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."