Your frequently asked questions, answered.
Your Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a drug and surgery free, hands-on based treatment focused on the diagnosis and management of neuromuscular disorders (injury to the joints, muscles or nerves), with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment or manipulation of the spine. However, Chiropractors often use other treatment methods in their management of these types of disorders, and treat other areas of the body.
What is an adjustment?
A chiropractic adjustment, also known as chiropractic manipulation, manual manipulation, or spinal manipulation, is a common therapeutic treatment for lower back pain. A chiropractic adjustment refers to a chiropractor applying a fast movement to a joint that has abnormal movement patterns or pain.
The objective of this chiropractic treatment is to increase range of motion and muscle control, improving function and decreasing pain.
Is Chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic treatment involves a variety of methods or modalities, each with its own safety profile.
Each patient is different. Physical factors associated with their age, gender, body type and their medical history need to be considered to make treatment as safe as possible.
When people ask about safety, most of the time they are referring to spinal manipulation or spinal adjustment. It is a high velocity and low amplitude thrust directed to a joint of the spine or extremities. It often (but not necessarily) results in a crack or pop sound. These adjustments or manipulations are often delivered by hand, but may be delivered using an adjusting instrument.
Essentially, spinal adjustments or spinal manipulation are relatively very safe treatment methods.
They are safe as long as they are delivered by an appropriately trained and qualified individual, who has:
- Completed an appropriate history and examination
- Formulated an appropriate diagnosis
- Selected an appropriate treatment method considering on your current physical and medical status
A Chiropractor can employ ‘low force’ techniques if appropriate. It is the responsibility of the practitioner to make the right choice for the patient.
Manipulation does not have high rates of complications or side effects associated with it. In comparison to the risks involved with taking common medications (such as NSAIDs or Paracetamol), spinal adjustments or manipulation have lower risks of adverse reactions or side effects.
In conclusion, when you see your Chiropractor, they will establish the most safe and effective methods of treatment in your situation.
Can you be too young or old to see a Chiropractor?
A registered Chiropractor is qualified to examine and assess and treat individuals of all ages.
At different ages, our health care needs can vary dramatically. As such, types of treatment that are necessary and safe also vary. This applies to Chiropractic in the same way it applies to Medicine, Podiatry and Physiotherapy etc.
No individual is too young or too old to be consulted by a Chiropractor. A Chiropractor will adapt their management to meet the needs of the individual and their age.
Regarding Newborns and Infants
It is critical that an appropriate history, examination and diagnosis process precede any therapy being provided to paediatrics.
Chiropractic manipulation involving any thrust-based procedures directed towards the spine or the extremities require joints to be ‘adequately mature’. Vertebrae in someone less than 2 years of age are mostly cartilage, not bone. This means manual high force adjustments are not appropriate.
Low force adjustments and manipulative techniques are available for paediatrics if deemed a necessary therapeutic intervention. These low force techniques include:
- The Activator Instrument
- Anatomic reflex point stimulation
- Gentle mobilisation and repeat oscillation movements
At this practice, thrust-based adjustments delivered to the spine of an infant of less than 2 years of age and also of young children are not considered appropriate.
It is important to understand that you, as a parent or guardian will be fully informed about the type of treatment offered to your child. A trial of treatment that is reasonable will be offered and discussed. There is no obligation to start or continue care if you decide the care is not suitable.
A Chiropractor may also provide you with home care advice and some simple physical treatment and stimulation methods to forward their recovery.
Regarding the Elderly
You are never too old to see a Chiropractor. In fact, as we age, our need for musculoskeletal health care increases.
The most important considerations for the Chiropractor to recognise are the effects of age-related musculoskeletal decline and other underlying pathology. As we age, we develop more medical problems, and more wear and tear and weakening within our musculoskeletal system.
It is one of the professional responsibilities of a Chiropractor to determine if a patient has any contraindications to Chiropractic adjustments, manipulation or other therapeutic methods. A contraindication is a finding that makes the risk of complication during treatment greater than the potential benefit.
