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5 things you want to know about chiro, but are too afraid to ask!

1. What is the ‘cracking’ noise with joint manipulation?

Although as chiropractors we provide a variety of different treatments, perhaps the one technique we are most identified by is spinal manipulation. This is a technique whereby a shallow but fast force is applied to a joint to restore joint movement and relieve pain in the region.

When spinal manipulation is performed, the applied force causes a small seperation or gapping of the fully encapsulated synovial joint. This in turns causes a reduction in pressure in the joint cavity, and gases dissolved in the synovial joint fluid form bubbles. These bubbles rapidly collapse back on themselves and result in a ‘clicking’ noise

2. What training do chiropractors do?

Chiropractors complete a 5-year university degree, and are required to continue yearly continued professional training and education, in order to maintain their government registration.

3. What is the difference between chiropractors and physiotherapists?

In terms of musculoskeletal treatment, the gap between the modern chiropractor and physiotherapist is becoming quite small. In general, chiropractors tend to use more ‘hands-on’ manual therapy techniques such as joint manipulation, mobilisation and soft tissue techniques, whereas physiotherapists tend to focus more on rehabilitation exercise training.

This is by no means a hard and fast rule and any good musculoskeletal practitioner (no matter what profession they belong to) should use a variety of treatment interventions to get you better. Neither profession owns any specific type of treatment, and your chiro or physio should use the recommended treatments based on the latest available research and clinical guidelines for your condition or injury.

4. Does it hurt?

This is a common concern amongst patients prior to any for of treatment from a health practitioner. Patients sometimes have concern in relation to spinal manipulation and whether it will be painful, but in most cases it is surprisingly gentle and pain-free. Some soft tissue techniques can cause mild discomfort during and immediately after treatment, but this generally settles over a short period of time. Your chiro should discuss any possible side effects of treatment with you prior to commencing.

5. Do I need a referral to see the chiro?

No, you do not need a referral, simply call the clinic for an appointment.

In some cases however, your GP may provide you with a referral to see the chiro for up to 5 visits covered by Medicare. If it is a Worker’s Compensation Claim then your GP may also provide you with a written referral to see the chiro with treatment expenses to be covered by your claim.

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