Lyster Clinic's 'got your back' at Fort Rucker
July 15, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A former CH-47 Chinook pilot recently returned to the home of Army Aviation, not to fly, but to help ease active-duty Soldiers' back, neck and hip pain, and improve their quality of life.
Dr. Jerry Jones arrived about five weeks ago as Lyster Army Health Clinic's first chiropractor. He said he treats about 40-50 Soldiers per day, adjusting patients' bodies to reduce chronic or acute pain.
The disabled veteran and former chief warrant officer two said he left the Army due to mechanical injuries, after which he attended chiropractic school. Until now, he's been practicing solely in the civilian world.
An Office of the Surgeon General mandate required LAHC to provide chiropractic services to active-duty servicemembers, according to Capt. Chris Remillard, Physical Therapy officer-in-charge.
When Jones saw the job opening here, he said it piqued his interest and he applied.
"I never thought I would be here. I've been in private practice since school," he said. "(Now), here I am. It's a perfect fit."
As a former Aviator, he knows the physical demands of flying. Sitting in a cockpit for extended periods of time takes a toll on pilots' spines, and is compounded by the aircraft's constant vibrations and movements.
Many of his patients are current or student pilots, and he especially enjoys working with these individuals.
"These are my people," Jones said. "The patient population is awesome and very receptive to chiropractics."
Jones uses a variety of techniques to ease and prevent servicemembers' pain, including soft tissue work, ice and heat and others. His patients often seek him out for head or muscle aches, pinched nerves, spinal misalignment, sprains and more.
Early detection and prevention is key, and especially important for servicemembers to keep themselves fit for duty, Jones added.
"Chiropractics isn't your typical doctor visit," he said. "We try to correct problems and not just mask (them) with treatments. It's one more tool we can use to keep our Soldiers going."
Remillard advises Soldiers to seek out chiropractic services before problems become too serious.
Establishing these services here has been a work in progress since last fall, according to Remillard.
Soldiers wishing to obtain chiropractic services must be referred by their primary care managers, Jones noted. Other Lyster beneficiaries, such as Family members and retirees, are not eligible for his services at this time.
Jones' office is located in LAHC, Rm. J-100, but will be moving to Rm. K-100 in a few weeks, said Martha Frausto, LAHC public affairs officer.