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Eight US Air Force Bases Add Chiropractic Services to Medical Facilities

The above headline appeared in the US Air Force Print News of November 15, 2002. What this means is that eight Air Force medical treatment facilities have added chiropractic care to their list of services. As time goes on more facilities will also offer chiropractic care to the military personnel who before this move have had to go off base for chiropractic care and pay for it themselves.

Chiropractic care became available to the Air Force in 1995, after the US Congress directed the Department of Defense to test the feasibility of providing that service at its facilities. The findings were so positive that they directly resulted in Congress making chiropractic a permanent benefit for active duty military members.

Director of the Air Force chiropractic program, Lt. Col. (Dr.) Robert Manaker, said, "A similar thing is happening across the Army and the Navy. This is a tri-service program." Manaker said. "Chiropractic helps by essentially realigning joints to their normal alignment", He continued, "A misalignment in your spine can cause the muscles around it to begin to have pain, to spasm or to cramp up. What chiropractors find is that if you realign those vertebrae, that can help decrease your pain."

Currently, the eight Air Force medical treatment facilities that offer chiropractic services to active duty members include facilities at Lackland AFB, Texas; Offutt AFB, Neb.; Travis AFB, Calif.; Scott AFB, Ill., Keesler AFB, Miss.; Andrews AFB, Md.; Langley AFB, Va.; and the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. The Air Force is working to increase the number of facilities offering the service, Manaker said. "We wanted to get this benefit out to the most active-duty members that we could," he said. "We are looking at places where there are multiple bases or where there are the greatest number of active-duty members, and putting chiropractors there first."