One of the largest groups to utilize alternative therapies is veterans. A recent mail survey evaluated selected alternative medicine use among 264 veterans. The survey included questions on demographics, health beliefs, medical problems and use of six common alternative therapies (chiropractic, herbs, dietary supplements, massage therapy, acupuncture and homeopathy).
Seventy-two patients (27.3%) reported alternative therapy use within the past 12 months. One-fourth of patients (26%) used chiropractic care to alleviate their pain. Back pain was the most frequently reported medical problem (62.5%). While most veterans (76.9%) had used prescription pills to treat their medical problems, 67% of veterans who had not used alternative therapies reported that they would use it if offered by the Veterans Administration (VA).
Currently, chiropractic care is provided at a number of VA hospitals across the country but many other VA facilities and veterans are still out there. If you are a veteran, talk to your local VA about providing chiropractic care and other alternative treatments. You can also contact your state legislator(s) and ask them to support House Resolution 5202, which mandates chiropractic at every VA medical center by the year 2010. To learn more about H.R.5202, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/13/05.html.
McEachrane-Gross FP, Liebschutz JM, Berlowitz D. Use of selected complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments in veterans with cancer or chronic pain: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, October 2006;6;6:34.