Frequently Asked Questions
What do chiropractors do?
Chiropractors in Australia are AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) registered and regulated allied health practitioners who study at university for a minimum of 5 years. Chiropractors are highly qualified and trained in the diagnosis management and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health. A chiropractor will assess your posture, joints and muscles, as well as your overall health to work out the cause of your pain. They will use a range of scientifically proven/ evidence based techniques to remove any unnecessary tension on the joints, muscles and nerves particularly those of the spine to help improve your mobility, function and pain levels.
What to expect at the initial appointment?
When you first visit your chiropractor, they will want to have a very good picture of your presenting symptoms and overall health. The more information they have the more accurate the diagnosis and treatment.
At your initial consultation, you can expect that your chiropractor will
- Ask lots of questions to get a good picture of your overall health
- Assess your posture and movement
- Assess the movement and function of your joints particularly the joints of the spine
- Assess the function of your muscles
- Explanation of findings and a clearly laid out treatment plan
- Use a variety of techniques to correct any dysfunction or imbalance found
Do I need x-rays?
At your initial consultation, your chiropractor will determine if require x-rays. If x-rays are necessary, you will be given a referral for a radiology clinic nearby. These costs are fully covered by Medicare. If you have had any x-rays, CT or MRI, bring them with you at your initial consultation as this will help determine the best treatment for you.
What is the popping sound?
Some techniques used by the chiropractors, which are intended to improve joint mobility, may produce a popping sound as the gas and pressure are being released from the joint. The sound isn’t a guide to the quality or need of the adjustment. There are some common misconceptions associated with the sound such as
-That the noise is bones going back in place or rubbing on each other, this is definitely false! The sound is simply pressure being released within the facet joints.
-The popping sound will cause arthritis. That is not true, in fact research has demonstrated that using techniques such as chiropractic adjustments to improve joint mobility may decrease or slow down the progression of arthritis.
Does it hurt to get adjusted?
Chiropractic care is not normally painful however in some cases, mild soreness to the area being treated may be experienced. We will use different techniques depending on the clinical presentation to appropriately address the problem and reduce the chance of discomfort however stiffness and local tenderness after treatment are common and often a normal part of the healing process as your spinal movement improves. In this case, we recommend you use ice, heat or another form of home care to reduce discomfort.
How long until I will start to feel better?
Whilst ideally we would like all our patients to walk out of our clinic pain-free only some patients will experience almost instant relief and more often patients will be feeling much better within one to two weeks.
There are many factors that will affect your rate of recovery such as your age, the type of injury, your general health and how long you have had the problem.
An initial assessment is an important part of determining how to best manage the problem and will give us an indication of how long it may take to get you feeling better.
Will I have to go to a chiropractor forever?
Your initial assessment, diagnosis and health goals will determine the initial stage of treatment. This may involve initial intensive treatment over a few weeks or a short course of treatments. Following the initial stage of treatment you may continue on to symptomatic care, coming in when the pain starts again or you may choose maintenance care and come in every 4-6 weeks to maintain function and mobility.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a chiropractor?
No. Chiropractors are primary care practitioners which means you can choose to see a chiropractor without a doctor referral. A doctor may, however, give you a care plan which allows you to have 5 visits to a chiropractor, osteopath or physio bulk billed.
What are the payment options?
Payment is required on the day of your appointment. There are a few ways you can reduce your out of pocket cost.
- If you have private health care insurance, we can claim it on the day.
- Medicare may allow you to have up to 5 visits bulk billed, speak to your GP about getting a care plan.
- TAC claims are also available