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June 17, 2020
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Common Medical Treatments for Returning Soldiers

Author: Administrator
When soldiers leave for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are fit, emotionally healthy, and ready to serve their country. Upon return, they are faced with a number of health issues. Such health conditions include: loss of limbs, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, depression, and a risk of suicide. This has resulted in a new awareness about the need to implement effective treatments to help these brave men and women.

The following is a list of common health issues and treatments for returning soldiers:

1. Many soldiers are retuning with severe migraines that is resulting in functional impairment. These migraines are often the cause of head injury and post traumatic stress. Many soldiers experience head injury in combat and are likely to develop headaches. The pain can result in functional impairment. Treatments involve medical, emotional, and psychological support.

2. A number of soldiers are returning with substance abuse problems related to the effects of combat. These soldiers are receiving free substance abuse treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and their families have access, through Army One Source, to behavioral health support and up to six free counseling sessions that are not part of the official medical system.

3. There are soldiers returning with musculoskeletal injuries associated with combat injuries, poor sleeping conditions, training exercises and wearing heavy equipment. Chiropractic care is being offered to these soldiers.

4. Intense combat, the threat of roadside bombs, and multiple tours of duty has a tremendous psychological impact on soldiers. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions is a common affliction among returning soldiers. The veterans are eligible for two years of free health care related to their military service through the Department of Veterans Affairs. They receive medical and psychological treatment.

5. Many soldiers are returning with polytrauma conditions. Polytrauma is two or more injuries to physical regions or organ systems, one of which may be life threatening, resulting in physical, cognitive, psychological, or psychosocial impairments and the other functional disability. The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) selected four Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers (PRCs) to act as the principal VA receiving facilities for veterans and active duty military suffering from polytrauma. The goal is to provide inpatient rehabilitation treatment, ongoing medical-surgical care, and family support to soldiers with polytrauma.

6. Many soldiers return with a loss of a limb. A patient can receive a prosthetic limb. These limbs are now being fitted with microchips, and movement can be refined using Bluetooth technology. Patients have also been fitted with a 'bionic hand' with five motors providing a better grasp. Amputees often have more than one prosthetic limb. Rehabilitation and aftercare are a vital part of the work of the Defense Medical Services.

Medical teams involved with treating returning soldiers include nurses, fitness instructors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, cognitive therapists and social workers. Today's veterans are returning home and having a difficult time returning to civilian life. It is important that they have access to the best health care.

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