Treatment Offered to Troops Chiropractic Care Part of Test Program

Article excerpt

It's weird enough looking in the first place.

The patient stretched out on a bizarre, jointed table straight

out of a Frankenstein movie. The doctor grabbing the patient's

neck and twisting it with a quick snapping motion.

To the uninformed, chiropractic treatment is indeed an odd

sight. But what makes this scene even stranger is that it

happened at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.

Until about 1 1/2 years ago, you would never have seen such a

thing at a military hospital. But since August 1995, the Defense

Department has been experimenting with offering chiropractic

treatment to its troops.

The Navy hospital at Jacksonville Naval Air Station is one of

10 military medical centers nationwide offering limited

chiropractic care as part of a 3-year test program.

"The ultimate question is can we, should we, make chiropractic

treatment part of the military health care system. It never has

been," said Capt. Wally Campbell, an officer who has worked

closely with the program.

To help answer that question, the outcomes experienced by

patients who receive chiropractic care will be compared to those

who undergo traditional treatment at several bases, including

Fort Stewart, Ga.

If the number of patients being treated is any measure of

success, the program would appear on solid footing.

Though only treating spinal conditions for now, the two

chiropractors at the Jacksonville hospital said as many patients

as they are seeing, even more want in.

"It's something they couldn't obtain before. Now that we're

here, we're being utilized greatly," said chiropractor Donald L.

Baldwin, who has been practicing for 38 years.

In the Navy, there are plenty of opportunities to wrench a

back.

Sailors lift heavy loads in the cramped, awkward confines of a

ship, scramble up and down ladders and walk on pitching decks. …