It is critical that you assist the Chiropractor in making the right choices by being as complete with your health history as possible. You should inform the Chiropractor about:
- All surgical intervention(s)
- All previous and current cancers
- All known medical conditions
- Known metabolic disease like Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Thyroid Disease
- Bone degenerative disease
- All medications taken (especially anti-coagulants, analgesics & psychotropic medication)
The very elderly patient is at some increased risks of harm with physical treatment. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Rib fracture
- Skin tears.
Every effort is made to reduce these risks by selecting appropriate treatment force and technique.
How long are appointment times?
45 minutes is allowed for a new patient consult, and 15 minutes for a return consult. 30 minute long consults are offered to patients if the patient has:
- a complex presentation
- multiple conditions being treated
- requires treatment AND rehabilitation
- a new condition requiring assessment
How much will it cost
Initial consult: $110
Standard consult: $69
Long consult: $100
How long will I need Chiropractic care?
Every person sees a Chiropractor for a different reason. Different presentations will have different healing times. Some may require intensive treatment, and others may respond more quickly. Your Chiropractor will discuss all of these factors with you before you choose to commence treatment. Some people choose to maintain regular appointments to keep pain or stiffness at bay before it develops, and that’s entirely their choice.
Neck adjustments and risk of stroke
A stroke (also referred to as cerebrovascular accident or CVA) involves an interruption to normal blood flow to the brain or spinal cord either by bleeding or by ischemia.
Neck adjustment or manipulation is the main safety concern that individuals and authorities raise about receiving Chiropractic care. The reason for this is, in the event that a stroke occurs during or after treatment, the consequences can be very serious, and in extremely rare circumstances, potentially fatal.
There is a lot of misinformation about how dangerous neck manipulation is, of the complications, and of it causing strokes.
There are many different types of stroke. They can have many underlying causes and mechanisms that have nothing to do with neck adjustment or manipulation. Misreporting in the media and by health professionals has, at times, had strokes that are not related to manipulation of the neck, blamed on neck manipulation.
Thankfully, the type of stroke that is rarely associated with neck adjustment or manipulation is a type of stroke that individuals usually make a complete recovery from.
The only type of stroke which can be caused by neck adjustment or manipulation is called a ‘Brainstem Stroke’ or ‘Wallenberg Syndrome’ and involves either the Common/Internal Carotid Artery or the Vertebral Artery.
In rare circumstances, these blood vessels can be damaged leading to arterial dissection.
An arterial dissection is a splitting of the layers of the artery wall. This can be caused by weakening of the blood vessel wall over time by pathologies such as hardening of the arteries, advanced bone spur formation compromising blood vessels, connective tissue disease, structural malformations of the artery, and other diseases that affect blood flow.
Approximately 95% of individuals that suffer a Wallenberg type brainstem stroke make a full recovery.
The risk factors for stroke in general are considered risk factors for the Wallenberg Syndrome Stroke described above. These are smoking, known arterial disease (advanced atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, unmanaged diabetes, among others.
You must tell your chiropractor if you do not want neck adjustment or manipulation
There are symptoms and signs that Chiropractors want to know about before manipulating or adjusting the neck of an individual. Please tell the Chiropractor if you are experiencing:
- Double vision
- Projectile vomiting
- Problems swallowing (dysphagia)
- Ataxia (loss of balance)
- Peculiar numbness in the face or body
- Loss of coordination
As stated in previous points, every effort is made to ensure treatment is safe for you in your current condition.
What do our Chiropractors do
For every new complaint our Chiropractors take a history and perform an examination to form a diagnosis or establish the need for referral to a specialist or for imaging (x-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI etc).
Your condition, healing time and treatment options will be discussed. With all the information presented to you, you can choose to proceed with care.
Depending on your condition, you may need one or more of the following treatment interventions that we offer:
- Joint manipulation or adjustment
- Joint mobilisation or stretching
- Soft tissue therapy
- Instrument assisted soft tissue therapy
- Taping (Rigid and Kinesio)
- Education on lifestyle modification/home management strategies
Is my personal and medical information safe?
