Free pain treatments for Minnesota veterans

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Local military veterans have a new option for treating their pain. It is free alternative treatments through a Twin Cities chiropractic school.

The Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU) is teaming up with the VFW Uptown Post 246 in Minneapolis to provide treatments at no charge to veterans. The school sees the effort as a win-win for students and the veterans.

"You know the veterans go through a lot," said Dr. Jodie Skaufel, NWHSU Chiropractor faculty. "They come from their service duties. They have kind of come back beat up and there is so much more that we could do for them, in helping them recover, increasing their quality of life. A lot of them will have residual pain from whatever they have been through."

One of those veterans is U.S. Army Reservist Dominick Anspach, 29, of North Minneapolis. Anspach, who is the father of a 5-year-old daughter, was deployed in Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2012.

"Over the years, I've gotten a lot of lower back pains and that's probably my main concern," said Anspach. "Just comes from having a lot of gear on, walking around a lot… between the massage and the acupuncture and the chiropractic, it seems to relieve a lot of the pain."

Gerald Brickford, 45, of Minneapolis, was an aviation ordinance man on the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"A lot of times we would help EOD blow up unexploded ordinance and we just had a... we had some shrapnel," recalled Brickford. "So, I got whacked in the head with a piece of metal. Therapy and a little bit of medication helped with the depression, but this particular program really, it really helps."

Former U.S. Marine Chiropractor Dr. Jeff Novak treated Brickford on Friday with an adjustment.

"I have a connection with them because I am a vet, too," said Novak. "So, I just like hearing their stories."

The program of free chiropractic, massage and acupuncture treatments is the brainchild of Army veteran and NWHSU Admissions worker James McCloden. He had pain of his own to deal with.

"When I started here at the school two and a half years ago, what I was looking for was a form of treatment that would allow me to enjoy a better quality of life," said McCloden. "I had never tried chiropractic care before or acupuncture. So, when I started here, I had the opportunity to do so, and it helped me. I want to do the same thing for my fellow veterans."

McCloden and Anspach are also members of the James Ballentine Uptown VFW post. On Thursday, March 5, the post and NWHSU will hold a free "Feed 'em and Treat 'em" event at the post at 2916 Lyndale Avenue S. in Minneapolis. Veterans can contact McCloden at 952-885-5407 to attend. Dinner and treatments will be provided at no charge.


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