Portsmouth NH Chiropractor has Solution to Veterans' Healthcare Crisis

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Department of Veterans affairs supports expanding healthcare benefits to wounded veterans but congress' report on Wednesday expresses reservations due to cost increases.

Most common quote we hear in our office: 'I wish I had known about chiropractic sooner.'


Chiropractic care may be a solution to recent cutbacks by government for wounded warriors. ABC news reported Wednesday September 4th the Department of Veteran Affairs supports expanding an enhanced caregivers benefit for grievously wounded veterans but only if Congress comes up with the billions needed to fund it. Alternative care has been shown to greatly decrease these costs and with a less invasive approach.

Brendan Poelaert returned from Iraq a wounded warrior.

As a Marine corporal, Poelaert was involved in combat and training missions alongside his dog, Flappa. While on his deployment, Poelaert and best friend Sgt. Adam Cann were among Marines recruiting Iraqi police officers when the horrors of war struck.

A suicide bomber strapped with 20 pounds of C4, a plastic explosive, detonated himself in the midst of the crowd and shooting a wave of ball bearings through the group. The bearings, as small as peas but traveling at hundreds of feet per second, tore through Poelaert's neck, thighs and arms, and into the chest of Flappa. Both survived and Poelaert was awarded a Purple Heart, but it was the beginning of the end of his military career. Cann and 40 others were killed in the explosion.

"Pretty much everyone was dead except me," Poelaert said quietly. "I don't know how the hell I'm not paralyzed."

The explosion left him with chronic migraines, bloody noses that would start in classes and last for long stretches of time, and a traumatic brain injury that affects his memory and ability to sleep. His back was further injured after hauling heavy rucksacks and equipment around the Iraqi desert. He returned to the United States a "banged up" man who found himself debilitated by the lingering effects of his injuries.

Enter Dr. Duke of Duke Family Chiropractic; speaker and advocate on healthcare reform. Poelaert called the chiropractor on the suggestion of a friend. Knowing he had been to doctors and neurologists already, Dr. Duke conceded that Poelaert's list of symptoms was daunting. His neck injuries in particular contributed directly to many of his symptoms.

What Dr. Duke and other chiropractors do, he explained, is to remove subluxation, or pressure on the nerves, that leads to a host of problems. Because the central nervous system is vital to the body's functions, Dr. Duke said, pressure can cause an array of problems including back pain or bloody noses much like Poelaert faced. He said good chiropractic work can relieve those symptoms.

With the help of regular chiropractic adjustments and exercises done at home, the bulk of Poelaert’s symptoms were gone. "It was life-changing," Poelaert said. "It's a miracle that I'm here today. Knowing what he's done for me, I'm forever in debt for this."

The practice has gained recognition in recent years, however, and a number of veterans are turning to it to relieve chronic pain. For his part, Dr. Duke said he hopes more veterans with problems like Poelaert's will seek the help of chiropractic, and will only utilize surgery and painkillers when absolutely necessary.

He said the Dover veteran's response to treatment isn't unique. "It's extremely repeatable."


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Duke Lovetere
since: 02/2013
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Duke Family Chiropractic
since: 02/2010
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