Management of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans in a Veterans Health Administration chiropractic clinic: a case series

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010;47(1):1-6. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2009.07.0095.


Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans commonly seek care for musculoskeletal complaints in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. Chiropractic services for musculoskeletal conditions have recently been introduced to VHA. No reports have been published on chiropractic care for OIF/OEF veterans. This study was designed to describe elements of the processes and outcomes of care for OIF/OEF veterans in a VHA chiropractic clinic. A retrospective review of consecutive cases consulted to one VHA chiropractic clinic was conducted. Thirty-one cases were identified. Consultations originated in primary care and specialty clinics that commonly manage musculoskeletal conditions. Military traumatic injury and posttraumatic stress disorder were common. Adverse effects of treatment were mild and transitory. In 19 cases (61%), a pain decrease above the threshold for minimally important change was reported. This article is the first description of health services delivered to OIF/OEF veterans in a VHA chiropractic clinic. Chiropractic management was safe in these cases, and results support the hypothesis that such management may be effective in certain OIF/OIF veterans. A better understanding of the characteristics of these particular patients and the processes of care received in VHA chiropractic clinics is needed to improve the clinical care of these veterans.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghan Campaign 2001-*
  • Back Pain / complications
  • Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / complications
  • Neck Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / rehabilitation
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs*
  • Veterans*
  • Young Adult