Photo of a veteran wearing military uniform.

Pain Resources for Veterans

Originally celebrated after the end of World War I as Armistice Day in 1919, Veterans’ Day is a day of recognition and remembrance to honor all veterans — those who sacrificed their lives during wartime, and all those who have previously served. 

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers honors these remarkable men and women with some resources that can provide support and relief. 

Interventional Pain Management

Interventional pain management is designed to relieve patients of their pain using research-based solutions that go beyond medication. Specialists in interventional pain management take a multidisciplinary approach to address patients’ pain. This collaborative process can be particularly important for veterans who may experience more physical pain than nonveterans, as well as effects from the complex relationship between chronic pain and chronic stress

Physical Therapy

“Physical therapy is a profoundly important practice in caring for veterans,” the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs asserts, because it provides an “alternative to surgery, prevents injury, increases mobility, reduces pain, and restores independence.” 

But the tie between veterans’ health and physical therapy has been strong from the beginning. The first school of physical therapy was established at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., following World War I. 

Since then, physical therapists have provided medical care for the U.S. military across multiple deployments, including active combat. A study in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Journal concludes that the versatility of physical therapy allows practitioners to accurately diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries wherever soldiers are located — reducing the need to evacuate them. Physical therapists can also often be mobile, allowing them to work with patients privately in their hometowns upon return.

Mental Health

Mental health for every individual is complicated, but especially for veterans. According to a 2014 article published by the American Public Health Association, veterans have “disproportionate rates of mental illness, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . . . depression, anxiety, and military sexual trauma.” 

These mental health complications can lead to high levels of substance abuse and homelessness in the veteran population, but also suicide, as a 2018 data report on national suicide by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs revealed.

In August of 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, S. 785. This legislation focuses on improving mental health care for veterans through several provisions, including improved access to innovative care (art and animal therapy, and increased telehealth access for rural veterans, for example). Improved diagnostic tools, transitional care, increased VA program oversight, and specific mental health needs for female veterans are also included.

Sources of Support

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides several resources, including the VA Aid and Attendance benefit, described by Military Benefits.info as “available to qualifying low-income veterans (or their spouses) who are in nursing homes or who need in-home care help with everyday tasks like dressing or bathing.” 

Depending on your location, you may find independent sources of assistance, such as Friends in Service of Heroes (F.I.S.H.), the Cohen Veterans Network, or Forces United. Make the Connection can also help you locate resources based on zip code. 

These national organizations also provide support to veterans and their families:

Alliance Spine and Pain Centers is grateful for our veterans, and for the opportunities we have to assist them. For state-of-the-art therapies to address a wide range of pain, schedule an appointment online or call (770) 929-9033.