Military service can be rough. Now that you are newly a civilian, think about how long you've been in a culture of working hard, sucking up hardship, and pushing through pain because it's what needs to be done. You don't have to be severely injured or mentally affected to need a bit of help, and if you've been noticing bizarre pains with no real source, you likely have some leftover problems from military service that need checking. Before dismissing the problem and popping pain medication, consider a few ways that The Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) and chiropractors can help.
Military Injuries? In WHOSE Body?
Think back about military culture—the early wake-ups, the long hours, and the motivation needed to keep going. You may have had a bad back, a limp, or some pain here and there, but as a part of a war-fighting force, you couldn't just call "time out." You knew that natural disasters, technological breakthrough opportunities, and enemy forces wait for no one.
If you continue ignoring the pain long enough, you may end up with some painkillers or a trip to medical, but once you've had time to recover, it's back to work. This isn't sustainable—and truth be told, the military doesn't really want its people working at a dangerous pace forever. Your body can wear down quickly with torn ligaments, shin splints, spinal injuries, and a list of other general wear and tear problems.
After becoming a civilian, the pace slows down. Even if you're ready to keep going, the culture that pushes you to go isn't there to keep up the momentum. The aches, pains, and difficulties with moving around aren't coming out of nowhere and may not be caused by your current activities; you may have a disability case that the VA is able and willing to help you with.
VA Service-Connected Injuries and Chiropractic Assistance
An injury related to military service is called a service-connected injury. It covers any injury that happened during your military contract, whether it was in combat, out of combat, in an industrial area, or in a communications station. Even if you're enjoying free time in a foreign country or taking leave at home, injuries and conditions caused during your service time can be covered by VA compensation.
One big aspect of the VA system is the disability system. This isn't your typical disability like Social Security; up to a certain percentage (typically under 60%, but this page from the VA website lists other scenarios), you can work while on disability. It isn't merely an assistance program, but compensation for the sacrifice you made for your country.
Monetary compensation is part of the disability program, but you don't need to send all of the funds into fixing your condition. The VA can refer you to a chiropractor that can help with your aches, pains, and any mobility issues.
With a chiropractor's help, you can begin physical therapy and a training process that can bring your body back to it's hard-charging conditioning. Think of it as a tune-up for your body, with most or all expenses covered by the VA.
If you haven't filed a disability claim with the VA, visit a chiropractor first, such as one from Reinecke Chiropractor. The VA claim system requires evidence of past injury with current conditions in order to approve your disability rating, and a chiropractor can give the VA an in-depth analysis of your condition if you explain your situation.