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How Veterans Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care


There are currently over 16 million military veterans in the U.S., many of whom experience musculoskeletal disorders, joint pain, headaches, and other health conditions resulting from their time in the service that can benefit from chiropractic treatment. For over 110 years, Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) has been educating future chiropractors who can help provide relief and care to veterans while also reducing their reliance on medications.

Deepak Moosad ‘10, DC, VA Long Beach Healthcare System, is an Air Force veteran who experienced the benefits of chiropractic firsthand, inspiring his journey to become a chiropractor himself and give back to other veterans. “After sustaining an injury during my time in the military, I found myself struggling to find relief from the persistent pain in my back. Despite seeking help from various medical providers, I couldn’t seem to find a solution that worked,” he recalls.

Dr. Deepak Mooasd

“It was at this point that I stumbled upon the world of chiropractic care. Intrigued and hopeful, I decided to give it a try. To my amazement, the chiropractor I visited was able to identify the root cause of my discomfort and develop a personalized treatment plan. Through a series of adjustments and therapeutic techniques, I started to minimize the chronic pain.”

Chiropractic Treatment for Veterans

Along with pain management, chiropractors commonly treat mobility, stress, and headaches experienced by veterans. “By utilizing spinal adjustments, therapeutic exercises, and other manual techniques, chiropractors can effectively alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall well-being,” Dr. Moosad says.

The Veterans Health Administration recognizes the benefits of chiropractic care for veterans, and since 2004 has offered chiropractic services as a part of its standard Medical Benefits Package. As a non-invasive and drug-free approach, chiropractic care reduces reliance on medications and the need for surgery. However, Annie R. Babikian ‘13, DC, DACBSP, Chief of the Chiropractic Section, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, notes that “there are many legacy patients that are on chronic opioids or have opioid use disorders, complicated by alcohol and substance abuse.” 

Thus, it is imperative for chiropractors treating veterans to be aware of mental health comorbidities and prescribed medications, particularly opioids. “Many complementary and alternative medicine providers use supplements as part of their management, and it is important to know and understand the medications that are prescribed to our veterans,” Dr. Babikian attests. 

Dr. Jeremy Yang

Jeremy Yang, ’22, DC, 2023-2024 Chiropractic Resident at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital, says he has seen some commonalities in the types of care he’s provided veterans but notes that even those can vary in such a large population. However, he observes that “a fairly common trend is to see veterans who have learned to push through the pain.”

But to Dr. Yang, the greatest benefit of chiropractic care goes beyond relieving pain. “What’s most rewarding is when veterans can finally participate in the activities that help them feel like themselves again; whilst teaching, reducing concerns, and creating self-sufficiency,” he says.

Educating Future Chiropractors at SCU

Chiropractors improve the lives of over 35 million people in the U.S. every year. To meet demand, the chiropractic profession is rapidly growing in the U.S., with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 9% growth in the employability of chiropractors over the next 10 years.

For students looking to pursue a career in chiropractic, SCU’s Doctor of Chiropractic program provides the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to excel as a chiropractor. As Dr. Moosad attests, “SCU led me down the path of becoming a chiropractor, where I could utilize my firsthand knowledge and experiences to provide relief and restore wellness to those in need.”

SCU’s curriculum is built around interprofessional collaboration, providing students with essential clinical chiropractic skills and vital new perspectives to advance their careers. In addition, SCU’s practitioner faculty bring timely experience to the classroom every day, supplementing their lectures with practical advice. This enables students to gain real-world insights from faculty who currently practice chiropractic care and are deeply connected to the field beyond a theoretical and academic perspective.

Students at SCU begin their clinical experience early at the on-campus University Health Center. There, students interact with other health professions and disciplines to learn how to co-manage patients in an integrated setting within an interdisciplinary team environment. After their first clinical term, students can expand their clinical experience to partner health centers, private practice rotations, and Veterans’ Health Administration hospitals. 

To learn more about how you can take your first step toward a career in chiropractic, visit scuhs.edu/.

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