May 25, 2020 3 min read

Many veterans come back from their tours with pain of one kind or another. Some have a hard time adjusting back to civilian life, while others have to live on disability because of injuries sustained during their service.

36% of veterans struggle with back pain in the US. That figure doesn’t account for other types of pain that often plagues those who have served our country. 

This pain can be incredibly debilitating depending on the severity, location, and length of time it has been around. 

Reasons Vets Have Chronic Pain

55% of patients treated at the Veterans Health Administration are diagnosed with a musculoskeletal disorder. This usually involves pain in the bones, connective tissue, muscles, or nerves. 

Most types of chronic pain vets suffer from are the result of an injury that happened while in the military. Even if it seems like the original wound healed, over time they can come back. This happens mostly because of age and the body’s lagging ability to deal with issues that were once easy to address. 

Serving out in the field is also incredibly demanding on the body. Severe pain is 40% more likely to occur in vets than it is in those who haven’t served in recent wars.

What Types of Chronic Pain They Deal With

Back pain is incredibly common with vets. 40% of elderly veterans have chronic back pain. Being in the military requires you to constantly lift a large amount of weight as well as other physical movements that can be damaging to the back. 

Joint pain, specifically in the form of arthritis, can be incredibly painful. An estimated 25% of vets live with arthritis, which is the top cause of disability. It’s also one of the most common reasons that service members are discharged from the military in the first place.

Brain injuries can also impact vets and cause a large amount of chronic pain. Depending on what area of the brain is impacted, this can create a range of side effects, from constant headaches to full on paralysis. They can also have a huge impact on behavior and can make it difficult for vets to think straight or even focus well after the injury has occurred.

How It Affects Their Lives

Chronic pain often makes people feel depressed or hopeless. Many vets can also get angry or irritated because their body doesn’t work the way they remember. 

Many vets who deal with chronic pain also have to manage post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also lead to longstanding anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Alcohol dependency and misuse is also common with vets who have chronic pain, PTSD, or both. This can lead to them developing a complicated mess of issues that are difficult for the average clinician to treat.

Dealing with this constant pain often results in higher health costs, lost work opportunities, and disability. Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons that it’s difficult for vets to get work at all, let alone work that pays enough for them to meet their needs.

Many vets put themselves in harm’s way in order to protect the people and country they love. This can make it hard for them to get the treatment they need when they return home. Better education and more widely available health resources will make it possible for them to get back to their lives again.

Dr. TK, the founder of MindBody Matrix, has made it his personal mission to give back and help Veterans suffering in pain. As a thank you to our Veterans, he has enacted a Buy 1 Give 1 Free to a Veteran to help those who have served with not only their physical pain but also their emotional pain. 

Over the past two years, Dr. TK has worked with the Veteran's Alliance distributing cream to Veterans in the Santa Cruz, San Jose, Fresno, Oakland, and surrounding areas. 

A few words from veteran, Shawn from Santa Cruz: 

MindBody Matrix
MindBody Matrix


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