New to chiropractic? Fear not! Here is a guide on frequently asked questions, to give you the information you need to get yourself started in the world of chiro.
What is chiropractic and what is a chiropractor?
Chiropractic Australia (CA) describes Chiropractic as “a drug free, surgery free system of healthcare primarily for the musculoskeletal systems (bones, joints, muscles and ligaments) and some of the neurological system (nerves and the spinal cord).”
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) also nicely explain what chiropractors do… “Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.”
What conditions can a chiropractor treat?
Chiropractors can treat a wide variety of conditions including neck and back pain, certain headaches, sciatica, as well as pain that affects the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle and foot. For example. It would be a worthwhile trip to see a chiro if you are suffering from frozen shoulder or tennis elbow.
What is the normal process for a consultation?
If you are visiting us for the first time, the consultation takes up to 60 [change as appropriate] minutes and will follow this process:
• Any relevant paperwork and consent forms to be filled out upon arrival (or we may send these to you via email to complete beforehand.
• One-on-one questioning to determine why you are there and what the problem is
• A physical assessment to confirm the diagnosis
• Discussion of the problem and a plan of attack going forward
A follow-up consultation takes up to 30 [change as appropriate] minutes and will begin with a brief discussion and re-assessment followed by continuation of the treatment plan.
If for whatever reason you are not suitable for chiropractic care and require the help of another medical professional (i.e. GP or specialist), your chiropractor will help you through the process to ensure you end up in the best possible hands.
Will you crack my back?
Not necessarily. The ‘cracking’ of joints (aka ‘manipulation’ or ‘adjustment’) is just one of a wide variety of treatment techniques that a chiro can implement. If your chiro deems it safe and beneficial to perform such a technique on you, they will explain to you beforehand why they want to do it, along with benefits and risks associated with it. Only once you are fully informed and give your consent for the treatment will it be carried out. This goes for any treatment technique performed in-session.
Other possible treatment techniques include massage, joint mobilisation, dry needling and/or acupuncture, stretching and active exercise.
Can I see a chiropractor if I’m pregnant?
Yes you can! Not only is it safe, but very beneficial. Your body goes through many physical changes when you are pregnant which can affect your ability to move well. Many women experience muscle and joint pain during pregnancy that can be treated effectively by a chiro. The types of treatment carried out may differ depending on what stage you are at in your pregnancy, but this will be outlined to you from the beginning and during each treatment session. If you are pregnant, it is very important to let us know so we can tailor your treatment accordingly.
Do I have to get undressed during an appointment?
There is an element of undressing required for appointments, this usually just means removing bulky outer clothing. We treat the body, so we need to see the body. Sometimes there is a need to access bare skin if dry needling is being undertaken. If we cannot see how your body moves because it is covered by clothing, we cannot accurately diagnose you. And if we cannot diagnose you, we cannot safely treat you. We recommend wearing comfortable and supportive underwear (no sports bras please ladies as we may need access to your back). We also use towels to cover parts of the body when we treat to ensure you always feel 100% comfortable.
We understand that for some people, getting undressed and standing in front of another person can be daunting and embarrassing. We will endeavour to make you feel as comfortable as possible at all times during your consultations. It’s important to remember that we do this every single day as part of our job and we operate in a very professional manner. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, always speak out and let your practitioner know.
We hope this helps to answer some of the questions you might have regarding chiropractic care. If you have any other questions, please call us today on 0423 774 399 and we will do our best to answer them.