Chiropractic Service - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


Chiropractic Service

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractor with a patient Chiropractic is a healthcare profession with emphasis on disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which is a useful alternative to pharmacological and surgical treatments when appropriate.

How long has chiropractic been offered in VA?

Following congressional authorization in 1999, chiropractic care was first offered in VA in 2004 to all eligible Veterans either on-station or through community care at all medical centers. Since then, chiropractic services have continued to increase in VA facilities across the country with one study showing an increase from 27 to 65 on-station VA chiropractic clinics from fiscal year 2005 through 2015.

Where and how can I see a chiropractor in VAPAHCS?

Chiropractic care is currently provided at the Palo Alto hospital as well as the Monterey, San Jose, Modesto, and Stockton CBOC locations (view details). Other VA locations with chiropractic services can be found here. Similar to other specialty providers, patients can access chiropractic services within VA (or via the Choice Program) via referral from a VA primary care or specialty provider.

Is chiropractic care integrated with other VA providers?

Yes, VA chiropractors are integrated with primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, pain management, neurosurgery, spinal cord injury, adaptive sports medicine, and other specialty clinics and care teams. For example, for low back pain, VA chiropractors are able to provide diagnosis and management consistent with both VA and external evidence-based guidelines.

When should I see a chiropractor?

Have a discussion with your primary care provider or other specialist if you have any questions, as they will be able to help determine if chiropractic care could be right for you. VA doctors of chiropractic (DCs) provide diagnosis, management, and treatment of common musculoskeletal complaints such as back pain, neck pain, headaches and pain in other joints or parts of the body.

What are the typical treatment options I can expect with chiropractic care?

Chiropractic treatment options include patient education, active rehabilitation, flexion-distraction, spinal manipulative therapy, cryotherapy, electrical stimulation, soft tissue mobilization, acupuncture or other therapies as non-pharmacologic options for Veteran care.

What is the goal of chiropractic care?

Chiropractor with a patient Chiropractic care attempts to restore, improve and maintain function, activity, and health of the patient. This allows patients to become an active participant of their care plan with the whole health perspective of optimal function and quality of life. To accomplish these goals, VA chiropractors work with patients as a transitionary provider from passive to more active pain management strategies in addition to triaging and providing appropriate referral options to other providers or specialists.

Is there any research to support chiropractic care?

The VAPAHCS Chiropractic Department is involved and committed to the education of future chiropractors by accepting approximately 15 graduate level chiropractic student clerks annually for their clinical rotations. Additionally, our emphasis on research and evidence-based medicine is reflected in VA chiropractors’ participation in the research field as there are over 100 publications by VA chiropractors to date.

Contact Info


  • 3801 Miranda Ave
    Palo Alto, CA 94304

Contact Number(s)

  • 650-493-5000

Hours of Operation

  • M-F 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.