FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- The fourth floor of the Gen. Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital is home to what some would consider a medical marvel, and yet, many do not know of its presence.

"We are one of the best-kept secrets on post," said Dr. Aaron Stoltz, referring to GLWACH's chiropractic clinic.

Stoltz, a chiropractor, treats patients in the clinic after their Primary Care Manager refers them. The clinic's clientele is limited to active-duty military, permanent party members only.

"A chiropractor is a health care physician that deals with neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the body," Stoltz said. "I deal with the nerve, muscle and bone systems in the body and their relation to each other. The nervous system controls everything: the brain, spinal cord and all of the peripheral nerves go to all the parts of the body, then feed information back to the brain. As long as that feedback loop is continuous without any interference, we have normal function and activity in the body. Anytime the flow of information is interrupted, we will have symptoms. Responding to a symptom from a mechanical injury is best addressed with a mechanical adjustment by a licensed chiropractor."

He said pain is the body's warning system and it isn't to be ignored.

"It can be covered up with a drug, but that won't fix the problem," Stoltz said. "We reduce the irritation to the nerve, so the muscle can relax and the swelling will decrease. Then pain, pressure and stiffness tends to back off."

Sgt. 1st Class Marsha Marcano said she found relief after two weeks of adjustments.

"I was having pain in my knee and back for several years. A friend of mine told me about chiropractic care. It's been working," Marcano said.

Stoltz has been treating troops for more than eight years.

"We are seeing the same injuries day after day," Stoltz said. "Training is physical; it's mechanical in nature. The military is very physical in what it does and how troops train."

Stoltz believes proper form and technique are crucial to avoid injury.

"For instance, everybody runs -- but there is a proper technique to running," Stoltz said. "We see a lot of low back strain from running and impact injuries in the knees. We see preventable heal spurs and plantar fasciitis."

Stoltz said repetitive exercises over years could create repetitive injuries.

"We see preventable long term or chronic injuries every day," he said.

He said when it comes to injures, the sooner he can see his patients, the better, but be prepared to wait because sometimes it can take up to 90 days to get an appointment in his clinic.

"There is one chiropractor for 20,000 or more permanent party/active duty people here," Stoltz said.

Looking back, Marcano believes she would have benefited by asking her PCM for a chiropractic referral sooner.

"It's a lot better, and I don't need as much medication," Marcano said. "I wish I would have came sooner."

For more information, contact your Primary Care Manager, or call the chiropractic clinic at 573.596.0270.

Page last updated Wed February 22nd, 2012 at 14:24