In a previous blog post we had highlighted Retired Brigadier General Halstead, who rose through the ranks to become the first female graduate of West Point promoted to General Officer and the first woman in U.S. history to command combat at the strategic level in the Combat Theater of Iraq. Her military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal; the Defense Superior Service Medal; two awards of the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal; five awards of the Meritorious Service Medal; two awards of the Army Commendation Medal; and the Army Achievement Medal. She also earned the Air Assault Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge. And, for a good portion of this time, she has carried a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia—a set of symptoms that include widespread muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and other debilitating factors.
It wasn’t until she retired in 2008, when she was enlisted into the care of a chiropractor that she began to experience the full advantages of regular chiropractic care. Now that she is under regular chiropractic care, she says she’s off the more than dozen prescriptions she was taking and feels better than ever. She goes on to say that “If I had had more access to sustained chiropractic care [when I was in active duty], I would probably still be in the military.” Though she is no longer active duty, she is still a working hero for the public–championing the benefits of chiropractic care. And TRICARE agrees: TRICARE, the health program for military personnel and retirees, evaluated patients’ response to chiropractic care. The enormously high patient satisfaction rates astounded the TRICARE administrators, with scores that ranged from 94.3 percent in the Army. The Air Force tally was also high, with 12 of 19 bases scoring 100 percent; and the Navy also reported ratings in the 90 percent or higher. Even the TRICARE outpatient satisfaction surveys (TROSS) rated chiropractors at 88.54, which was 10 percent “higher than the overall satisfaction with all [health care] providers.”
Not too long ago TIME Magazine published an article on pain. In response, General Halstead wrote a letter to TIME magazine:
As a retired US Army Brigadier General, whose daily battle also included mitigating the impact of fibromyalgia, the chronic muscle and connective tissue disorder, I read in entirety your treatise on “Understanding Pain,” (TIME, 3.07.2011). After serving 25 years, including assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the draining physical and emotional stressors associated with military life intensified the aches and pains of fibromyalgia. I was forced into retirement.
While the article highlighted the need for preventive care, it failed to mention one of the most effective courses of treatment: chiropractic care.
Thankfully, I was able to access chiropractic care on a private basis and attribute my nearly pain-free recovery from fibromyalgia — and successful elimination of prescription medication reliance — to chiropractic services.
Now, my life occupies that of a different crusade: to enlighten others on the benefits of chiropractic care as a treatment option. Chiropractic is applicable to not only my fellow military personnel, but also the millions of Americans battling chronic pain.
Retired Brigadier General, Rebecca S. Halstead, speaks with authority as both a retired member of the U.S. Army and a patient of chiropractic when she states, “The Military is our best resource. They deserve the best health care; and chiropractic is the best care.”
American Chiropractic Association President Dr. Rick McMichael sums up chiopractic in the military best when he said “Our nation’s veterans and active-duty military, along with their family members, have sacrificed so much for our country. They deserve the best health care available, and that includes chiropractic care.” Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic of Augusta GA is humbled to treat the military servicemen and their families in the Augusta community, and we are just glad we can do our part in making sure they are getting the best care possible.
(Visit www.FibromyalgiaTreatmentAugusta.com for more information on drug-free, surgery-free treatments for fibromyalgia sufferers in the Augusta GA area).
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.