Yes, your personal information is safe.
The information collected about you at Enhance Chiropractic is kept with your confidentiality in mind. Better quality information taken results in better care, and safer treatment options.
The information we collect about you is only collected for the reason of providing you with the most safe and effective healthcare possible, and to meet our own legal health care record keeping requirements. These legal requirements are outlined in:
- The Health Professions Registration Act 2005 (Federal Law)
- The Privacy Act 1988 (Federal Law)- amendments 2014
- The Health Records Act Vic 2001 (State law)
The information we collect about you is NOT shared with any third party without your express consent.
Your information is securely stored on the clinic’s computer database, which has very limited access. Only health practitioners directly involved with Enhance Chiropractic and Capstone Medical Centre have access to your complete file.
Reception staff at Enhance Chiropractic and Capstone Medical Centre are instructed not to access the clinical part of your patient file without express instruction from the health care practitioner responsible for the file and for express purpose.
What accreditation standards do Chiropractors have to meet?
- They need to have graduated from an internationally approved and accredited program of Chiropractic education. These programs take a number of formats but are between 4 & 6 years in duration and include single Bachelor, Double Bachelor and Bachelor/Master education models.
- They need to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). AHPRA is an Australian Government regulatory authority that exists to set standards and maintain a register of all qualified health professionals, and to protect the public.
- They need to be insured with minimum Professional Indemnity & Public Liability insurance standards set by AHPRA and the Registration Board for Chiropractors.
- They need to be conducting and participating in further education annually to standards set by AHPRA and the Registration Board for Chiropractors
- They need to be practicing in a professional scope and to standards set by AHPRA and the Registration Board for Chiropractors
- They need to maintain current first aid and CPR proficiency standards set by AHPRA and the Registration Board for Chiropractors
Is Chiropractic covered under Medicare?
Chiropractic care is not covered by Medicare in usual circumstances. Patients can have Chiropractic included in the extras of their private health insurance which covers a portion of the consult fee.
However, you may be eligible for an Team Care Arrangement or Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Plan. This provides up to five Allied Health consults per year where the majority of a consult fee is funded by Medicare. A GP referral is required so please discuss with with your doctor.
Do I need a referral?
No you don’t need a referral to attend as a private patient. As stated previously, a referral from your GP is required if you are attending under the Team Care Arrangement (formerly Enhanced Primary Care) Program.
Can I claim using my private health fund?
Yes, if you have Chiropractic included in the extras of your private health insurance a portion of your consult fee is covered. You are required to pay for your consult in full, and can claim your rebate from your private health fund at your convenience. It is recommended you check with your individual health insurance provider to see exactly what and how much is covered.
Do you treat WorkSafe and TAC patients?
Yes, WorkSafe and TAC patients are welcome. It is recommended to be approved for Chiropractic treatment by WorkSafe or TAC prior to attending the clinic.
Treatment fees are required to be paid in full at the time of the consultation. It is the responsibility of the individual to organise and receive the WorkSafe or TAC rebate.
Can I walk in or do I need an appointment?
Our consults are by appointment only. You can book in via phone or our website.
Do I need to pay at the time of my consult?
Yes. All consults must be paid for at the time of the consult.
Can I change or cancel my appointment?
Of course. Please call the clinic if you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment. If you can’t make an appointment, we require at least four hours notice prior to the appointment time, otherwise 50% of your consult fee is charged.
What do I need to bring/wear?
It is best to wear comfortable and flexible clothing to allow movement of your body as treatment requires.
Please bring any imaging, reports, test results that pertain to your reason for attending the clinic. If you are unsure, it is best to bring what you have.
Do I have to be an athlete to see Anthony?
Definitely not. Anthony has lots of experience managing athletes, but does not exclusively treat sports people. He enjoys treating patients from all walks of life.
A detailed history is taken, followed by a thorough examination. Every effort is made to make an accurate diagnosis, which guides management choices. Treatment is tailored to your individual needs and capacity. If you require imaging or specialist assessment, a referral is written.