Chiropractic services at Branch Health Clinic Naval Base Coronado, Branch Health Clinic Naval Base San Diego, and Branch Medical Clinic Miramar have been helping patients with their muscle and joint pain for seven years.
The chiropractic services at the Branch Health Clinics started in 2003, and treat approximately 300 patients per week, generating about 55 to 60 appointments per day at the three health clinics in the San Diego area, with one chiropractor per clinic.
All active duty service members are eligible for chiropractic care. Patients may receive referrals from their primary care doctor for the chiropractor. The chiropractic services fall under the physical therapy department. Patients are primarily seen by the chiropractor for back and neck pain.
“Many muscle and joint imbalances are due to a prior injury resulting in stiffness in joints or muscles,” said Cmdr. Michael D. Rosenthal, Department Head of Physical and Occupational Therapy at Naval Medical Center San Diego. “Our bodies do a very good job of compensating for those things so unless someone really works hard to get back to their pre-injury condition, patients will often times develop muscle or joint imbalance with tightness, weakness and/or stiffness.”
The chiropractor first reviews the patient’s medical history, then assesses the patient to discern the cause of the pain, and may refer the patient to radiology for X-rays if needed. Once the problem is identified, the chiropractor will manipulate the areas of pain to adjust the joints and muscles. The chiropractor will give the patient stabilizing exercises to do at home with the goal of teaching the patients how to maintain a pain-free lifestyle. The chiropractor treats patients in the hope of avoiding surgery if at all possible.