After 27 years of service, decorated U.S. Army Brigadier General Becky Halstead (Retired), the first female West Point graduate in U.S. history to command at the strategic level in Iraq and Afghanistan, decided to retire after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia - a medically unexplained syndrome affecting the muscles and connective tissues. Currently, the disease affects as many as 12 million Americans and has been reported two times as prevalent in deployed veterans (Annals of Internal Medicine, June 7, 2005, Vol. 142 No.11).
“There I was in Iraq, responsible for over 20,000 military men and women, and I privately struggled to physically keep myself going.”
"Agonizing pain, debilitating fatigue, joint stiffness and sleep deprivation—you name it and I felt it," says Halstead. "There I was in Iraq, responsible for over 20,000 military men and women, and I privately struggled to physically keep myself going."
Initially, Halstead was prescribed every drug imaginable, though the pills only masked the pain and resulted in a spiral of reactions affecting her psychological and physical health. It wasn't until a close friend suggested chiropractic that she was able to find relief and return to a normal, nearly pain-free life. She discovered that the comprehensive treatment of chiropractic care improves joint motion, reducing and in some cases eliminating the pains and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia - such as fatigue, sleep deprivation and depression.
"Chiropractic treatment helped improve my whole outlook on dealing with this chronic ailment," she says. "The spinal adjustments along with the postural and nutritional advice I received helped to treat the fibromyalgia and allowed me to have many days with minimal pain -- and most days without any medications. The care of a doctor of chiropractic was life changing for me."
Today, Halstead is a spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (www.f4cp.com), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the benefits associated with chiropractic care. Brig. General Halstead has made it her personal mission to educate others suffering with fibromyalgia - and to consider consulting with doctor of chiropractic, as she did.
"Chiropractic care is a viable option that can positively impact overall wellness and health," she concludes.