Former pilot eases Soldiers' pain through chiropractic care
January 17, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 17, 2013) -- With a few precise adjustments, Dr. Jerry Jones, chief of the Chiropractic Clinic at Lyster Army Health Clinic, can help Soldiers on their way to healing from injuries sustained through everyday work.
Jones, a former Chinook pilot, left the Army in 1994 after a lower back injury grounded him from flight. Determined to find a way to help injured Soldiers get back to work, he obtained his degree in chiropractic and started practicing in 1998.
"I'm a broken pilot, and I came back to fix other broken Soldiers," he said. "A lot of times, after Soldiers' doctors have tried other methods to heal a sprain or neck or back injury, they turn to chiropractic."
All active-duty Soldiers are eligible to receive care at the Chiropractic Clinic at Lyster as long as they obtain a referral from their primary care doctor.
"This is a great service offered to our Soldiers and they don't need to be going off post and paying a lot of money out of pocket," he said, adding the clinic has state-of-the-art equipment that rivals most chiropractic offices in the area.
Jones has never suggested that a Soldier be grounded from flight due to an injury, and the clinic staff is more than willing to accommodate Soldiers' schedules to keep their appointments consistent and not interfere with their work schedule.
"We have plenty of appointments available throughout the day to see Soldiers for adjustments and hydro and laser therapy," said Lori Rackley, a chiropractic technician and certified athletic trainer at the clinic. "We can usually get Soldiers in either the week they call or the very next week."
The clinic currently sees about 240 Soldiers a week. The first appointment a Soldier has will last about a half hour, and follow up appointments will last between five and 10 minutes, depending on the combination of treatments used.
"We have more than just adjustment tables here," Rackley said. "We offer hydrotherapy tables, which use water pressure to soothe sore or inflamed muscles and joints, and we also use electrical stimulation and cold laser therapy."
The biggest advice the clinic offers Soldiers is to ask for a referral as soon as they injure themselves.
"Waiting often irritates the problem more and makes for a longer recovery," Jones said, adding that using ice instead of heat on the injured area will start the healing process sooner.
The clinic is open weekdays from 7:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. For clinic questions, call 255-7709. To inquire about a referral, call 255-7000 and ask to make an appointment with your primary care doctor.