"The important thing is to not stop asking questions."
What Can I Expect On My First Visit (Initial Exam)?
Your first visit is the time when your chiropractor will get to know you and what you are looking for with regards to your health. A thorough history will be taken to ensure that no information is overlooked, followed by a chiropractic, neurological and orthopaedic exam. Depending on the issues presenting, you chiropractor may also use kinesiology to assist in sourcing the root cause of the problem. You may be referred for X-rays if indicated. Following this exam, if you agree to the suggestions for treatment, you will receive your first adjustment (unless it is necessary to wait until your X-rays have been viewed). All treatment is tailored to your specific needs, and you are encouraged to voice any concerns or specific styles of treatment that you prefer so that your needs can be accommodated. This first visit will take 30 minutes.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe?
According to the words of the New Zealand Government's Inquiry, chiropractic care is "remarkably safe". Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. (1)
In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs. (2)
Is Chiropractic care appropriate for children?
Since significant trauma can occur at birth, many parents choose to have their newborns checked for any cranial or spinal health related problems. Later, injuries and accidents that occur when learning to walk, riding a bicycle, and other childhood activities can result in cranial or spinal health related problems.
Naturally, Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to a child’s fragility, particularly babies. There is no "cracking" adjustment involved in caring for any child under the age of 12.
For how long will I need Chiropractic care?
Spinal problems, neglected since early childhood, may require ongoing maintenance care for optimum spinal function. These long-standing problems are often associated with muscle weakness, soft tissue damage, and degenerative changes to the spine.
Most patients find that periodic Chiropractic checkups help keep them in tip-top shape. Those who are active, have stressful jobs, or want to be their very best, find that a schedule of preventative visits are helpful in the maintenance of good health. Prevention is better than a cure.
Some patients seek Chiropractic care only when their ache or pain becomes unbearable. While this style of "crisis management" is usually more costly and time consuming (due to time off work from injury, and the frequency of visits often required to correct the problem), our chiropractor is happy to help you in any capacity that you require.
How long you decide to benefit from Chiropractic care is always up to you.
Will my Private Health Fund cover me?
Yes, all major Australian health funds cover Chiropractic if you have the relevant extras cover. It is important to check your level of cover to determine your rebate. We are able to process your claims on the spot at our clinic through our HICAPS system.
Will Medicare or DVA cover me?
Medicare and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) will cover some, but not all patients for Chiropractic. If you have a chronic health condition that your GP recognises may be helped with Chiropractic care then you may be entitled to cover through the Chronic Disease Management Program or DVA (for veterans). You will require a referral from your GP and will be entitled to a maximum of five visits per year across all allied health professionals under the Chronic Disease Management program, and varying cover for DVA depending on what card you hold. Gold Card DVA holders are entitled to full cover for all chiropractic care.
Am I too old for Chiropractic care?
Increasing numbers of people are consulting Chiropractic doctors, especially in their later years. With growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs, Chiropractic care is growing in popularity.
The adjusting technique used by your Chiropractic doctor will be modified for maximum comfort, safety and results.
Do Chiropractic adjustments hurt?
In most cases, not at all. In fact most people find having an adjustment very relaxing.
With some adjustments you may sometimes feel or hear a popping sound from the spinal joints. This is simply caused by a release of gas from the joint as spinal movement is restored. Our Chiropractor sometimes uses a gentle hand held instrument to adjust the spine if the patient is uncomfortable receiving other methods of adjustment. Pelvic blocks may also be used to re-align the body. Special techniques are used for adjusting infants and children. Whatever the technique, Chiropractors use skill, not force or strength, to conduct a safe, effective adjustment.
What results can I expect?
If you’re new to Chiropractic care, you'll want to know what type of result you can expect. Individual experiences varies from person to person, but most people can expect some benefits soon after beginning care and for these to consolidate further as therapy continues. Statistically too, research shows that Chiropractic care is more effective and economical and also gives longer lasting results for disorders of the spine than other forms of health care. (3, 4, 5)
What is the difference between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy?
In understanding the difference between Chiropractic and Physiotherapy, we recommend referring to the definition of each practice. Chiropractic is a health care discipline based on the scientific premise that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. The practice of Chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine, and pelvis) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. Physiotherapy, as described by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, "uses a variety of techniques to help your muscles and joints work to their full potential. It can help repair damage by speeding up the healing process and reducing pain and stiffness".
Each individual is different and must make their own choice about the most appropriate method of care for them. We believe Chiropractic, with its central focus on the cranium, spine, nervous system and their impact on entire body provides a health care option that can help manage pain as well as assist in achieving optimal well-being.
What should I bring with me and what should I wear?
Most Chiropractors will take care of people in the clothes they come in with. However any bulky clothing, such as a heavy winter jacket or thick jumper would need to be removed. Please bring any referral letters from Medicare or DVA, any diagnostic test results eg. X-ray, Ultrasounds, MRI scans etc…
Do I need a referral from a GP?
Chiropractors are primary healthcare practitioners therefore a referral is not necessary. However more and more GP's are referring to Chiropractors via the Chronic Disease Management Program and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
Chiropractic in New Zealand: Report of the Commission of Inquiry. (1979). Hasselberg PD, Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand
Dabbs,V., & Lauretti,W.J. (1995). A Risk Assessment of Cervical Manipulation vs NSAIDs for the Treatment of Neck Pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 18(8), 530-536
Meade TW, Dyer S, Browne W, Townsend J, Frank AO. (1990) Low Back Pain of Mechanical Origin: Randomised Comparison of Chiropractic and Hospital Outpatient Treatment. The British Medical Journal 300: 1431-7
Manga P, Angus D et al (1993) The Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain. Pran Manga and Associates, University of Ottawa, Canada.
Shekelle PG, Adams AH, Chassin MR et al. (1991) AHThe Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain: Indications and Ratings by a Multidisciplinary Panel. Santa Monida, Calif: RAND Copr, 1991