Dayton VA Medical Center, Ohio
Fact Sheet for Chiropractic Services
VA's chiropractic program exemplifies its forward-looking approach to healthcare. The program is a novel introduction of evidence-based, patient-centered care options that have been in high demand by Veterans and VA clinicians. Use of VA chiropractic services continues to grow at a rapid rate and is of particular impact in OEF/OIF/OND, women's health, pain management and older adult populations. VA's delivery of chiropractic care is the most comprehensive integration of these services into any major United States healthcare system.
In response to Veteran demand, Congress authorized VA to begin providing chiropractic services in 1999. Since late 2004, chiropractic services have been included as part of the standard Medical Benefits Package available to all enrolled Veterans. VA provides these services on-station or by fee-basis at all medical centers.
VA chiropractors (DCs) are physician-level providers similar to optometrists and podiatrists. They provide diagnosis and management of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions. VA DCs are integrated with primary care, rehabilitation, and other specialty teams.
VA chiropractic services are used by Veteran across the continuum of care, yet there is particular value in populations such as:
- Pain management
- Women's health
- Older adults
- Spinal cord injury/illness
VA DCs provide diagnosis and management consistent with both VA and external evidence-based guidelines. Treatment options include patient education, active rehabilitation, spinal manipulation and other manual therapies. VA DCs may also provide acupuncture or other novel therapies as non-pharmacologic options for Veteran care.
From fiscal years 2005 through 2011 the number of VA chiropractic clinics increased by 69% and the number of Veterans receiving care at these clinics increased more than fivefold. The number of Veterans receiving fee-basis chiropractic services during this time increased more than sixfold.
RESEARCH AND ACADEMICS
The VA chiropractic program is committed to research leading to improved function, health and quality of life for Veterans, and fostering educational opportunities for chiropractic and other medical trainees.