Is Chiropractic Care Safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognised as an alternative non-invasive and drug free therapy for treating neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Chiropractic has an excellent safety record, although no healthcare treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects.

The most common risk associated with Chiropractic is experiencing a mild soreness post adjustment, not dissimilar to that of exercising, typically lasting 24 hours and more likely to occur with initial adjustments, fading with subsequent treatments.

Some reports have associated low amplitude high velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain type of rare stroke, or vertebral artery dissection. However, evidently based the occurrence of these incidences is extremely rare, one to three cases in 100,000, and takes place spontaneously in patients with pre-existing arterial disease.

Your Chiropractor is highly trained and has undergone an extensive five year university degree and have the skills to identify patients with these special risk factors and refer you to the most appropriate medical specialist.

The purpose of your physical exam is to assess your condition and discover if Chiropractic can assist you. If we believe that Chiropractic can help you we will discuss the most appropriate method to treat your condition.

Do I have a slipped disc?

It is common to refer to a wide variety of disc problems as a “slipped disc”.

Due to the structure of the disc, it is not possible for it to slip out between the vertebrae. It is a soft pulpy ‘shock absorber’ comprised of 80% water, that has a fibrous outer ring and a jelly like material in its nucleus. The fibrous material can tear, bulge or herniate, and more so internally the jelly nucleus can thin, dry out resulting in collapse, final stages of ‘degeneration’. Chiropractic care particularly the Gonstead technique, aims to set the vertebrae so that it is sitting evenly on top of the disc, preventing damage and pressure on the external fibrous structure.

Do I need a medical referral?

No.

Chiropractors are Primary Health practitioners, which means you can contact us directly for your appointment.

Your eligibility entitles you for up to 5 visits funded through Medicare under the Enhanced Primary Care scheme, however you do need a GP referral for this.

Do I need X-Rays?

Your Chiropractor at your Initial Consultation will determine if x-rays are required.

If x-rays are necessary a referral will be given to have them taken at a x-ray facility. The cost of the X-rays is fully covered by Medicare. If there are any X-rays, MRI or CT scans that have been taken in the past, bring these with you on your first visit to help determine the best treatment for you.

What is the popping or cracking sound?

Some adjusting methods produce a popping sound, caused by gas and fluids movement within the joint when shifted. Similar to removing a suction cup, the sound does not represent the quality of the adjustment. It is commonly thought that the noise is bones crunching or going back into place, this couldn’t be further from the truth and is false!

Does it hurt to get adjusted?

The adjustment is not generally painful. In some cases, mild soreness to the area being adjusted can be experienced, more often during the initial stages of care.

This is normal as the body adapts to the new motion, similar to that when you’ve had a hard workout at the gym, the adjustment is a workout for ligaments and soft tissue that has tightened around the joint capsule being adjusted allowing your spinal movement and conditions to improve.

What does the Chiropractic adjustment actually do?

Many times during our day to day lives we are faced with physical, emotional and chemical stresses. These stresses build in our bodies to create areas of dis-ease. Each individuals stress tends to centre around a particular part of the body, whether it be neck and shoulders, or mid and lower back pain. Prolonged chemical, emotional and physical stress has enough impact on the body to cause vertebral misalignment and disruption to surrounding tissues otherwise known as a ‘Subluxation’.

A subluxation may cause tightening of muscles (dull, achy pain), swelling and inflammation, all of which can lead to the disruption of nerves exiting the spinal chord in the form of stabbing, burning pain or numbness.

A Gonstead chiropractic adjustment, unlike other chiropractic techniques serves the purpose of propping and setting the vertebrae correctly, back on top of the disc, the re-alignment of the vertebrae relaxes muscles directly and in surroundings regions and can take pressure off the exiting nerves coming off the spinal chord. This helps to relieve your pain and symptoms.

What can I expect on my first visit?

We will ask you to complete a health history form on your arrival.

This form gives us information about your general health. We will ask you a series of questions in relation to your health and any pre-existing medical conditions, in addition, a comprehensive case history is taken, this helps us to determine the cause of your symptoms.

Once your chiropractor has gathered all the information needed, they will begin a thorough, non-invasive physical examination.

This will include:

* Postural Evaluation: determining if your posture is contributing to your problem.

