patrols and carrying heavy loads while on duty, chiropractic support would benefit the military by supporting individual troops. And yet to date, chiropractors are funded only on military bases and through the Veterans’ Health Administration – but not in the theater of war.
Our troops are doing our nation a service, so it’s surprising there are so little discussion and data about the problem of back pain being the most common injury in US soldiers. Soldiers are a key human resource in the project of maintaining our national security.
They’re also prone to opioid abuse as veterans if back pain is left untreated, which can lead to addiction and premature death.
Half of the men and women who’ve served our country in the military suffer from back pain long after they’ve come home. A 2011 study examined health outcomes for almost 200 veterans who were treated by a chiropractor for low back pain.
The study showed that half the participants experienced significant relief with the help of chiropractic care. So, chiropractic is a key support for many veterans returning to our shores after serving this country. Beyond prevention, it’s a source of relief from back pain for so many of them.
Chiropractic care with Back & Body.
At Back & Body Medical, we believe our troops deserve the support of chiropractic care as a preventative therapy that’s able to spare them a lifetime of back pain. Healthy soldiers support this nation’s national security. It’s incumbent on the military to ensure that our troops are likewise fully supported with quality healthcare.
If you’re suffering from back pain, contact us.