A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 2851, would improve the quality of America’s public health service by authorizing the appointment of chiropractic physicians into the United States official delivery and research networks.
The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), aims to include no fewer than six chiropractors in both the USPHS Regular Corps and the Ready Reserve Corps. Currently, the USPHS includes more than 6,000 public health professionals coming from a variety of backgrounds, including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, and more, but no chiropractors have so far been appointed to serve.
In a press release from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), President Anthony Hamm, DC, FACO, said that ACA’s top priority has always been to provide nation-wide access to chiropractic services, and “enacting this legislation will be another important milestone in the mission to fully integrate chiropractic care into the nation’s health care delivery system.”
Dr. Hamm believes the integration of trained and licensed chiropractors in the USPHS will increase access to specialized chiropractic care and will not add new costs to the federal budget. “Chiropractic physicians already serve our nation’s active-duty military and veterans with distinction. H.R. 3851 will allow DCs to join forces with other health care providers in the fight against disease, poor health conditions and other threats during both non-emergency and emergency periods for our country,” said Dr. Hamm.
Officers in the Commissioned Corps are involved in delivering health care to underserved or vulnerable populations, promoting public health control and prevention, as well as overseeing the advancement of public health science all across the nation.
Why Is Nation-Wide Access to Chiropractic Care Important?
A growing body of research demonstrates that chiropractic services provided by licensed physicians can serve patients with a variety of conditions through a natural, whole-body, and cost-effective approach. The health conditions chiropractic care can help with include:
- Acute and chronic neck and back pain. In conjunction with standard medical care, chiropractic therapies offer a significant advantage to patients living with pain or functional disability when compared with only standard care. Manual therapy for neck pain and chronic low-back pain has been shown to lead to faster recovery and fewer costs compared to physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
- Migraines and tension headaches. For the 45 million Americans (or 16.54% of the population) complaining of headache disorders every year, spinal manipulation (chiropractors’ primary form of care) can lower the frequency and intensity of pain due to headaches. A comprehensive treatment plan that includes massage therapy, exercise, and lifestyle changes can further help relieve pain and decrease the number of headaches.
- Many people over 50 years of age suffer from some form of joint degeneration, and chiropractic care can minimize damage and slow the pace of the condition through specialized treatments, including ultrasound therapy, trigger-point therapy, and rehabilitative exercises and stretches.
- Weight problems. While chiropractic alone will not induce weight loss, it can encourage the shedding of pounds by restoring the body to a state of comfort. Different therapies address organ function, metabolism, and digestion, while nutritional counseling and guidance offered at certain chiropractic clinics can educate overweight patients how to eat and exercise correctly.
- Decreased quality of sleep. Lack of sleep hurts the human body in a variety of ways, leading to impaired cognition and memory function, heart disease, diabetes, premature aging, depression, and increased risk of death. Chiropractors can not only treat muscle aches and chronic pain that are preventing you from getting enough sleep, but will also recommend lifestyle changes (such as switching to a new pillow or sleeping in another position) to help you get the rest you need.
- Posture problems. Incorrect posture is the primary cause of many body aches and conditions, including digestive disorders, respiratory problems, and head and jaw pains. Chiropractors’ job is to correct faulty body mechanics and restore your muscular and skeletal balance in order to provide minimum stress on the body.
- And many others.
Having a qualified chiropractor by your side besides your medical doctor will give you the opportunity to identify and reverse the effects of not just spinal injuries, but many other serious health conditions. Chiropractors can be instrumental in detecting musculoskeletal disorders and preventing additional injury, providing you with the necessary tools and education to increase the quality of your life. Contact your local clinic to find out more about how chiropractors can help you achieve total body wellness without the negative effects of drug therapy.
About the Author
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.