* Assess your spinal range of motion: identifying areas of the spine that are restricted or pain producing.

* Orthopaedic testing: specific testing to help evaluate damage to your musculoskeletal system.

* Neurological testing: assessing the function of your nervous system.

* Nervoscope: a tool specific to Gonstead chiropractic, used during every visit, evaluates your spine for heat or inflamed regions of your spine potentially requiring correction.

* Xray Analysis: determining the presence of disease, trauma, spinal misalignments and wear and tear.

You will be required to bring with you past medical history reports along with any X-rays that may have been taken in the past.

You will be treated on your first visit provided that you have satisfied all of the medical criteria, and that you have read, understood and signed the ‘Consent to Chiropractic Treatment’ form.

How many times do I need to get adjusted?
Some conditions require initial intensive treatment over many weeks, followed by rehabilitation and a course of maintenance adjustments, whereas others might only need a short course of adjustments to resolve the problems. Everyone’s needs and requirements are different, the treatment management plan is tailored to each individual depending on your diagnosis, health status and goals.
When will I start to feel better?

Most patients experience almost instant relief, while others start to feel much better within two to three weeks. The factors that can effect your rate of healing include your age, the type of injury, your general health, how long you have had the problem for and how good you are at following home advice, these all determine how quickly your body can heal.

Will I be expected to have Chiropractic care forever?

How long you choose chiropractic care for is entirely up to you. Some choose to keep visits only when they are in pain, while others choose chiropractic care as a form of wellness and prevention of conditions occurring as part of their overall health plan.

During your visits you’ll be presented with information regarding the phases of care and how they can help you.

Whatever type of care your after is your choice and we will support your decision.

Are Chiropractic adjustments safe during pregnancy?
Yes! Pregnant mums, new mums and babies receive chiropractic care. Some mothers find that chiropractic care during pregnancy helps with their back pain, preparation for the birthing experience as well as other related musculoskeletal pain. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and condition of health, providing the most suitable care.
Are Chiropractic adjustments safe for children?

Yes! Not dissimilar to adults babies and children experience musculoskeletal pain, this begins during the trauma of the birth process, falls onto backsides when learning to walk, climbing trees, trampolining, riding bikes and other childhood sports and activities that cause potential harm to the spinal musculoskeletal system.

Spinal dysfunction may go undetected, having a spine that moves properly and is not fixed in certain areas from these impacts or injuries, assists the child to develop a spine that is straighter and helps to eliminate problems such as developmental delays, poor sleep routines, childhood/adolescent scoliosis, poor posture, fatigue and headaches.

Chiropractic care can help the child develop an overall sense of their bodies ability to move and function correctly, which is extremely important.

It is necessary particularly this day and age with many influential technological factors to develop an awareness of their body and spinal postures.

Chiropractic adjusting procedures are always modified to a child’s spine and are safe.

Is Chiropractic covered by Medicare?

You are eligible for up to 5 visits a year funded through Medicare under the Enhanced Primary Care scheme, however you do need a GP referral in order to initiate this.

What if Chiropractic makes me really nervous?

It is normal to feel nervous. So much time and care is taken at your Initial consult, you can be guaranteed that you will have everything explained to you thoroughly. There are many ways to make your chiropractic care a pleasant experience. The unknown can have you feeling a little anxious. However once you experience the changes that occur in your body including the reduction of pain and better function, together with the reassurance and advice of your Chiropractor every step of the way, this will assist you through nervousness and your Chiropractic journey with us.

Is Chiropractic covered by Workers Compensation and Veteran Affairs?

Patients with a Work Cover injury need to see their GP first to get a referral to the chiropractor. Additionally your supervisor at work will be required to lodge the necessary papers regarding the injury, together with the referral to Work Cover.

Work Cover will then assess your claim, if it is accepted you will be allocated a ‘Claim Number’.

Once you have your claim number available you will be able to claim your costs back directly from Work Cover. It is clinic policy that all accounts are your responsibility and are expected to be paid at the time of your consultation, you are then able to claim directly back from Workcover.

Veterans that wish to see a Chiropractor also need a referral from their GP, which is valid for 12 months, after this time a new one will be required. At the first appointment details will be taken from your Vet Card. After each visit you are required to sign the treatment form and the account is then sent directly to Veterans Affairs for payment