How long will I need to see my practitioner for?
Every patient has a unique body, different condition and individual health goals. The practitioner will tailor the treatment plan according to their knowledge of the patient’s condition and attempt to fit this in with the needs of the patient. This treatment plan is a professional recommendation but however long you decide to benefit from treatment is ultimately up to you.
Once you’ve reached your treatment goals you don’t always have to keep coming back. However, most patients return to the activities that triggered their condition and continuing with treatment on a periodic basis can be a lifestyle decision to help manage their condition. If you start an exercise program you don’t aim to stop it once you are fit but continue it to maintain your fitness!
How will I feel after a treatment?
Most people feel an instant release of tension after their initial treatments. However in some cases due to the body being overstimulated and not used to the treatment you may feel sore the day after. It is also due the fact that we are applying “corrections” to the mechanics and function of the body and the body has to adapt to this. However this should subside over the coming days and reduce with further treatments as your condition improves. You can liken this to when you start a gym program and your muscles are shocked by the initial stress you put them under and pull up sore the next day.
Is a referral required to see an allied health professional?
Allied health professionals at Body to Balance are primary contact practitioners. That is, no referral from a medical practitioner is required to see us. The only circumstance where a referral is required is under Veterans Affairs and Medicare CDMP.
Is chiropractic care safe?
Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative approach to health that avoids the unnecessary use of invasive procedures and addictive drugs.
The World Health Organisation states that when “employed skilfully and appropriately, Chiropractic care is safe and effective for the prevention and management of a number of health problems.”
In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, a study in the 1995 Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs.
There are very rare risks of infrequent strain/ injury to a ligament or disc in the neck (less than 1 in 139,000) or low-back (1 in 62,000) as a result of chiropractic care.
To put things into perspective, you have a greater chance of being seriously injured in a car accident than from Chiropractic care. Chiropractors use skill, not force or strength to conduct safe, effective treatment.
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.
Should I apply ice or heat to my injury?
A general rule is that within the first 48-72 hours following an acute injury ice is beneficial to control inflammation and pain. For more long-term injuries and chronic problems heat is more beneficial to promote blood flow and reduce stiffness. In between during the sub-acute phase sometimes a combination of heat and ice can be beneficial. These are the general rules but there are exceptions and sometimes it comes down to the discretion of the practitioner and the patient.
Should I stay in bed with back pain?
Bed rest is only recommended in the very worst cases. The general advice for back pain is to remain relatively active within your pain threshold. Inactivity leads to chronicity so getting active and moving will promote a more optimal recovery. Remaining active does not have to be a structured exercise program, it could mean returning to work on light duties, taking the stairs at work, walking to the shops instead of driving, doing some gardening etc.
What is the difference between Physiotherapy and Chiropractic?
Physiotherapists focus primarily on muscles and joints and how these function together. Naturally then, physiotherapists work on muscle balancing, rehabilitation, core strength, sports injuries and give exercises to help restore normal function.
Chiropractors apply “manipulations” or “adjustments” on the body to restore normal function and stimulate the nervous system. They treat the body as a whole but do tend to centralise on the spine and are generally more manipulative in their approach to treatment than a physiotherapist.
Both professions play their role in the health care profession and treat similar conditions but in different ways. Everyone is different in their body type and condition and the key thing is finding the therapy that works for you. Sometimes both professions can work together to co-manage a condition and provide the most optimal outcome for the patient.
Does everyone who sees a chiropractor or other allied health professional need an X-ray or diagnostic imaging?
No. X-rays are not routinely ordered and only needed when clinically indicated. Indications for ordering an X-ray or other diagnostic imaging would include a history of acute trauma, cancer, infection, worsening pain of over 6 weeks duration or a failure to respond to conservative management. If this is not the case then in the vast majority of cases X-rays are not necessary as they will not alter the diagnosis or conservative management of the condition.
What is that noise you hear at the Chiropractor and is it painful?
The “popping” or cavitation noise heard during a chiropractic adjustment or manipulation is a release of a carbon dioxide gas vacuum from the joint. It is much like the popping noise heard when you open a bottle of champagne! In the overwhelming majority of cases this is not painful when applied by a properly trained practitioner. If you do not hear a popping or clicking sound this does not mean that the adjustment or manipulation was ineffective. There are many chiropractic adjustments or manipulations that produce no sound at all. The intent of the adjustment or manipulation is not to produce a sound but to improve function in spinal joints and stimulate the nervous system.