Serving in the military can be exhilarating and dangerous, boring and tedious, intriguing and enlightening, and so many other things at the same time. The experience takes a toll on the body, whether you're a roug- riding combat veteran, a hardened tech with grit from military machines, or rotting away in a remote duty station in the worst chair ever conceived by the Department of Defense. No matter your experience or the cause, pain can ruin your transition to a civilian life. Avoid at least some of the disgruntled veteran experience by assessing, treating, and even getting paid for your pain before it becomes too much to handle.
Lingering Pain From Less-Than-Obvious Places
Being shot, getting clamped or shocked by a machine, or falling down stairs are obvious causes of pain and are easier to claim for compensation from Veterans Affairs (VA) disability officials. Sometimes, pain comes from simple sources such as wear and tear, or complex issues like chemical exposure. If you want compensation, you'll need the right documentation and medical support.
Documentation is hard to get if your pain can't be proven. Wear and tear is an understandable cause of pain, but there needs to be medical proof showing the damage that causes the pain. You unfortunately can't just cite wear and tear; a scan of some sort needs to show muscle damage, pinched/damage nerves, or something that can be pointed at as a cause.
The VA can (and sometimes will) deny veterans if they can't produce irrefutable proof. Although the VA provides examinations via a process called compensation and pension (C&P) examination, you shouldn't leave your future compensation and pain relief chances in the hands of that one opinion. Get a second, third, and maybe more opinions—preferably from someone outside of the VA.
Pain Specialists Can Examine Deeper
Although every facility is different, most VA facilities are treating a large number of veterans for different issues. Your appointment is usually much more restricted because of the number of veterans who need to be supported just as much as you, and this means that there may not be as much time to focus on you as an individual who needs deeper examination.
Your examination may happen at a deeper level eventually, but considering wait time problems at many facilities, it could take weeks or months to get the help you need—time that you could be in pain and unable to perform as well as you'd like at your civilian job, school, or life in general. To get around this problem, a non-VA medical professional can assess your pain on a more personal schedule.
Many veterans use just VA facilities because of the costs, but you can have non-VA care reimbursed if it leads to a successful VA claim or appeal (as covered in this PDF document from the VA). If you want to play it safe, you can even speak to a local VA hospital's patient advocate to get non-VA assistance approval. This means that your medical professional of choice will get paid by the VA, and you will still get the care you need.
To get your military-related pain examined, treated, and compensated, speak with a neck and back pain specialist at a location like Beltline Chiropractic to begin pinning down the problem and drafting evidence to support your claim.